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Walk, bicycle or drive into Stockton, N.J., from Pennsylvania, and you can’t help but feel you stumbled upon a really cute small town with stunning countryside at its edges. Perched along the Delaware River, Stockton, N.J., is yet another appealing New Jersey town that attracts a sizable number of weekenders. Its full-time population numbers less than 1,000 residents. The main east-west street is Bridge Street. At one end is the bridge to Center Bridge, Pa. At the other end is the imposing, historic Stockton Inn, restored and ready for fine dining. Walk the few blocks of Bridge St. and see a charming streetscape of mostly Victorian-era homes, the local filling station, a deli in what had been the train station, a number of very good restaurants, a respected wine and spirits store, plus the Stockton Market. The market carries a tempting array of local produce, meats, baked goods and more. Various other commercial establishments round out Stockton’s business offerings.
At almost any time of year, you’re likely to see people out and about on the Delaware & Raritan Canal path. Popular with bicyclists, dog walkers, runners and those who enjoy nature, it’s part of the trail system that runs along the river from Milford, N.J., to the north and Lambertville, N.J., to the south with an east-west branch that ends in New Brunswick, N.J.
Just outside the town of Stockton are some of New Jersey’s most scenic rural areas. Beautifully restored farmsteads are common with some relatively large (100+ acres) properties still farmed. Other cottage-style homes are hidden away, prized as weekend getaways for New Yorkers. Drive north out of town and stop at Prallsville Mill, a historical mill building that is now used for art exhibits, wedding receptions and other group events. Continue north and pass Tullamore Farms, home of the intimate Rosemont Supper Club, a farm market and popular AirBnB lodging. Keep north and stop at the Bull’s Island Recreation Area, where a boat launch gets your canoe or other watercraft in and out of the Delaware River. Picnic areas are popular in summer. A footbridge leads to historical Lumberville, Pa., and makes this a popular crossing for bicyclists and walkers who then head south on the canal path on the Pennsylvania side and cross back into Stockton via Center Bridge.
Stockton is very convenient to Princeton, Flemington, the Route 202/Somerville corridor and Trenton, providing many employment options for those who opt to call the town home on a full-time basis.