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Hikes & History Lessons
The Morris Canal: An Industrial Highway
In the early 1820s, when inland transportation routes were sparse and commercial transportation was at a premium, Morristown businessman George P. Macculloch generated interest among New Jersey citizens and Governor Isaac Williamson for a canal spanning the entire width of New Jersey, from the Delaware River to the Passaic River. The legislature responded by creating the Morris Canal and Banking Company, which was tasked to construct a water highway of inclined planes and traditional lift locks from Phillipsburg to Newark. This 90-mile stretch was completed in 1831, followed by an 11.75-mile extension from Newark to Jersey City in 1836. The Morris Canal became a boon to the local economy and drastically changed transportation in the state. The Morris Canal passes through Passaic County in the municipalities of Clifton, Little Falls, Paterson, Wayne, and Woodland Park.

An important source for water to the Morris Canal was Greenwood Lake, known in the 1800s as Long Pond, which fed water through the Wanaque River to the “Pompton Feeder,” a feeder canal with two dams including the dam that powered the Long Pond Iron Works. By the 1860s the Pompton Feeder was transporting full size Morris Canal boats directly to the Pompton Iron Works. The Pompton Feeder provided water to the Morris Canal’s eastern division, coal to the furnaces of the iron industry, and iron to much of New Jersey until its demise under increased competition from railroads in the early 1900s. The Pompton Feeder passes from Pompton Lakes through Wayne to the Morris Canal in Little Falls.

Upcoming Hikes 2016

Sunday April 3rd 12 PM – 2:00 PM
Morris Canal Park, 111 Broad Street Clifton

Sunday May 15th 12 PM – 4:00 PM
Mountain View, Erie Avenue Wayne

Sunday, September 11- 12 PM - 2PM
Wayne Pompton Feeder Passaic County Walk
Meet at Farmingdale & Deerfield Roads in Wayne and explore the feeder lock site and river towpath

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History Lessons

Past History Lessons

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