A convincing case can be made for any of the four seasons in the River Towns, but it’s difficult to argue with the majestic beauty of fall. The fiery reds, yellows, and oranges of the peak of fall foliage take on a new dimension with the Delaware as an almost constant companion. Really, almost any vantage point will provide a spectacular view. But some will steal your breath. These are a few of our favorite spots for fall foliage in the Delaware River Towns.
Goat Hill Overlook | Lambertville, NJ
According to local legend, George Washington oversaw preparations for the attack on Trenton during the Revolutionary War from here. Almost 250 years later, the views remain every bit as pristine. The overlook is the start of the Sourlands, a series of hills that starts at the Delaware and continues east into Hillsborough. From this height, you can scope out the river valley for miles in both directions and take in all the fall foliage in the Delaware River Towns.
A decade ago, the area was at risk of becoming another housing development until the state intervened and preserved the property, which also contains miles of hiking trails and a variety of native plants, for $4.5 million.
The views can feel otherworldly, but the overlook is actually quite easy to reach. From Lambertville, take Goat Hill Road to George Washington Road, then bear left at the fork. It’s about a 10-minute walk from the parking lot along a clearly-marked trail.
Ralph Stover State Park | Plumstead Township
Head to Ralph Stover to be immersed in foliage. The 45-acre park is lined with trails that weave through undulating, thick woods. Every so often, the trees give way to a stunning view of the sprawling landscape below, through which the Tohickon Creek flows.
High Rocks, a section of the park favored by climbers for its 150-foot sheer rock face, offers a particularly impressive view of a horseshoe bend in the creek’s gorge. (Don’t worry; there are safety rails to protect the rest of us.)
Getting to the park is its own kind of wonder. Follow the river north along Pennsylvania Route 32. In sleepy Point Pleasant, turn left on State Park Road and follow it up into the hills for two miles.
Bowman’s Hill Tower | New Hope
The 125-foot tower is located on the northern edge of Washington Crossing Historic Park. Visitors often think it served as some kind of lookout post for Washington and his troops, but, in reality, it was built over 150 years later, in 1929. Construction took nearly two years and required more than 2,400 tons of materials. Workers excavated 15 feet down so that the base would rest on bedrock.
An elevator was installed in the early eighties as part of an extensive renovation of the tower. It’ll take you three-quarters of the way. You’ll still need to climb 23 steps to reach the observation deck, but it’s well worth it. On a clear day, you can soak in 14-mile panoramic views along the Delaware.