From their earliest days in the Colonial era, the sister cities of Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA have shared the Delaware River as a source of food, water and commerce. As the site of Coryell’s Ferry, these towns became an important waypoint on the land route between Philadelphia and New York. Once the first bridge was built in 1814, these towns were no longer separated by the river but joined together by it.
Flowing through all of this history, literally and figuratively, the Delaware in modern times has been enjoyed by swimmers, floaters, anglers, boaters, kayakers and rowers.
In 1992, the Swan Creek Rowing Club was formed to promote recreational and competitive rowing on the stretch of river between the Rte. 202 bridge to the north and the wing dam to the south. SCRC’s membership comprises over 140 veteran and novices rowers of all ages, drawn primarily from local communities. Lacking a boathouse, SCRC decided to locate its rowing shells outdoors along the river bank on Lewis Island. The drawbacks of this situation were dramatically demonstrated in 2004, when the first of several disastrous floods destroyed or damaged many of the club’s boats and inundated the site. In the ensuing years, the club relocated to a less-vulnerable, “temporary” location at the south end of Lambertville.
Mindful of the continuing problems with this arrangement, The Delaware River Recreation Foundation was formed in 2012 by members of Swan Creek to secure government and philanthropic support for the acquisition of a permanent site for a water sports facility that could serve the broader community of river users. Like the members of SCRC, safe and convenient access to the river has been a serious problem for kayakers, canoeists and other river enthusiasts. By fostering common cause among these stakeholders, DRRF hopes to serve our community for many years to come.