Twenty-one hikers came out to Upper Bucks County on National Trails Day for a hike along the D&L Trail and the soon-to-be opened Ringing Rocks Trail.
The hike began on the D&L Trail, which fit perfectly with the National Significance theme: the D&L Trail is part of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, and this section of the trail is also part of Delaware Canal State Park. The Delaware Canal is a National Historic Landmark, and of course we hiked adjacent to the Delaware River, which is a designated National Wild and Scenic River.
The group stopped to marvel at the dramatic 300-foot red shale Nockamixon Cliffs, which are habitat for an arctic-alpine plant community that is rare for Pennsylvania and the continental United States. Hikers were also treated to clear views of two bald eagles that perched on a tree on one of the Delaware River islands.
The main focus of the hike was the planned Ringing Rocks Trail which will connect the D&L Trail with Ringing Rocks County Park, one of the region’s most popular destinations because of it’s unusual boulder field. The Ringing Rocks Trail is not officially open or blazed but AMC has been leading guided hikes to build awareness about what ill become one of Bucks County’s premier hiking destinations. AMC has invested a considerable amount of resources to prepare this trail for public use, with an official opening planned in 2016. Part of the trail follows a 19th-century logging path through deep woods. The trail parallels High Falls Creek for approximately 1.3 miles.
AMC is working with Natural Lands Trust, Bucks County Parks Department and other partners to establish this new trail connection including a new public access along River Road that would serve both the D&L Trail and the Ringing Rocks Trail. Stay tuned for future AMC-Delaware Valley Chapter hikes on the two trails, with a visits to Homestead General Store and Giving Pond in Delaware Canal State Park.