A Ride into Autumn
designer cycling routes
for fall at a do-it-yourself pace and price.
Cycle Through Time, New Hope PA
Hub: Wedgwood Inn. From $95, includes breakfast. For more
information, call (215) 862-2570.
The Delaware River
cuts a scenic slash between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Gen. George
Washington and his troops encamped near here, and the cycling trail takes you
past blazing color and a Colonial-day America that seems frozen in time.
Quaint tollgates and pedestrian bridges arch the river for easy hopscotching
between the states and sites.
In New Hope, your storybook town hub, tiny canals tinkle under kissing
bridges, and everything from the historic inns to the antique shops twinkle at
night with fairy lights. With Halloween coming up, you might consider the
guided, lantern-lighted ghost town tour through New Hope, "the spookiest town
in America," where guests have reputedly spied Aaron Burr haunting a local
hotel. (Not yours, of course.)
Spoke 1: Historic Delaware Canal Tow Path to Lumberville loop, 20 miles.
From the inn, take the Lambertville Free Bridge across to Lambertville N.J.
(Check under the: eaves to see if the: Lambertville swallows have left town
for the winter.) Follow the canal path north. The gravel path (touring bikes
do fine for short hops like this one) tunnels through flaming foliage past
Colonial Stockton and a crumbling gristmill to the Lumberville foot bridge to
Bull Island's State Park. Walk your bike across to Lumberville, where a
historic riverfront inn and general store constitute the "downtown." Have a
picnic by the river and pedal back.
Spoke 2: Path of history loop, 12 miles. Flat to rolling.
From New Hope: Route 32 winds south along the river to Washington Crossing
State Park, a mound of color housing 13 historic structures from the: days of
the general's encampment. Drop by the old ferry inn, where Washington wined
and dined before the Battle of Trenton, or look for faint threads of trail
used by Washington and his troops along the riverfront. Follow Route 32 north
back to New Hope. About a mile away, brake for Bowman's Tower. The 100foot
observation deck marks the spot where sentries watched for enemy movement
along the river.
Continue north on Route 32 to Aquetong Road about a half-mile. Turn left on
Covered Bridge Road and go one mile to Van Sant Covered Bridge. The historic
span was built in 1875 and is as bumpy a ride as ever. Retrace your tracks
back to Route 32 and New Hope.
Spoke 3: Covered bridge loop, 34 miles. Flat to mildly rolling.
From New Hope, cross the Lambertville Free Bridge to New Jersey and head north
on Route 29. You'll pass fields dotted with stone farmhouses, red barns,
orchards drooping with fruit and tiny villages. Have lunch in Frenchtown; the
Colonial town's cobblestone streets are lined with cafes.
Then cross the Frenchtown-Uhlerstown Bridge to Pennsylvania. Head south (left)
on Route 32 to the Uhlerstown Covered Bridge; the peek-a-boo windows offer
views of the canal it crosses. Continue south to the Isaac Stover House, owned
by Sally Jessy Raphael. About a, mile farther, turn right on Geigel Hill Road
and follow it about a half-mile to the Erwinna Covered Bridge, which was built
in 1871 and crosses a tiny creek swarming with tadpoles.
We have several books in the Inns with information about local bike trails and
events throughout the New Hope, Bucks County area.