Discover the Outdoors of Frenchtown
Frenchtown recently won (and well-deserved) title as Best Small Town for Shopping by USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice travel awards but did you know the riverside boro is also home to parks and trails where visitors can shop for the perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors? Come and discover the outdoor side of Frenchtown!
Cycle, hike, kayak, birdwatch or just stroll; however, you choose to explore the natural setting that not only surrounds Frenchtown but is woven through it, the experience will be a memorable one.
Below is a list of Frenchtown’s main parks and trails, highlighting what makes each one unique.
Frenchtown Boro Park
Frenchtown Boro Park is along Kingwood Ave./Rte 12 just on the outskirts of downtown. The Mill Race Nature Trail is a great trail loop at the park! The playground includes a zipline that is a favorite among young visitors. The park features all the amenities you need for an outdoor party, including a gazebo and electricity. Park rental forms can be obtained through the boro clerk or on the town’s website.
The park also serves as the entry point for Nishisakawick Preserve. A short walk on a suspension bridge over the Nishisakawick Creek brings you to a relatively easy one-mile hike into the 12-acre preserve that loops back to the park. Visit on any warm summer day and the Nishisakawick resounds with the laughter of children (and more than one adult) as they cool off in a favorite swimming hole or relax under a giant Sycamore tree along the shady bank.
Less than a mile past Frenchtown Borough Park, Frenchtown Preserve is easily accessible from Horseshoe Bend Rd. where there is a small parking area and information kiosk. The trails in the 150-acre preserve are easy-to-moderate hikes although some require more climbing than others. This area is off-the-beaten path and while you might come across another hiker or even a mountain biker, you are more likely to cross paths with a rabbit or other woodland creature.
D&R Canal State Park Trail
The D&R Canal State Park Trail (known by locals as “the path”), is enjoyed by walkers (and their dogs), cyclists, runners, horseback riders, even cross-country skiers, and can get quite busy close to town. Traffic thins out farther along the almost 30-mile trail between Frenchtown and Trenton. That is, until you reach another Delaware river town. Frenchtown is along the section of the Delaware River and has the designation of a National Wild and Scenic River. It sits at the top of the Delaware River Scenic Byway, which winds its way along The Delaware River and the D&R Canal between the Uhlerstown-Frenchtown and Washington Crossing Bridges.
Managed by the D&R Canal Commission and NJ DEP, there are designated areas for picnicking and launching watercraft. The Frenchtown section of the park is popular for tubing. Frenchtown River Ambassadors, a community group of volunteers, offers visitors information about the area. They also provide reminders to wear life jackets at all times while on the water.
Sunbeam Lenape Park
Sunbeam Lenape Park sits at the end of Bridge Street on the edge of the Delaware River. It is a perfect place to settle in on a bench. Take in the stunning views, meditate, read or just relax after a busy day of shopping in town. You might even be lucky enough to spot a pair of bald eagles or osprey gliding along the river.
The park is a central gathering spot for Riverfest, Bastille Day and other town-wide events, and celebrations!
The Sunbeam Lenape Park sign bears the inscription: We are Caretakers in English and Lenape. Visitors should follow park rules and tread lightly in respect for the wildlife that call these areas home so we can keep enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
Explore more outdoor fun here!