Beautiful nature trails along calm waterways, two charming historic towns, quirky boutiques and artsy stores, a relaxing atmosphere with friendly folks, great eats and a variety of activities all within walking distance and less than 2 hours from NYC by public transportation.
wander green ratings 0-10:
Food Options: 8
Hiking difficulty: easy strolls to miles upon miles of flat hiking
About The Area
The towns of New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ are nestled across the beautiful Delaware River that constitutes the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The historic towns are connected by a bridge allows easy access between them. Walking from one town to the other across the river takes less than 15min. New Hope and Lambertville are popular destinations for visitors to enjoy the many antique boutiques, quirky shops, art galleries, restaurants, live music, and the Bucks County Playhouse. It also attracts many bikers during the summer weekends.
For nature lovers, the highlight of this area is the Delaware Canal State Park and Towpath that runs for a total of 60 miles from Easton to Bristol along the Delaware River and offers the special experience of hiking or bicycling for miles and miles along the calm waterways.
The nearby Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve is also a special nature treat in the area.
The area was originally home to Native American tribes including the Delaware (also known as Lenni Lenape) and others who thrived on Shad and other fish migrating through the Delaware River. By 1631 the Dutch settlers had moved into the area and Swedish immigrants established the New Sweden Colony in 1638, which gave them control of the lower Delaware River region. Settlers built homes, farms, and water powered mills to grind grain and saw lumber. In 1664 the British moved in and the Third Anglo-Dutch War took place. Around 1681 the Dutch and Swedish Quakers made a treaty with the Native Tribes and in 1776—during the American Revolutionary War—George Washington crossed the Delaware near New Hope.
New Hope was initially called Coryell’s Ferry and was an important town because it was the halfway point of the Old York Road—the main highway between Philadelphia and New York City during the 1800’s. In 1790 a large fire in the area burned down several mills. The reconstruction instilled residents with a “new hope, and the name stuck.
The Delaware Canal Towpath was built entirely by hand between 1829 and 1832, mainly my the Irish. The Canal is 60 miles long and was built to transport coal, gravel, lumber, limestone, and cement from rural areas in northeastern Pennsylvania to Philadelphia and New York. It was used until 1931. The goods were transported on barges that were towed by mules. New Hope was a crossroads for canal traffic. From here, boats could either continue south on the Delaware Canal towards Bristol and Philadelphia, or cross the Delaware River and take the Delaware & Raritan Canal across New Jersey to the New York markets.
In 1974 the canal was designated a Historic Landmark and in 1989 it became the Delaware Canal State Park. The canal still has most of its original locks, aqueducts, and overflows in place.
Where To Stay
A beautiful eco-lodge at the south end of the village with views of the Delaware River. The house is a historic heritage site and has been renovated with eco friendly materials. The B&B is a green facility and operates on the philosophy that all guests deserve healthy, peaceful, and meditative surroundings. The rooms have Tempurpedic mattresses and a gas fireplace, and the beautiful backyard provides sofas for relaxation.
There are several Hotels and B&B’s available in both New Hope and Lambertville. Hotel du Village, Carriage House of New Hope, Wedgwood Inn and Breakfast, Lambertville Station, and Swan Hotel all have great reviews.
There are many options available within different price ranges.
Where To Eat
Ecofriendly Vegan and Vegetarian Cuisine. A great spot for Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner with daily specials and a mouthwatering menu.
- Cauliflower and celery root soup with ramp oil and cashew chili
- Black bean and sweet potato griddles with red pepper aioli
- Oyster mushroom po’boy with smoked chile remoulade, tomato, red onion and baby greens on baguette
- BBQ tempeh sandwich with cornmeal-crusted tempeh, apple-bourbon BBQ sauce, chipotle-cabbage-carrot slaw, greens and multigrain bread
- Peach-sage-turmeric kombucha and fresh apple cider
Logan Inn, New Hope PA
Farm to table fare with vegetarian options.
Blue Moose Restaurant and Cafe, New Hope PA
Some vegetarian and vegan options.
Caffe Galleria, Lambertville NJ
Italian with vegetarian and vegan options including Seitan and Tofu dishes.
Antons at the Swan, Lambertville NJ
Farm to table restaurant with a few vegetarian options.
Things To Do
- Hike or bike (you can rent one at http://pureenergycycling.com) along the beautiful Canal Towpath from either New Hope or Lambertville http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/delawarecanal/
- Visit the Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve http://www.bhwp.org/
- Check out a musical or play at the Bucks County Playhouse http://bcptheater.org/
- Take a lantern-led walk with the New Hope Ghost Tour http://ghosttoursofnewhope.com/
- Take a scenic train ride with the historic New Hope and Ivyland Railroad https://www.newhoperailroad.com/traditionalexcursions/
- Go on a boat ride http://www.newhopeboatrides.com/
- Bring or rent http://www.rivercountry.net/ a Canoe or Kayak and paddle the Canal and Delaware River https://www.fodc.org/visit-the-canal/paddling-guide/
- Float down the Delaware River while tubing http://www.delawarerivertubing.com/
- Visit the Shad Fest—usually held in April to celebrate the local art scene and the Shad which is a fish in the Herring family that is migrating upstream in Spring
- Shop on Main Street in New Hope – Some great, funky and quirky stores to mention are: River’s Edge Spice Company, New Hope House Of Jerky https://houseofjerky.net/ (with a variety of vegan and vegetarian jerky options and dried fruits and nuts), Country Fair Chocolates, Thirteen Vintage, and Hearts of the Home
How To Get Around
Take the bus from NYC Port Authority
There’s a bus that goes from NYC Port Authority directly to Lambertville and New Hope, and the ride takes less than two hours from NYC. http://www.transbridgelines.com/
Make sure you get out at the Lambertville bus stop and take the 15min scenic walk over the bridge from Lambertville into New Hope Village. This is much faster than getting out at the actual New Hope stop, because that stop is NOT in New Hope, but is actually a 40-minute walk form the town center in the New Hope shopping mall area!
Bicycle or walk:
The Villages of New Hope and Lambertville are small enough to walk from end to end, so the easiest option is to walk. You can also rent a bicycle in Lambertville http://pureenergycycling.com/ or in New Hope http://newhopecyclery.com/ and explore the area on wheels.
Uber has good service in the area, Lyft was not available when we were there.
There are some local taxi services in the area but not directly located in New Hope or Lambertville.