Peace Valley Park
GOOD FOR: All Ages
RATING:


Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:170 North Chapman Road, Doylestown, PA
Hours:8 a.m. to sunset daily; fishing pier open 24 hours a day
Fee: Grounds, free; fee for boat rental in season
Contact:

buckscounty.org, 215-822-8608; peacevalleynaturecenter.org, 215-345-7860
 

Bathrooms: At boat rental building, Sailors Point, and other park locations; composting toilets at nature center
Water/Snacks: Water fountain at boat rental building and nature center
Map:

buckscounty.org (click on Living & Working to find the Parks and Recreation page); peacevalleynaturecenter.org/trailmap
 


Peace Valley’s size and variety of activities make it “just right” for families.

Peace Valley Park
Photo by: Susan Charkes

Peace Valley Park’s central Bucks County location and variety of activities have made it one of the most popular family destinations in the region. It’s a fun locale for biking, hiking, and boating that is not overly challenging for young kids, but still interesting enough for adults to enjoy too.

Its 1,500 acres surround Lake Galena, a reservoir that offers boating and fishing. The lake is big enough to provide boaters with a few hours of exploration, but small enough to make novices feel comfortable, and its shoreline of grass and woods is indeed a peaceful valley. In season, kayaks, canoes, and sailboats are available for rent at the Boat Rental Pavilion.

A 6.5-mile, paved, multiuse path circumnavigates the lake, with access points at several parking areas. Mostly level, it is a great family bike trail, and is also popular with walkers and strollers.

There are numerous locations for fishing, including the pier on the southwestern side of the lake, and Sailors Point on the northwestern side.

The northeastern portion of the park is given over to the nature center, where you’ll find a network of easy loop trails through woods and fields. Don’t miss Pooh Tree Loop; follow it to the gigantic hollowed-out sycamore where kids will adore pretending they’re Pooh and Piglet living in the tree. Make sure to bring water shoes for children to splash in the North Branch Neshaminy Creek, since the trails cross it in many places. At the Chapman Road Bridge, enjoy beautiful views of the lake. Along with turtles and fish, birds are abundant: ducks, herons, and cormorants are here year-round; ospreys and eagles are regular visitors. The nature center offers many programs and events for families; call ahead for details. Its main building has a few exhibits on local nature, as well as a large bird blind.

Remember: Swimming is not allowed in Lake Galena.

Plan B:

Nockamixon State Park is north on PA 313. In Doylestown, south on PA 313, are some unusual museums.

Where to Eat Nearby:

The borough of Doylestown, south on PA 313, is a lively commercial and cultural center.



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