Ewing is fortunate to have 13 parks within the 15.6 square miles of its environs consisting of about 631 acres. About 355 acres of that total are municipal open space lands reserved as parkland, active recreation fields, natural resource protection and farmland scattered around the township.
The state protects 80 acres of land located along the banks of the Delaware and Raritan Canal, and there is one county park, the Mountain View Golf Club, which has 196 acres in Ewing located to the northwest of the Trenton-Mercer County Airport. In addition, approximately 261 acres of farmland known as Knight Farm, owned and operated by the New Jersey Department of Corrections, were preserved by Governor Christine Todd Whitman on October 21, 1999 by Executive Order.
There are four main municipal parks in Ewing Township: Moody Park, John S. Watson Park, Banchoff Park, and the Municipal Complex Park. Moody Park is 32 acres in size and located between Parkside Avenue at Buttonwood Drive. John S. Watson Park is located off of Upper Ferry Road, on 66 acres. Banchoff Park is situated on 70 acres, off of Mountain View Road. The Municipal Complex Park is 40 acres and located next to the municipal building, on Upper Ferry Road. Many of the parks listed above have ball and soccer fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, barbeque facilities, hiking and biking trails, and playground equipment. Two of the parks, Banchoff Park and Municipal Complex Park, are relatively new and were financed with funds from the New Jersey Green Acres Program.
Ewing Township has a unique location on two major greenways, the Delaware and Raritan Canal and the Delaware River. The Delaware and Raritan Canal was built between 1830 and 1834 and created the final link in the intercoastal waterway that extended from Massachusetts to Georgia.
In 1871 the Pennsylvania Railroad leased the canal, resulting in the decline of coal transport. Due to the success of the railroads, the canal ceased operations in 1932. By 1934 the state of New Jersey took over the canal to use it for water supply. Some portions became filled in to become a part of the state’s expanding highway system. By the 1970’s, the canal was being heavily used for recreation, and citizen activists promoted the need to save the canal from total destruction. In 1973, the canal and it remaining structures were entered into the National Register of Historic Places, and by 1974, the state established the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park. In 1992 the park’s trail system was designated a National Recreation Trail.
Today the D and R Canal State Park is 70 miles long, including the feeder canal portion, which parallels the Delaware River from above Frenchtown south to Bordentown (passing through Ewing Township), and the main canal portion, which runs from Trenton to New Brunswick. The canal provides canoeing, jogging, hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, picnicking and camping opportunities. The path along the main canal portion is part of the East Coast Greenway, an urban equivalent to the Appalachian Trail, and is planned to extend from Maine to Florida. Fish including bass, sunfish, catfish, pickerel and perch occupy the canal’s water yearround, and in the spring the canal is stocked with trout. Fishing is allowed along the entire canal.
There are two canoe rental sites, in Griggstown and Princeton, and numerous launch sites, with the nearest to Ewing located in Lambertville. In addition, there are four bike rental spots and one campground, Bull’s Island, located 7 miles north of Lambertville. The canal park is also an important wildlife corridor. Recent bird surveys revealed 160 species, with 90 thought to nest in the park. Furthermore, the D & R canal is a source of public water, pumping out about 75 million gallons per day.
Ewing is also located on the Delaware River, another major greenway and natural and recreational resource. There are hiking, boating, fishing, canoeing, tubing, birding and biking opportunities along various parts of the Delaware River, as well as scenic vistas from a few access points within Ewing. As a result of clean-ups of the river, shad and other species are increasing in number, bringing more people back to the river for shad festivals and other events.and the Delaware River. The Delaware and Raritan Canal was built between 1830 and 1834 and created the final link in the intercoastal waterway that extended from Massachusetts to Georgia.