The Morris Canal Greenway is envisioned as a 111-mile continuous pedestrian and bicycle trail connecting six counties in northern New Jersey. Once completed it will extend from the Delaware River on the west to the Hudson River on the east.
Many segments of the greenway have already been completed, but there is much work to do to create a continuous trail. The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), in partnership with the Canal Society of New Jersey and the Morris Canal Working Group, recently completed a study that presents a plan for a continuous greenway as closely aligned with the historic canal route as possible.
You can read the plan on the Morris Canal Greenway Corridor Study page. The study recommends that the entire greenway be built in phases of short-, medium-, and long-term projects. The short-term projects will address segments that already have funding or just require signage or striping. More complicated long-term projects are expected to take more than 10 years to complete. The study also offers design guidelines aimed at unifying the various greenway segments. This includes creating signage and other features that accurately represent the history, character and contemporary role of the canal.
The Morris Canal was built from 1825 to 1831 to transport Pennsylvania coal to markets in New Jersey and New York. Known as the “Mountain Climbing Canal,” it overcame an elevation change of 1,674 feet over the entire northern part of New Jersey through the use of inclined planes. This feature alone makes the Morris Canal a national engineering marvel. It stretched 102 miles across six counties: Warren, Sussex, Morris, Passaic, Essex and Hudson. Visit the About the Canal section to learn more.
The Morris Canal Working Group, formed by the NJTPA in 2012 to bring together stakeholders, has been spearheading efforts to preserve the canal. Click the video to learn more about the group.