D & R Canal: Lock 5 to Lock 10

D & R Canal State Park, Lock 5 to Lock 10 (12/15/2012)

There's no doubt about it. The D & R Canal is one of the best places to see birds in New Jersey. And not just water birds, as you will see here.

Exactly one week ago, we parked at Lock 5 and headed towards the New Brunswick end of the canal, covering nearly 8 miles. Today we returned to the same spot and walked from Lock 5 towards Bordentown, all the way to Lock 10 (the lock we hiked to from East Millbrook less than two weeks ago). Along the way, just like last week, we saw mallards, other ducks, Canada geese and even a pesky Kingfisher who made lots of noise when we approached, darted back and forth along the Raritan River and then landed on a bush on the other side of the river. I was able to snap a photo of him even though he didn't stay for long. But the best was yet to come.

While reading the historical signs at Queen's Bridge in South Bound Brook, for some reason I decided to gaze away from the signs and look up river. I saw something large about 100 yards away, through the trees, flying over the river in the direction we were about to head. "Could that have been what I thought it was", I asked myself. Well, it sure was. About 20 minutes later, Laura stopped dead in her tracks and pointed across the Raritan River. There he was, perched on a branch, watching for fish in the river, with his beautiful white head reflecting the morning sun ... a bald eagle! It was our second sighting in New Jersey. And I was able to get stunning photos of him, even flying away at one point to rest a bit further up river where we once again were able to get great photos of him before he finally flew away down river. You'll see three photos of him about half-way down the page.

Be warned that there is a tiny detour because of major construction taking place just east of Queen's Bridge in South Bound Brook. The route is detoured across the canal, on an old rotating bridge, and then continues behind a condominium complex to Queen's Bridge, where it then continues on the two path west of the bridge.

Total distance covered was about 8 miles in 3 hours.

(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Lock 5

Spillway just west

[Photo by Laura]

Two drakes and one lady

Lots of Sandy damage



Ukranian church

Canada geese overhead

Views ...

... heading west

Gorgeous ...

... reflections

Ruins across canal

Frozen leaf


Path is detoured

Rotating bridge

Crossing it

Path is detoured ...

... behind condominiums

Construction at previous towpath

Building from 1917

Informative signs at Queen's Bridge

Continuing on towpath

Historic Queen's Bridge

Lock at ...

... South Bound Brook

View west

View to Queen's Bridge

South Bound Brook ...

... lock


RR passing across the Raritan

Bench sign

Three male Common Mergansers

Group of mallards

River on left, canal on right

Continuing west

RR bridge across river




Zoom west

Belted Kingfisher eating a fish

Heading under Interstate 287

Interstate 287

A glorious bald eagle!

Flying away

Fishing in a different spot

Saw the eagle from here

Wildflowers on towpath


Beautiful Raritan River

RR bridge in distance

View weat

View east

Kenya, Etc.?



Pedestrian bridge

View from bridge

View to Lock 10

River at treatment plant

Towpath tomfoolery

Lock 10 tender's house

At Lock 10

Wildflowers near spillway

Pedestrian bridge

Heading back

Jumbo jet directly overhead

Graffiti at spillway


Underwater rockwork

On rotating bridge looking east


Rotating mechanism


Beaver activity

Damn kid activity

Photographs and content copyright © Dan Balogh
Web design by Dan Balogh