Parks and Recreation
Tohickon Valley Park (612 acres)
Cafferty Road, Point Pleasant, PA
(215) 297-0754 (in season)
Park is open all year
Map of Park
Back to Bucks County Parks and Recreation index
It is comprised of 22 family or individual campsites and 2 group
camping areas. Nearest to the Tohickon Creek are rustic cabins (1 & 2)
and modern cabins (3 & 4). Campers have ample room and are a
very short walk to the creek side. Uphill from the cabins and nearby
to the campground is Tohickon
Valley Pool - open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Prior to the county buying up the current land beginning in 1962,
cabins 3 and 4 were privately owned by families using them as vacation
homes. The owner of cabin 4 was about to build a private homestead
at the group campsite when the county bought cabins 3 & 4. The
county had previously bought cabins 1 & 2. Most of the current
trails, used mainly for mountain biking and hiking were on logging
roads. Oak, Hickory, Tulip Popular, Hemlock and White Pines were
used extensively. The Tulip Poplar is the most colorful with greenish,
orange flowers and maple-shaped leaves. Look for these blooms in
middle to late spring. They are usually the straightest and tallest
trees in the forest.
The cabins and campgrounds are
a favorite during the well-known water releases in late March and
early November. For 2 days, water flows from Lake Nockamixon at a
rate of 500 cubic feet/second, turning the quiet Tohickon Creek into
a raging class 3 & 4 whitewater playground. Paddlers from as
far away as Maine piggy-back its length from Ralph Stover State Park
to Point Pleasant. If you want to come out and view this event, the
best rapids are around cabin 4.
Lenape word meaning "Deer Bone Creek"
The Tohickon Creek actually begins in Richland Township but for
purposes of this article, we will focus on the stretch from the dam
at Lake Nockamixon to Point Pleasant. This comprises 11.5 miles with
alternating bands of Triassic shales, sandstones, and argillites,
which line its bed. It has been identified and may one day be classified
as a National Natural Landmark. The stream is currently classified
as a (CWF) cold water fishery and is stocked with trout each year.
Surveys conducted by the Bucks County Audubon Society state that
the creek valley houses 82 bird species, including 4 species of rare
concern and 10 rare breeders.
For more information, please contact the Audubon Society at (215)
Tohickon Creek is reputed to be one of the cleanest in the state.
High water quality is evidenced by several rare species including
Riverweed (higher plant able to attach itself to rocks through fast-moving
water), a river sponge and several species of freshwater mussels
(not the harmful kind). Tohickon Creek is the second largest stream
in Bucks County, next to the Neshaminy Creek. Large dams and gristmills
were once scattered along its banks. Today, only the Stover-Myers
Mill remains, also part of the Bucks County Dept. of Parks and Recreation.
Two covered bridges span the creek on the E. Rockhill-Haycock line.
Rocks is located on Tory Road, a short distance from Tohickon Valley
Park. This scenic overlook of the Tohickon Creek is part owned
by the county and part owned by the state. Two hundred foot cliffs
of red Brunswick shale rise above the creek. This rock type is
common in Bucks County and formed along an ancient fault line.
High Rocks affords climbing enthusiasts the opportunity to scale
vertical cliffs and represents one of the major climbing areas
in the country. Trails on either side lead you to Tohickon Valley
Park or Ralph Stover State Park and are excellent for mountain
biking and hiking as previously mentioned. Spectacular overlooks
of the creek are also a photographer's paradise.
For the nature-lover, Tohickon Valley Park, High Rocks, Stover-Myers Mill and
the Tohickon Creek offer a myriad of photographic opportunities and a chance
to see many flora and fauna up close. In the fields and meadows, you'll find
bluebirds that come to nest in the spring. Nestled amongst the woodlands
are pileated woodpeckers, the largest in the woodpecker family. Hawks, owls,
and woodcocks can also be seen. Raptors are often sighted riding the thermals
above High Rocks. This area is home to the true (17 year) cicada which burrows
underground for its nymphal stage feeding on roots. These are smaller and
reddish in color compared to the larger, greenish cicada you see and here
snakes, although not known to be aggressive, can be found in and
around rock piles along the creek. In the late spring, you can usually
smell the fragrance of Multiflora Rose, a white flower that is unfortunately
not a native and which many people try to eliminate. Other flowers
fill the air and this area can easily remind you of areas much farther
north, where the mountains house so many fragrant aromas. An oxbow
is visible from High Rocks and through time, the Tohickon Creek may
form an oxbow lake. An oxbow is where the creek takes a 90-degree
bend, turns around and goes 90 degrees again, leaving a peninsula.
Eventually, sedimentation fills up and a lake is formed. A few more
interesting facts deal with the geology of the creek where mud beds,
fossil mudcracks can be found. These are sedimentary rocks that formed
into fossils with a crack in them.
The forest is mostly hardwoods as previously mentioned. Old stone
walls still remain that marked property lines. They were dry walls
that remained stacked during all this time. The Tohickon Valley is
especially attractive in the fall. The dramatic transformations that
the valley goes through have produced award-winning photographs.
Take a walk among the many trails on an early summer morning. Be
sure to take your binoculars and your camera. This prized jewel of
the Bucks County Parks will bring you back time and time again.
See you on the trails!
For more information on any of these parks or other parks, please
contact the main office at Core Creek Park, (215) 757-0571.