paddling the D&R canal Blackwell Mills

Wanted to checkout the D&R canal this week.from griggstown towards Blackwell Mills.Maybe up to the lock above Blackwell Mills.How is it this time of year?I saw some storm damage reports-Any thing that we should look for?Is this a good scenic spot?Would like to hear about your experiences on the D&R.

low bridges
It’s a pleasant paddle. But there are a couple of low bridges that you can get under, but need to crouch low in order to do it.

Just did that the other night
There is an imperceptible current, so that is not a problem. Not a lot of paddlers, but you’ll have plenty of company from people on the tow path, many won’t see you. The canal water level is a little low, which is unusual, it doesn’t vary much, if at all. The parallel river will flood into the canal, but the canal itself never floods. Canal Road runs close to the canal in spots, so you can see and hear the cars, otherwise where the road isn’t close, you only hear the wild life, and your paddle dipping and splashing. Te bridges are low, but you can fit under, sit on the floor, or just lean back as flat as you can. You will see Great Blue Heron, king fishers, muskrat, Canada geese, various ducks, and if you’re lucky a green heron. I’ve also seen snakes and a deer swimming in the canal. Getting in and out can be tricky, the bank is steep. You can unload next to the canal, and then park, you boat will be safe for those few minutes. It’s a nice place for a relaxing paddle. Carnegie lake is close by and nice to paddle also, just watch out for the crew boats.

Do you have a recommended put-in? I know there are many. I’ve thought of starting at Lake Carnegie and going north-upstream from there - is that feasible?

results of paddle
We managed to get out on thursday by 1130am,went in at blackmills & went all the way to the Griggstown lock & back.It was 6 hours & about 10 or 12 miles[the gps was dead & park web site was confusing as far as milage ].turtles & herons were spotted.even managed to buy some water from the boat rental place in griggstown.thanks for the info.Are there other stretches onf the canal that you recomend?

Weston canal rd to rt 514 is about 2 miles, 514 to Blackwells mill is approx 2 miles. Blackwells mill to Griggstown bridge is a bit further.aybe 3 miles?

All bridges are passable, watch for debris after some storms. You can see that the bridges are higher at one end so pick your path well. I’d lean back rather than forward as you can use your hands to guide your boat. Even when the roads are flooded the canal is ok to paddle. ther eis a good current in the canal as the law requires a certain amount of water to be ‘dumped’ each day as it serves as a regional water supply.

Porta potties at blackwells mill at the ‘office’ and on the causeway while no facilities at weston or 514.

Park at the office complex for 6mile run/blackwells mill and launch right across the street. Blackwells mill to rt 514 is the most ‘remote’, followed by 514 to weston canal. toward griggstown you feel your in people’s backyards. Lot of beaver activity some years.

You might try going upriver on the adjoining millstone river with a launch at weston canal rd in Manville. some backyards at the beginning but you can run unimpeded to the dam at the blackwells mill rd.

Fall in and the turtles will quickly consume your body.

I’ve seen some BIG snappers
One was at least 16 inches across, covered with algee. He was king of the canal and he knew it. I also have seen some baby snappers, even the little ones look mean.