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General Washington Rides Again on Canal Road in Franklin Township during Walk and Roll Event

August 16, 2022


Reenactors of General George Washington and his valet, Billy Lee, will ride on horseback along Canal Road in Franklin Township on Sunday, August 28, 241 years after the American and French troops passed through the Millstone Valley on their way to win American independence at the Battle of Yorktown in Virginia.

Reenactor John Koopman as George Washington at last year's Walk and Roll event, as local residents walk and bicycle on Canal Road.

Canal Road will be closed to motorized vehicles between the Griggstown Causeway and Route 518 for Franklin’s summertime “Walk and Roll” event that encourages safe walking and bicycle riding along a 5-mile stretch of the Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway. The road closure for the Walk and Roll event will run from 10 am to 4 pm, while the reenactors are expected between noon and 3 pm.


The reenactors are John Koopman of Connecticut and Quinton Castle of Virginia. Both have reenacted their roles before, and Koopman has numerous screen credits as Washington, including a new film, “Washington and the Pursuit of Religious Freedom,” produced by George Washington’s Mount Vernon. The reenactors were arranged by the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition with a grant from the National Park Service’s Washington Rochambeau National Historic Trail, a 700-mile trail from New England to Virginia that passes over Canal Road in Franklin Township and River Road in Montgomery and Hillsborough Townships.


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“For the second year in a row, the public will; be entertained and educated about the important history of this beautiful stretch of roadway,” said Robert von Zumbusch, the President of the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition, the nonprofit sponsor of its namesake scenic byway. “It’s an opportunity to safely enjoy the beauty and history of the byway, including its many historic homes and canal vistas.”


The Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition operates a Visitor Center in the old Bridgetender’s House at 2 Griggstown Causeway in Franklin Township. It’s open from 1 to 4 pm weekends May to October. On August 28 it will be open while the road is closed to cars, from 10 to 4. During the closure Franklin Township Police will permit access by cars at reduced speed for people who live on that stretch of Canal Road.


The Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway is a 27-mile loop stretching from Route 27 in Kingston north to Amwell Road in Millstone Borough. It is a resource of the New Jersey and US Departments of Transportation.

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