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Delaware Valley

From Trenton to Frenchtown

Mileage30 miles (48 km)
DurationThe duration is an estimate of a one-way drive and does not include any stops or side-trips.40 minutes
SeasonsThe seasons listed are the best seasons for this scenic drive. If Winter is not mentioned, the road may be closed during the winter.All Seasons
RoadwaysNew Jersey Highway 29
ServicesThe cities or towns listed have either Food or Services such as gas, pharmacies, etc.Bordentown, NJ, Princeton, NJ, Roebling, NJ, Trenton, NJ, Bristol, PA, Langhorne, PA, Levittown, PA, Morrisville, PA, more...Newtown, PA, Washington Crossing, PA, Lambertville, NJ, Bensalem, PA, New Hope, PA, Stockton, NJ, Lumberville, PA, Doylestown, PA, Flemington, NJ, Frenchtown, NJ, Ottsville, PA, Milford, NJ, Pittstown, NJ, Clinton, NJ, Riegelsville, PA, Ewing, NJ, Lawrenceville, NJ, Stevens, NJ, Snydertown, NJ, Bowne, NJ, Spring Mills, NJ, Hamden, NJ, and Perryville, NJ
3.4 average from 103 votes
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Just about an hour from New York City and Philadelphia, lies an incredible scenic drive beginning in Trenton, NJ and traveling to Frenchtown, exploring the Delaware River, charming riverside communities and historic sites critical to the American Revolution.

Delaware and Raritan Canal Spillway
Delaware and Raritan Canal Spillway

You can reach NJ-29 from either US-1 or Calhoun Street (or Trenton Ave in Pennsylvania). The road parallels the Delaware River along the Pennsylvania border and is visible throughout most of the drive.

In the heart of downtown Trenton, visit the fascinating New Jersey State House (A1). Guided tours are offered but note, advance reservations are highly recommended. There is so much to discover at the nearby New Jersey State Museum (M2). Established in 1895, explore fabulous varied collections, encompassing archeology, fine art, New Jersey’s cultural history, natural history and a planetarium. The museum is free and closed Mondays.

Traveling on NJ-29, stop at the Washington Crossing State Park (H1). It is here, on Christmas night 1776, that George Washington led his army over the Delaware River to execute a surprise attack on Trenton, capturing the Hessian garrison and turning the tide of the American Revolution. Examine almost 600 artifacts from the Revolutionary War era and learn more at the Washington Crossing Visitor Center Museum. Interpretive programs and lectures are available with advance reservations. Strolling through the park also discover the Ferry House, Nelson House and open air theater. The 1,400 acre park also features miles of hiking and biking trails, fishing and makes for a great picnic spot. In winter, enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. There is a small day-use fee to enter from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

A few miles ahead is the 70-mile Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park (H2) which preserves a Canal and Feeder Canal built in 1834, as well as a number of beautiful 19th-century grist and linseed oil mills, wooden bridges, historic buildings and locks. You can also enjoy canoeing, boating and fishing. Each spring the canal is stocked with bass, sunfish, catfish, perch, pickerel and trout. The park offers a variety of nature programs, guided walking, biking or kayak tours and much more. Check the park website program calendar for monthly listings. A paved historic towpath travels along both canals is extremely popular for jogging, cycling and horseback riding and is ADA accessible. The park and towpath runs the entire length of this drive to Frenchtown, and each section has its own charms and historic points of interest.

Continuing the drive, you pass through a series of interesting towns, many with stories of visits by George Washington and other American leaders. Dotting the route are former mills which once harnessed the power of the Delaware River.

In about 4 miles, consider a detour on Pleasant Valley Road to Howell Living History Farm (M1) where you can visit a working farm using methods employed during 1890-1910. The farm grows a variety of crops including wheat, corn and pumpkins and horses, oxen and steam engines are used to thresh wheat and pull wagons. Buildings, equipment and even breeds of livestock, date back to the 1800s. Visiting the farm is free and produce, honey, flour and more are available for sale. This is a wonderful place for adults and kids alike to learn about the past.

Lambertville is known as the Antiques Capital of New Jersey, and you’ll find more than 60 indoor antique shops and over 200 outside dealers open Wed., Sat. and Sun., 6 am to 4 pm, year-round at the Golden Nugget Antique and Flea Market. There are more treasures to find every day in stores along Bridge, Main and Union streets. Mix in eclectic galleries, coffee shops, restaurants and lovely Victoria homes, Lambertville is not to be missed.

The quaint town of Stockton is lined with Victorian-era buildings now home to restaurants, lodging and art galleries. On Friday afternoons, Saturdays and Sundays enjoy the bounty of the land at the indoor Farmers Market. Located on Bridge Street, the year-round market features fresh produce, cheeses, organic meats, bakery items, crafts and more.

Don’t miss the romance of Green Sergeant’s Covered Bridge (B1) over Wickecheoke Creek. Originally built in 1872, the bridge was reconstructed using the original materials after being damaged in 1960. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is the only remaining covered bridge in New Jersey. The bridge is a spectacular setting for fall foliage touring and photography. Get there from NJ-29, by turning right on Country Road 519.

After Stockton, Bull’s Island State Park (H3) is on your left offering a wide range of outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, fishing, and boating.

Continuing north, our scenic drive comes to an end in the town of Frenchtown, where you can enjoy old-world charm exploring its 19-century architecture, antique shops and local boutiques. Here you will also find the end (or beginning depending on which way you travel) of the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park and the towpath. Beautiful lush surroundings lead to a bounty of recreation opportunities such as rafting, kayaking, hot air ballooning, hiking, cycling and more. Outfitters in town offer rentals and organized tours. And true to its roots, Frenchtown celebrates Bastille Day on July 14 with live music and entertainment, restaurants featuring French-themed menus and more. From here, consider following north along the Kittatinny Ridge Loop.

Ready for adventure? Have park and forest passes before you get there.



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