WARREN COUNTY, NJ – The Morris Canal Greenway in Warren County has a new bridge creating an uninterrupted path of about two miles for hiking and biking.
During a recent meeting of the Warren County Board of County Commissioners, county Planning Director David Dech announced that the long-awaited bridge, located along a section of the historic former canal on the border of Hackettstown and Allamuchy Township, had been completed.
The 60-foot-long bridge spans a large dip in the mostly level towpath trail where a stream breaches the canal route. Hikers and cyclists can now have an uninterrupted jaunt of about two miles through the woods from Bilby Road (County Route 665) in Hackettstown to Waterloo Road (County Route 604) at Saxton Falls in Allamuchy Township.
“The Morris Canal Greenway is one of Warren County’s greatest recreational paths,” said County Commissioner Director James Kern III. “For years this has been a priority to preserve and convert the canal into a trail system. I encourage our residents and visitors alike to visit this site.”
Located within Allamuchy Mountain State Park, the steel span was installed with the help of the county Division of Bridges and state parks personnel. Funding for the $36,000 project included a Recreational Trails grant of $30,000 administered by the NJ Division of Parks and Forestry and a county match of $6,000. The approximate cost of the bridge was $15,000 with the remaining $21,000 to pay surveying and engineering fees, decking and other miscellaneous costs.
“This is just one more segment that can be walked or biked of the 33 miles of the historic Morris Canal in Warren County,” Dech said. Of those 33 miles, about 12 miles of the canal’s route through the county are open for public trails in various locations.
The Morris Canal, which ultimately ran from Phillipsburg on the Delaware River to Jersey City on the Hudson, opened in 1831 and lasted until 1924. Canal boats pulled by mules hauled coal, agricultural products and other goods, as a combination of canal locks and inclined planes surmounted the hills of northern New Jersey.
In 1981, the Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders, as the Board of County Commissioners was then known, formed a committee dedicated to the preservation of the Morris Canal and other historic features.
For more information about the Morris Canal Greenway and the recreational opportunities it offers, click here.