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The Morris Canal was not the longest canal in the world, but it did have one superlative to its credit--it climbed higher than any other canal ever built. In its time it was world famous, visited by tourists and technical people from as far away as Europe and Asia. For nearly 100 years it crossed the hills of northern New Jersey, accomplishing that feat with 23 lift locks and 23 inclined planes. From Lake Hopatcong, the canal ran westward through the
Musconetcong valley to Phillipsburg, on the Delaware River, and eastward through the valleys of the Rockaway and Passaic rivers to tidewater at Newark and Jersey City--a little over 100 miles horizontally and a total rise and fall of nearly 1,700 feet vertically. The Morris Canal, once an important soldier in the American Industrial Revolution, has been gone for most of the twentieth century, but its memory lives on in the many photographs, postcards, and other memorabilia that its unique presence inspired.