New Hope is well known for its eclectic shops, amazing restaurants, panoramic views of the Delaware River and regional theater. If you want to experience it like a true local, spend some time in one of the many “pocket parks” or tiny, green oases the town has to offer. They can be a welcomed respite for your tired feet or a fun way to steal a private moment with someone you love. Some of these pocket parks are such hidden gems, that they don’t even have names!
Among the nameless, one of my personal favorites can only be accessed from the Bucks County Playhouse parking lot. Head to the promenade, making your way across the parking lot, toward the river. At the promenade, make a right and follow the cement path to the end. When the path ends, take a sharp right. Follow the gravel pathway all the way around the base of the Playhouse. You’ll know you’re in the right place, when you see and hear the peaceful cascade of a waterfall, flowing into a Delaware River tributary.
This waterfall has a mesmerizing quality to it. If you don’t see a chair next to the waterfall, grab one from the promenade like the locals do! The rush of water is just loud enough to drown out the street noise above or your screaming children for a few moments. In the summer, it’s a great way to get a little blast of refreshing mist and cool off. It’s also perfect for quiet reflection or a gratuitous selfie.
If you walk to the opposite side of the promenade, located next to Stella, you will find the entrance to Ferry Landing Park. You can access it from the stairs at the end of the promenade or you can enter at the end of East Ferry Street. The park stands on the historic Coryell’s Ferry landing, which played a key role during the Revolutionary War. You can read the park’s plaque to learn more about the history, score an amazing view of the New Hope-Lambertville bridge or feed the ducks with some food from the Quack Shack, also located on East Ferry Street.
Looking for a treat while enjoying some pocket park peace? Stop by Sciascia Confections in Ferry Market on your way to East Randolph Street Park and grab some macarons to go. Tucked in at the end of East Randolph Street, just off Main Street, you will see this lovely pocket park. Just in case you have one too many macarons (no judgement here, that’s me doing push-ups after housing a box), you can do a mini-workout and enjoy a great view of Lambertville, all at the same time.
If you are a hopeless romantic, this would be an amazing place to profess your everlasting love to someone, preferably someone you know. The staircase in the park leads all the way down to the water, where you can get up close and personal with the river, skip some rocks or pull one out of your pocket and propose. In case you forgot the ring or lose your cool and drop it in the water, you can run across the street and grab a custom one at Diana Michaels.
For an uptown pocket park oasis, go to Lenape Park at 54 West Ferry Street, adjacent to the railroad tracks and across from the New Hope Arts Center. Named for the Native American tribe that first settled in this area, this park is beautifully curated with a hypnotic water feature and ample benches. Stop in the gazebo to read a book, attempt your best yoga pose or admire a purchase you made in town.
In the fall, Lenape Park boasts some of the best dressed scarecrows you will find in all of Bucks County. If you want to pocket park it like a local, be on the lookout for one of these havens. Best of all, there are others in town just waiting for you to discover and enjoy!