Rancocas Creek Water Trails

2017 photo album

National Weather Service, Daily Rancocas Creek Weather

Rancocas Creek Tide Charts

Dinosaurs and mosasaurs, huge extinct carnivorous aquatic lizards, once inhabited what is today the Rancocas Creek watershed.   Lenni-Lenape Indians paddled the Creek with dugout canoes of their own making.  A Swedish explorer came up the Rancocas Creek Main Stem in 1613.

Check out the paddling maps of the Rancocas Creek by clicking here…

John Woolman, Bernard Devonish and others in the mid to late 1600’s  took iconic journeys on the Rancocas Creek to the Delaware River.  On the Delaware they traveled to Early American ports of Camden and Philadelphia.

From the NJ Pine Barrens National Reserve to the Delaware River Estuary and tides the Rancocas Creek Watershed 3 main branches (North, Southwest and South Branches) spans 360 square miles.

From Indian canoes, to sailing shallops, to the underground railroad, to industrialized steam powered vessels, tugs and barges, small schooners to today’s multi-use activities along the Rancocas maritime heritage anchors deep.  400 years of America’s maritime history is the foundation of the Rancocas Creek.  Likewise recreational use of the Rancocas runs back to the 1880’s when the American Canoe Association conducted 3 day paddling trips from the Pines down the Rancocas to the Tides to either Philadelphia or Burlington. Paddle down as fishing is tops.

Yet, despite being one of the Mid-Atlantic’s Delaware Valley and New Jersey’s epic, vibrant wet, wild and wonderful paddling trips, there is not a fully developed and connected water trail with multiple access points and camping locations for the whole length of the Rancocas Creek.

There should be.

Check out the paddling maps of the Rancocas Creek by clicking here…

Burlington County Parks Canoe Trail on the North Branch, Medford Township’s Canoe Trail on the South Branch join the tides in Mt. Holly and Lumberton, respectively.  From the head of tide, the Rancocas runs west on the Rancocas State Park Bluewater Trail to the confluence deep inside the 1,300 acre Rancocas State Park.  Flowing westerly the Rancocas is an open tidal water creek that was commercially navigated from Delaware River Ports up into the 1950’s.  Entering the Delaware River the Rancocas is flanked by County and Municipal Parks. To the South on the Delaware one reaches in 14 miles Independence National Park . Upstream, 4 miles, sits Historic Burlington and the Crosswicks Creek Paddle Trail .

North Branch from the Pines (Whitesbog) to the Delaware River tides is around 31 miles long.   The South Branch from Medford to the Delaware about 29 miles.  The Rancocas is both a tidal creek and a non-tidal creek.  The Creek is the largest tributary in New Jersey to the Delaware River Estuary.

Check out the paddling maps of the Rancocas Creek by clicking here…

Rancocas Pathways is working with individuals, different communities and organizations, both formally and informally, in order to expand and enhance the Rancocas Creek paddle trails connecting existing locations and landings.  A water trail that spans the entire length of the Rancocas Creek can so as a designated National Water Trail.

Are YOU interested in taking this epic journey? Visit the web site for resources to plan your trip!

Interested in the Rancocas Creek National Water Trail Initiative ? check out the web site, come out and paddle or ski the Creek.  Get Involved. 

Have you ALREADY completed a paddle along the various segments of the Rancocas? Congratulations!  Visit the paddlers page to be recognized

map water trail

ref: Map 1757, State of Pa archives

 

 

Designated Non-Profit Managers of the Rancocas Creek National Water Trail Initiative

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