August 8, 2012
[Welcome to Uwishunu's Summer Daycation series. Can't take extended time off? Working with a shoestring budget? Want to sleep in your own bed? Not a worry. This month, we'll be highlighting destinations in the Philadelphia area that make for the perfect day trip. August is the perfect month, after all, to capitalize on the chance to take a daycation. And we've done all the planning for you, so you'll even have enough time to come back and enjoy a summer night in the city so you won't miss a beat.]
Tucked away in the heart of scenic Bucks County you’ll find the whopping 5,286-acre Nockamixon State Park surrounding the Nockamixon River. Just over an hour drive from the city, this park is the perfect spot for a mini-vacation. From the activities on Lake Nockamixon to biking, hiking and horseback riding on the numerous trails, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Check out our guide to spending a day in Nockamixon State Park, below.
What to Expect
From the 1,450-acre lake to the numerous trails, Nockamixon State Park is the perfect outdoor destination to spend a day. Most park areas are open sunrise to sunset.
You can spend a relaxing day walking on the trails and taking in the greenery or hang out by the pool in the middle of this beautiful park. For those seeking a more active daycation, hike, bike, boat and see it all!
Note: Nockamixon is a State Park and prohibits alcohol.
On the Lake
Even though you can’t swim in Lake Nockamixon, this 1,450-acre body of water is the perfect spot for your water sports fix.
• Boating: With public launch sites at Three Mile Run, Haycock, Tohickon and the Marina, Nockamixon is every boater’s paradise. Expect everything from sailboats to windsurfers out on the lake. Don’t have your own boat? Not a problem. The boat rental concession at the Marina has canoes, motorboats, rowboats, paddleboats, kayaks and pontoon boats available until September 3. Bonus: launching sites are open 24 hours a day.
• Fishing: The lake is a haven for warm-water fishing. There’s a fishing pier at the midpoint of the lake and a platform near the Haycock Boat Launch. Check out the Fish Habitat Structures Map for a full list of species and where to find them.
Read on for more of what Nockamixon has to offer.
Recreation and Relaxation
• Swimming: As we mentioned, you can’t swim in Lake Nockamixon but the park offers an even better alternative. Relax by the one-half acre main pool equipped with two slides and a shallow end with fountains for children. Weather permitting, the pool area is open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. You can even get some swimming lessons and water aerobics classes taught by the lifeguards. There’s a nominal admission fee, with reduced rates after 6 p.m. Check online for all rates.
• Hiking: The park features 35 miles of trails to help you explore the forests, fields and lakeside. Check out the Sterner Mill Hiking Area, a 1.5 mile trail in the southwest corner of the park, for an easy hike. For longer and more difficult hikes, try the High Bridge, Quarry, or Old Mill trails.
• Biking: In addition to unpaved hiking trails, the park’s popular paved bike trail winds through the Day use Area and is ideal for bicycles, strollers, wheelchairs and walkers. There’s also a 10-mile trail system for mountain bikes. Awesome!
Don’t miss other great activities like horseback riding and disc golfing at a beautiful 18-hole course in the Day Use Area of the park.
• Picnic: We’ve been picnic-crazy this whole summer in the city, but what’s better than a picnic in the great outdoors? Several areas provide tables and charcoal grills. The Pavilion and Grove can be rented in advance.
• Snack Bar: Can it get any easier? Relax by the pool and also grab a bite to eat at the snack bar right inside the complex.
How to Get There
It only takes over an hour to make the drive out to Nockamixon. Looking for some travel options? We’ve got you covered.
• Carpool: Taking a daycation is the perfect way to spend some time with family and friends. Bring everyone along and make the trip together. Perfect for trading off drivers after an action-packed day.
Nockamixon State Park
1542 Mountain View Drive, Quakertown in Bucks County