Are you feeling sluggish after all the holiday shopping and party festivities of December? This month is a great time to enjoy the beautiful winter landscapes in the Delaware River Towns and get revitalized with an outdoor activity in the brisk winter air. Here’s where to go:
The Delaware Canal Towpath, which extends from Bristol to Easton, dates back to the historical canal-building era of the early and mid-1800s. Through its connection with the Lehigh Navigation Canal at Easton, the Delaware Canal helped to develop the anthracite coal industry in the Upper Lehigh Valley. In 1940, the canal system became a state park, and in 1988 Congress officially recognized the system’s importance to the economic evolution of America by establishing the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.
Today, the 60-mile Delaware Canal Towpath, once trod by teams of mules pulling cargo-laden boats, is one of four named trails that make up the 165-mile D&L Trail, the backbone of the National Heritage Corridor and the longest publicly owned trail remaining in the state.
A variety of looping routes can be followed using any of the five bridges that cross into New Jersey and connect to the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park on the Jersey side of the river. Trail users can easily access both sides of the river to explore quaint towns and in-land trails to take in scenic river views. Connecting bridges are in the Pennsylvania towns of Uhlerstown, Lumberville, Center Bridge, Washington Crossing and Morrisville.
On the New Jersey side, the trail runs continuously for nearly 70 miles and is shaped like a “V” with Trenton at its center. It connects many other towns along the way, including Frenchtown, Lambertville, Ewing Township, Princeton, Franklin Township, and New Brunswick. It’s also part of the developing East Coast Greenway trail network that runs from Maine to Florida.
Bull’s Island Recreation Area
2185 Daniel Bray Hwy, Stockton, NJ 08559
Small island connecting to a canal towpath amid a lowland forest of sycamore, maple & poplar trees.
Bucks County Audubon Society at Honey Hollow
2877 Creamery Road, New Hope, Pennsylvania 18938
Bucks County Audubon Society at Honey Hollow is a non-profit organization and steward of the Honey Hollow Watershed, a National Historic Landmark established in 1969. Our mission to educate the greater Bucks County region about our natural world. Over six miles of natural, unpaved trails that meander through fields, woods and streams, Open from dawn to dusk every day! Bird Walks occur every 1st & 3rd Saturday. (Video credit http://www.bcas.org/about-us/)
River Rd & Chapel Rd, New Hope, PA 18938
A 5-acre site of steeply sloped hills ideally suited for sledding and other winter activities. The Solebury Trail traverses a portion of the electric company power line along U.S. Route 202, providing an excellent walking, bicycle and jogging path that connects to the athletic fields at New Hope-Solebury high school.
Washington Crossing State Park
355 Washington Crossing Pennington Rd, Titusville, NJ 08560
Washington Crossing Historic Park offers more than 500 acres of American history, natural beauty and family fun. The park preserves the site where George Washington crossed the Delaware River and turned the tide of the Revolutionary War. Explore historic structures like:
McConkey Ferry Inn: The Baker family built the first ferry on this site, one of many Delaware River ferry sites in Bucks County. The Bakers sold the ferry business to Samuel McConkey, who was the owner in 1776.
Mahlon K. Taylor House: Born in 1791, Mahlon K. Taylor became the wealthiest and most influential member of the Taylor family. He was a fixture of Taylorsville’s commercial success until his death in 1870.
Unknown Soldiers Graves: From the parking area at the Thompson-Neely House, it’s a short walk across the Delaware Canal to the memorial cemetery where an unknown number of Continental soldiers who died during the December 1776 encampment in Bucks County are buried.
On February 19th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. head to the park to celebrate Washington’s 285th Birthday Party. Admission is just $1. During the day, buildings in the historic village will be open and various children’s activities will be offered. Children are encouraged to bring homemade birthday cards to present to General Washington. At 1 p.m., visitors will gather in the park’s visitor center to sing Happy Birthday to George and enjoy cake that he will cut with his sword.
Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve
1635 River Rd, New Hope, PA 18938
Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve occupies 100 acres devoted to the preservation of native plants of Pennsylvania, and offers educational programs in addition to many hiking trails.
For those drawn to high places, Bowman’s Tower, a 110-foot observation tower built in 1930 to commemorate the lookout point used by soldiers during the Revolutionary War, offers an exciting panoramic view of Solebury Township and the surrounding countryside.
Creek Road and Kingwood Avenue, Frenchtown, New Jersey
A relatively easy hike through the Nishisakawick Preserve, through beautiful wooded areas and along the placid Creek. Preserved by Hunterdon Land Trust and NJ Green Acres in 2000 to protect the Nishisakawick Creek. Trail head is in the Frenchtown Borough Park located on Creek Road. Parking area is down Creek Road and Kingwood Avenue.
Tohickon Valley Park
Cafferty Road, Point Pleasant, PA
The 612 acre park includes the Tohickon Creek, which stretches from the dam at Lake Nockamixon to Point Pleasant. This comprises 11.5 miles with alternating bands of Triassic shales, sandstones, and argillites, which line its bed. Surveys conducted by the Bucks County Audubon Society state that the creek valley houses 82 bird species, including 4 species of rare concern and 10 rare breeders. For the nature-lover, Tohickon Valley Park, High Rocks, Stover-Myers Mill and the Tohickon Creek offer a myriad of photographic opportunities and a chance to see many flora and fauna up close. The forest is mostly hardwoods as previously mentioned. Old stone walls still remain that marked property lines.