Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve
GOOD FOR: Ages 5-8
RATING:


Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:1635 River Road, New Hope, PA
Hours:Grounds open 8:30 a.m. to sunset; visitor center open Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fee: Members, free; nonmembers: adults, $5; children ages 4 to 14, $2
Contact:

bhwp.org, 215-862-2924
 

Bathrooms: In visitor center (when open)
Water/Snacks: None
Map:

Paper copies available at visitor center; bhwp.org/map.htm
 


In a beautifully maintained nature preserve, follow flower-lined paths through rich woods and take in a bird’s-eye view of the Delaware River.

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve
Photo by: Susan Charkes

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve is a lovely, small nature preserve near the northern end of Washington Crossing Historic Park. The 134-acre preserve is dedicated to growing native wildflowers and promoting their use in the landscape. Although kids will probably be less interested in the message than adults, they’ll delight in the many paths that wind through the woods along Pidcock Creek. Nature-curious kids can read the labels on the more than 800 species of native plants grown on the site.

All the trails are well maintained and easy to follow, with trail names posted at the crossings. The rich collection of native plants in the preserve attracts a wide variety of birds and other wildlife.

Young kids will enjoy following the gentle trails down by the creek, which all lead somewhere fun: to a stone bridge, a pond, or a stream. Steeper trails lead from the visitor center down to the creek and up the hillside on the opposite bank. Almost all of the 2.5 miles of trails are natural footpaths, though Wood’s Edge Walk is wheelchair- and stroller-accessible; this paved path connects to the drive (an old road) that leads from the parking area to the exit gate. You can also take the paved path down to the creek at the stone bridge.

Trails meander through the meadows outside the front exit gate (kids will enjoy pressing the button to open the gates, which surround the preserve and keep out deer to protect the wildflowers). In summer these meadows are a kaleidoscope of color, full of dipping, fluttering butterflies and other pollinators.

The steepest trail goes outside the back gates and up the drive to Bowman’s Hill Tower, a stone structure high on the bluffs overlooking the Delaware River, where George Washington’s lookout may have been posted. You can climb the tower for a fabulous view all around the river valley (the tower is part of Washington Crossing Historic Park; open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; $5 fee charged).

The visitor center has a few exhibits on native plants; helpful staff will be happy to give advice on your visit. During the year, the preserve hosts many family-oriented nature programs and events for the public. Call ahead for details.

Remember: Dogs are not permitted inside the fenced portion of the preserve.

Plan B:

Giving Pond Recreation Area in Upper Black Eddy, part of Delaware Canal State Park, has short trails and a pond for paddling.

Where to Eat Nearby:

The town of New Hope is north up River Road. If you bring a picnic, enjoy it at the large picnic area located next to the meadows (outside the fence).



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