Slowly but surely, spring is blooming across the Delaware River Towns. After a long winter – and an even longer pandemic – you’re probably itching to get out and see it for yourself, like we are. To help you find your way to some of the most pristine views and lush landscapes, here’s a selection of our favorite nature preserves in Bucks County & Hunterdon County. Each is good for a challenging hike or simply still in a quiet nook, soaking it all in.
Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, New Hope, PA
In a region loaded with natural beauty, like the DRT is, the spring version of Bowman’s Hill just might be the pinnacle. Right now, spring ephemerals are carpeting the forest floor, and native trees and flowering shrubs are coming to life all along more than four miles of trails. As the days warm up, the preserve’s forests – where the temperature can dip 15 degrees – become even more enticing. Tickets required.
Bucks County Audubon Society at Honey Hollow, Solebury Township, PA
Six miles of manicured and natural trails wind throughout 110 acres, much of them populated by dense forests that, when you’re in the middle of them, feel a hundred miles from anything. Trace any one of the trails to its end and you’ll encounter rolling hills, lush woods, trickling streams, wetlands, ponds, and expansive meadows. Free.
Pryde’s Point, West Amwell Township, NJ
It’s hard to go wrong with any of the trailheads encompassed by the sprawling Sourland ridge, but we’re partial to Pryde’s Point, which is actually private land that’s open to the public, because it combines the best of all worlds. Here, thick forest butts against a serene stretch of Alexauken Creek. The Alexauken Creek Wildlife Management area is nearby. Enter from Gulick Road and follow any one of the several trails down to the creek. You can even venture to the other side at one of the steppingstone crossings. Free.
Ted Stiles Preserve at Baldpate Mountain, Hopewell Township, NJ
Just off the Delaware and Raritan Canal towpath in Titusville, NJ, you’ll find an undulating (and occasionally rocky) network of trails that stretches across nearly 1,800 acres of woods and unadulterated meadows. The higher up you go – there’s close to 1,000 feet of elevation gain – the more breathtaking the views of the (exceptionally green) river valley. The preserve shares a parking lot on Fiddlers Creek Road with the Fiddlers Creek Preserve. Free.