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From the Morris Canal Society of New Jersey background sheet:

The Morris Canal, connecting Phillipsburg on the Delaware River with Jersey City on the
Hudson River, was an engineering marvel for its time. In its 102 mile length it went through elevation changes that totaled 1,674 feet. To overcome most of these changes the canal boats were
moved over 23 “inclined planes”. The boats were cradled in “plane cars” that moved up
or down the plane on rails with the power supplied by water from the upper level of the
canal – this water flowing through a “Scotch turbine” located deep underground. This
system made the Morris Canal unique in the world. The canal connected the anthracite coal fields of Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley with the New York-New Jersey markets and thus
significantly aided in the development of industry and cities in that area. It permitted the
revival of the languishing iron industry in North Jersey and generally accelerated the
development of the northern part of the state. Farm products, manufactured goods, raw
materials and construction materials were also moved. The canal was the primary
impetus for these developments because it was the only efficient bulk transportation
system in operation in North Jersey during the first half of the nineteenth century. The
second half of the nineteenth century saw the development of a more efficient bulk
transportation system – the railroads – that eventually put the Morris Canal out of
business.

This site will describe the location and vestiges of the Morris Canal in Jersey City and the plans to build a pedestrian and bicycle pathway on or near the remnants of the Canal. 
Subpages (1): The Canal on Route 440