Morris Canal Locks and Planes
World's Greatest Canal Hill Climber

Through a series of water turbine powered inclined planes, locks and aqueducts built above and across rivers, the Morris Canal was the world's biggest hill climber and with the help of mules on towpaths traversed 102 miles transporting mostly Pennsylvania coal but also iron ore and other goods across the face of northern New Jersey.

The Morris Canal largely unknown today had the world's greatest elevation change of 1,674 feet. The elevation change was 914 feet from the eastern terminus on the Hudson River at Jersey City, New Jersey at sea level to the summit in the Port Morris hills. The elevation change from the summit to the Delaware River at the western terminus by Phillipsburg, New Jersey was 760 feet as the river was at an elevation of 154 feet. The water powering the entire canal, using gravity and ingenuity, came from Lake Hopatcong and Greenwood Lake.

The Morris Canal underwent various changes during its life by combining and eliminating some locks; the canal was deepened, lengthened and widened to transport larger boats. The locks were renumbered to meet its changing face. The locks and planes were numbered from the summit both east and west, so Plane 4E, or Plane 4 East was the fourth plane from the Morris Canal summit towards the east and numbered conversely for those on the west of the Canal summit.. The inclined plane powerhouses on the east were two stories tall while those on the west were three stories.

With the exception of Lock 18E, (no known existing photo), all
photos are complete.
By clicking on the 1871 lock or plane names, you obtain more info and see a photo too.
To close the photo, please click on the upper right hand "X close box" on your browser.
Names in 1836 LocationNames in 1871Distance
Western TerminusPhillipsburg West Elevations 0River 154
Plane 11 WestPhillipsburg Plane 11W 0.01 35189
Plane 11W and Delaware Inlet were discontinued in 1894 as the Pennsylvania locks were damaged.
A trolley had been used to transport canal boats using a elevated cable guide across the Delaware River.
Lock 7 West Phillipsburg Lock 10W 2.10 9 198
Lock 6 West Lopatcong Lock 9W 2.34 9 207
Lock 5 West Pohatcong Lock 8W 2.55 9 216
Plane 10 WestLopatcongPlane 10W 3.0844 260
Plane 9 WestPort Warren Plane 9W 4.50100 360
Plane 8 WestStewartsvillePlane 8W 6.3862 422
Lock 4 West New Village Lock 7W 7.65 10 432
Plane 7 WestBowerstown Plane 7W 14.7573 505
Lock 3 West Port Colden Lock 6W 17.25 10 515
Plane 6 WestPort ColdenPlane 6W 17.8650 565
Plane 5 WestPort MurrayPlane 5 W19.7564 629
Guard Lock Saxton's Falls
Musconetcong River
Lock 5W30.64 0 629
Lock 2 West Guinea Hollow Lock 4W31.50 10 639
Guard Lock Waterloo, Musconetcong River
(Old Andover)
Lock 3W33.75 0 639
Plane 4 WestWaterlooPlane 4W34.2080 719
Plane 3 WestMt OlivePlane 3W 34.9055 774
Lock 1 West Stanhope Lock 2W36.00 12 786
Plane 2 WestStanhopePlane 2W 36.7670 856
Guard Lock
(Built 1845)
Lake Musconetcong
Lock 1W36.85 0 856
Plane 1 WestPort MorrisPlane 1W38.1058 914
Morris Canal Summit - Plane 1 West, Port Morris to Plane 1 East, Shippenport (now Landing)
West:11 Inclined Planes, 7 Lift Locks, 760 ft rise
East: 12 Inclined Planes, 16 Lift Locks, 914 feet rise
HopatcongLake Hopatcong Feeder - Canal SpurBrooklyn Outlet Lock0.67Lake926
Plane 1 EastLandingPlane 1E 39.9050 864
Plane 2 EastLedgewood
Plane 2E41.2480 784
Plane 3 EastLedgewoodPlane 3E41.5648 736
Lock 1 East Ledgewood Lock 1E 42.03 10 726
Plane 4 East Wharton
(Baker's Mills)
Plane 4E45.22 52 674
Lock 2 East Wharton Lock 2E 45.57 8 666
Plane 5 EastWhartonPlane 5E 47.0066 600
Lock 4 East Port Oram
Lock 3E 47.44 9 591
Lock 5 East Dover Town Lock 4E 47.60 9 582
Lock 6 East Dover Town Lock 5E 48.18 9 573
Lock 7 East Dover Town Lock 6E 48.35 0 564
Guard Lock Dover Town Lock 7E 48.60 0 564
Plane 6 EastRockawayPlane 6E52.1852 512
Lock 8 East Denville
(Rockaway Valley)
Lock 8E 55.71 7 505
Lock 9 East Powerville Lock 9E57.21 7 498
Lock 10 East Powerville Lock 10E57.37 8 490
Guard Lock Powerville
east side of Rockaway River
Lock 11E57.61 0 490
Lock 11 East Boonton - west side Lock 12E58.25 10 480
Plane 7 EastBoontonPlane 7E 58.6080 400
Lock 12 East Boonton Lock 13E59.15 12 388
Plane 8 EastMontvillePlane 8E 60.3576 312
Plane 9 EastMontvillePlane 9E 60.6074 238
Plane 10 EastLincoln Park
Plane 10E64.4256 182
Lock 13 East Lincoln Park Lock 14E66.10 8 174
Pompton FeederPompton PlainsFeeder Dam71.81   
Pompton Feeder LockPompton Plains Feeder Lock71.81   
Plane 11 EastBloomfieldPlane 11E83.5854 120
Lock 14 East Bloomfield Lock 15E84.80 10 110
Lock 15 East Newark Lock 16E89.40 10 100
Plane 12ENewarkPlane 12E 89.6570 30
Lock 16 East Newark Lock 17E90.50 20 10
Lock 17 East Combine 16 and 17 ca. 1841 Newark 20 10
Passaic River Outlet Newark Lock 18E (no known photo)90.60 0 10
Lock 18 East Newark
Passaic River
Lock 19E92.52 10 0
Passaic River
Tide Lock
Passaic River
Lock 20E92.89 0 0
Hackensack River
Tide Lock
Jersey City - west end Lock 21E94.30 0 0
Hudson River
Tide Lock
Jersey City - east end Lock 22E102.150 0
Jersey City Jersey City102.30 Harbor 0


a. Daniel P. Jones and Joseph R. Klett, Guide to the Morris Canal and Banking Company Microfilm Collection, Division of Archives and Records Management, New Jersey Depart of State, Trenton, NJ, 1995

b. James Lee, The Morris Canal, A Photographic History, published by Delaware Press, P.O. Box 454, Easton, PA, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 79-54797, Reprint 1994.

c. Robert R. Goller, Images of America, the Morris Canal, Across New Jersey by Water and Rail, published by Arcadia Publishing, 2 Cumberland St, Charlestown, SC, 29401, ISBN 0-7385-0076-3, 1999

d. Robert R. Goller, Reflections on the Morris Canal, Number 10, Winter 2000-01, published by Canal Society of New Jersey.

e. Brian H. Morrell, Historic Preservation Survey of the Morris Canal in Warren County, NJ, published by Warren County Morris Canal Committee, Sep 1983.

f. Herbert M. Wilson, The Morris Canal and its Inclined Planes, Scientific American Supplement, Feb 24,1883.

Menu Selection: Please select the plane, lock or point of interest.
Delaware P11W L10W L9W L8W P10W P9W P8W L7W P7W L6W P6W P5W L5W L4W L3W P4W P3W L2W P2W L1W P1W

Hopatcong Feeder

P1E P2E P3E L1E P4E L2E P5E L3E L4E L5E L6E L7E P6E L8E L9E L10E L11E L12E P7E L13E P8E P9E
P10E L14E Feeder Dam

Feeder Lock

P11E L15E L16E P12E L17E L18E L19E L20E L21E L22E

Jersey City