Fun Along the Delaware River

Fun Along the Delaware River
Visitors to New Jersey and Pennsylvania can find plenty to do on both sides of the Delaware River. (Photo courtesy of Bill Neely)

We have returned again and again to the picturesque, historic towns along the Delaware River, which forms the state line of . We enjoy the area largely because there are no “big box” stores or typical malls to crowd out the historic features or to prevent local artisans from selling their unique creations. This is a place to enjoy a laid-back, peaceful holiday with plenty to do for tourists of any age.

Many hotels and inns are locally owned and catered, although some chain hotels are nearby. The historic Black Bass Hotel in the Lumberville, Pennsylvania, historic district dates to 1740 but has elegantly modern bedroom suites. Here we enjoyed a delicious dinner by lamplight along the Delaware Canal and overlooking the river.

Beside the canal pathway along the river is a beautiful trail to walk or bicycle. It is also possible to cross the river on the pedestrian suspension bridge just below the Black Bass. Arriving on the other side of the bridge, we discovered Bull Island State Park in the historic hamlet of Raven Rock, New Jersey.

We always enjoy wandering the eclectic shops in the historic towns of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, an area where the Underground Railroad stopped and where runaway slaves found safety and employment. New Hope is home to many artists, so creative and awe-inspiring self-expressions stand out in paintings, jewelry, pottery, baskets, clothing, and many other different forms of art in the shops and galleries.

The little town of Yardley was founded in 1682 and is just south of Washington Crossing, revered as the place where George Washington led his Continental Army across the Delaware River on Christmas Eve night 1776. This brave and difficult freezing-cold surprise march turned the tide of the American Revolutionary War. Today the 500-acre park’s natural beauty features many special events all year long, and the most significant annually is the colorful reenactment of the famous historic crossing. The visitor center in the park is a good resource for visitors, and many enjoy climbing Bowman’s Hill Tower for lovely views of the surrounding landscape and river.

Although the towns are small there is never a lack of entertainment and lovely dining with delectable food, often from local farms. Visitors can purchase tickets to the Historic Bucks County Playhouse, Music Mountain Theatre, Roxy Ballet, ArtYard’s McDonnell Theater or Hopewell Theater. Many farms in close proximity on both sides of the river are open for tours, apple-picking, other self-selecting harvests, Halloween festivals, corn mazes and cider presses. Beer, wine, hard cider and spirits are made nearby, and these facilities often have tours. You can even dance in the vineyards.

The Bucks County Playhouse is only one venue for finding entertainment in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. (Photo courtesy of Bill Neely)
The Bucks County Playhouse is only one venue for finding entertainment in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. (Photo courtesy of Bill Neely)

Of course, the river beckoned us to experience its wonders in summertime. We rented tubes and had delightful floats, even braving the exciting but shallowly safe rapids, which flowed in bumpy fun over small rocks as the water took us along slightly downhill. There are so many little towns along both sides of the Delaware, each with its unique character, attractions and history. Walking is easy because there are lots of small bridges along the way.

Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, Pennsylvania, is always worth a repeat visit for lovely park trails to walk through the beautiful landscaping of this open-air mall with many one-of-a-kind stores. We love to go here whenever we are visiting the area. Shops are always fascinating, there is an indoor carousel and other fun entertainment for all ages, and good eateries and restaurants are for the entire family’s enjoyment.

A family enjoys the carousel at Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, Pennsylvania. (Photo courtesy of Bill Neely)
A family enjoys the carousel at Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, Pennsylvania. (Photo courtesy of Bill Neely)

We have frequently traveled to this area in our RV and always chose to stay at Colonial Woods Campground in Black Eddy, Pennsylvania. The sites are clean and shaded, and campers can enjoy tennis, shuffleboard, boules, a fun playground, lake and creek, horseshoes, swimming, miniature golf, and more.

Hiking in the woods and special holiday events are always a hit. With campsites decorated with spooky Halloween trim, you can imagine the Headless Horseman riding through the woods in the dark, even though the wooded trails were inviting to hike in the daylight. Celebrations and decor make each holiday there fun. And almost adjoining Colonial Woods is Ringing Rocks State Park, where you can pound on rocks and hear them ring like bells. The campground store sells snacks and other provisions.

When You Go
Bonnie Neely is the author of “Real Ventures: Did We Really Do That?” which is available at 
Bonnie and Bill Neely are freelance writers and photographers. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at COPYRIGHT 2022 CREATORS.COM
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