Duke Island Park

Duke Island Park (7/13/2013)
It was raining when we woke up (although the weather online ensured us that it really wasn't), so we decided to go somewhere close, and to keep it relatively short, in case the morning was a complete washout. So we headed to a built-up park (not our favorite areas to hike) which had been on our list for a long time, awaiting the right opportunity. It's a pretty park, even in the rain, and it rained off and on for a good part of the two-plus hours. There are two main trails in this park: a paved bike path with nice views of the Raritan River, and the much more enjoyable narrow gravel/dirt Canal Trail which parallels the Raritan Power Canal. Both extend further east (crossing Robert Street) than is shown on the park map, and meet at the pedestrian bridge off Old York Road, allowing for a nice circuit of about 5 miles. And this is exactly what we did today.

Total distance hiked today was just over 5 miles in 2 hours and 15 minutes.

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

A rainy start

No barbecues today

Bridge over stream

One of several pavillions

These signs abound

Views of ...

... the Raritan River


Old sycamore

Heading west on bike path

To the banks of ...

... the Raritan River

Bird on other side

Raritan River

Bug on wildflower

[Photo by Laura]

Raritan River

Headgates dam

Bank of river



Climbing west

Headgates dam


At western end of path

View west



Looks like a ...

... Palisades cliff

Heading back east


Now taking ...

... the canal trail

Lined with gravel in spots

Dirt in other spots

Blow-down in canal

Canal path above picnic facilities

Wild flower

Cone flower

Trees outside visitor's center

Behind visitor's center


Steps to ...

... bank of canal

Continuing east

Canal east of park entrance road

Beautiful path here

Canada geese at ...

... Duck Pond

Duck Pond

Continuing ...

... west

Nest over canal

Fake ducks across canal

Crossing Robert Street

Stump of blow-down

Graffiti shed

Mutant fungus in canal

Gorgeous path west

Beaver activity

Canal reflections

Approaching ...

... pedestrian bridge ...

... over canal ...

... at Old York Road

Heading back west ...

... on bike path

Raritan River


Someone died nearby

Car junkyard entrance on Robert Street

Raritan River

Bridge at Robert Street

Heading west

Huge old growth

Raining off and on

Picnic pavillion

Rainy bridge

Wet (and empty) playground

Photographs and content copyright © Dan Balogh
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