Go here: Bull’s Island

An 80-acre island on the Delaware River in Hunterdon County, Bull’s Island is made for late summer, early august recreation.

Accessible by car, bike, watercraft or on foot via the 70-mile D&R Canal towpath, you can spend a day here. There’s an open area with picnic tables, grills, restrooms and a playground. A boat launch is no more than one-third of a mile from the entrance to the park (and a launch permit is not required in 2021).

The eastern canal side of the park has access to the aforementioned tow path, where you can walk or bike to Stockton or Lambertville to the south, or Frenchtown to the north. There’s also more picnic tables, a historic dam and a calm, serene waterside lawn for relaxing.

On the western river side of the park, there’s a great little pedestrian bridge over the river and into PA, where you can get lunch or dinner at the Black Bass Hotel. You can also access plenty of beach with black, water-smoothed stones and sycamores casting shade over the banks. Plus, you have access to 60 miles of multi-use trail, which cut through, into and out of Bull’s Island.

Plenty of wildlife to see, as well—varieties of warblers, flycatchers and sparrows shoot through the trees, and you’re liable to find several gulls over the river. And, keep your eyes peeled for muskrat and beaver on the river and its banks.

The dense foliage from the sycamore, maple and poplar trees will turn this recreation area into an autumnal wonderland, so trade in your swimsuits for sweaters and get out there as we pass Labor Day.