Park brochure for Nockamixon State Park in Pennsylvania. Published by Pennsylvania State Parks.
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Nockamixon Nockamixon State Park A Pennsylvania Recreational Guide for Pennsylvania State Parks Mission The primary purpose of Pennsylvania state parks is to provide opportunities for enjoying healthful outdoor recreation and serve as outdoor classrooms for environmental education. In meeting these purposes, the conservation of the natural, scenic, aesthetic, and historical values of parks should be given first consideration. Stewardship responsibilities should be carried out in a way that protects the natural outdoor experience for the enjoyment of current and future generations. visitPAparks Printed on recycled paper NOCKAMIXON STATE PARK WILDLIFE WATCHING Reservations Make online reservations at www.visitPAparks.com or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757), 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Saturday. Directions Nockamixon State Park is along PA 563, just off PA 313, five miles east of Quakertown and nine miles north of Doylestown. The main entrances are along PA 563 and can be reached via PA 309 and PA 313, or from the north from PA 611 and PA 412. RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES Spend the Day Park visitors enjoy a variety of activities throughout the year. Most areas are open sunrise to sunset. Fishing and boating are permitted 24 hours a day in designated areas. Other overnight activities are prohibited. Some park areas are closed to vehicles in the winter, but some picnicking areas, fishing areas, trails, and cabins are open year round. BOATING: maximum 20 hp motors permitted The 1,450-acre Lake Nockamixon has six public launching areas. The Marina and Tohickon launch ramps are popular with sailboat, catamaran, and windsurfing enthusiasts. Three Mile Run and Haycock launch facilities are favored for motorboats, kayaks, and USCG approved inflatable watercraft. Inner tubes, rafts, or other inflatable items are prohibited. Launching facilities are open 24 hours a day. Sleeping on boats on the lake is prohibited. An ADA accessible dock is located at the Tohickon launch. In addition to having the largest launch ramp in the park, the marina has docking facilities for 648 boats up to 24 feet in length, a 120-space dry storage area for boats on trailers, and 12 trailer spaces. Because of the tremendous demand for marina space, a waiting list is maintained at the park office for seasonal slips and dry storage spaces. Marina slips may be rented on a short-term basis as available. Contact the marina office or park office for additional information and applicable rates. A boat rental concession has canoes, motorboats, rowboats, paddleboats, kayaks, paddle boards, and pontoon boats during the summer season. Call the boat rental for applicable rates and regulations. 215-538-1340 Motorboats must display a boat registration from any state. Non-powered boats must display one of the following: boat registration from any state; launch permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks, available at most state park offices; launch use permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. From November 1 through April 30, anyone on a boat less than 16 feet in length or any canoe or kayak must wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD) or life jacket. WINDSURFING: Tohickon Boat Launch is popular for windsurfing. All boating regulations apply to wind surfboards, including the permits listed above. FISHING: The 1,450-acre Lake Nockamixon is a warmwater fishery and classified as a Big Bass Lake. Common species are walleye, muskellunge, pickerel, smallmouth and largemouth bass, striped bass hybrids, channel catfish, carp, and various types of panfish. There is a fishing pier at the midpoint of the lake in the Day Use Area and an ADA accessible fishing platform near the Haycock Boat Launch. Volunteers, park employees, and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission employees have installed fish habitat structures throughout the lake. A map showing the structures, water depths, and specific features of the lake is available at the park office, the marina office, and on the park website. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission regulations and laws apply. Loaner fishing rods are available at the park office with valid photo identification. Fishing is Prohibited in these Areas: • From boat docks, launching or mooring areas, and within 100 feet of these areas • Anywhere in the boat rental area and the marina out to the buoys • From bridges • Below the spillway to the silt dam • From the dam or spillway • Where posted “no fishing” HUNTING AND FIREARMS: About 3,500 acres are open to hunting, trapping, and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, pheasant, rabbit, and turkey. All of Nockamixon is included in the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Special Regulations Area for southeastern Pennsylvania. Certain park areas are open to archery hunting only. Most of the park is in Wildlife Management Unit 5C, with a portion of the park south of South Park Road in unit 5D. No live birds may be released for training without a park and Pennsylvania Game Commission permit. Contact the park office for additional information. There is no rifle or shooting range at the park or in nearby game lands. The range was closed prior to 2008. Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information. Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner’s vehicle or enclosed trailer. Exceptions include: law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms are authorized to carry a firearm concealed on their person while they are within a state park. DISC GOLF: An 18-hole course in the Day Use Area begins from Parking Lot 13 by the Children’s Fishing Pond. Loaner discs are available free of charge at the park office on weekdays only, with valid photo identification. PICNICKING: Picnic tables and charcoal grills are in several areas of the park and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Only the Haycock, Tohickon, Marina, and Three Mile Run picnic areas are open year round. The gate to the Marina area may be closed at times due to road conditions or heavy snow. Rustic restrooms at these locations are open year round. Picnic pavilions by parking lots 1 and 5 may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved pavilions are free on a firstcome, first-served basis. Pavilions do not have electricity. Nearby modern restrooms are open spring through fall. WHITEWATER RELEASES: Conditions permitting, water is released from the dam on the first full weekend of November and the third weekend in March. The release provides an opportunity for whitewater enthusiasts to experience a thrilling run down Tohickon Creek from Ralph Stover State Park to the Delaware River. Class IV rapids are sometimes achieved. Check the advisories section of the park website for updates. Enjoy the Winter Stay the Night CABINS: Located on the south side of Lake Nockamixon, ten modern cabins are available for rent year round. Each cabin contains a furnished living area, kitchen/ dining area, and toilet/shower room. The kitchen has a refrigerator, stove, and microwave. The outdoor area includes a fire ring, grill, and picnic table. These electrically heated cabins have two bedrooms (sleeps 6) or three bedrooms (sleeps 8). Renters must provide their own bed linens, towels, cookware, tableware, fans, and first aid kit. Air SWIMMING: The swimming pool complex includes a half acre main pool with two waterslides, a shallow end with play features for children, dressing rooms, first aid station, and snack bar. Weather permitting, summer hours are 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The pool operates on a weekend only schedule from Memorial Day weekend through mid-June when it shifts to a daily schedule. The pool resumes weekend only operation from mid-August through Labor Day weekend. A brochure with admission prices and the operational calendar for the season is posted on the park website. Check the advisories section on the park website for updates on pool closures or events. Pool admission fee is charged for all visitors (including non-swimmers) to the pool complex, with reduced rates after 4:00 PM. A valid Pennsylvania identification must be shown for resident rates. Seasonal passes and group tickets for non-profit organizations can be purchased at the park office. Swimming lessons are provided by the lifeguards. Fees and instructions for how to register for lessons are available at the park office. Swimming is prohibited in Lake Nockamixon. conditioning is not provided. In the summer, cabins must be rented by the week. For the remainder of the year, the minimum stay is two nights. Cabins 1, 2, 3, and 6 allow up to 2 dogs. Cabin 6 is ADA accessible. Cabin address: 1969 Stover Mill Road, Perkasie, PA 18944 GPS: Lat. 40.44756 Long. -75.23415 CAMPING: Camping is prohibited in Nockamixon State Park. Camping is available at nearby private campgrounds. Information and brochures are available at the park office. ICE SKATING AND ICE FISHING: These activities are permitted on the frozen lake surface when conditions are suitable. Ice thickness is not monitored. For your safety, make sure ice is 4” thick for a single angler/skater and 7” thick for a small group. Always carry safety equipment. Ice conditions can vary widely. Visitors are advised to use extreme caution when venturing onto the ice. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission regulations and laws apply. CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: The bicycle trail and roads in the closed day use area are open for cross-country skiing. There are also steeper hiking trails in the Sterner Mill Area. Cross-country ski trails are not groomed. SLEDDING: The area above the marina is used for sledding and tobogganing. Park in Lot 13. Do not block gates or park on the sides of the road. Dick Swyers The 5,289-acre Nockamixon State Park is in the rolling hills of scenic Bucks County, close enough to Philadelphia for a day trip, but far enough away for a vacation. Tohickon Creek, Three Mile Run, and Haycock Run feed the 1,450-acre Lake Nockamixon, which is a rest stop for migrating waterfowl and a destination for boaters and anglers. Visitors can stay the night in a cabin or enjoy the many activities of the park for the day. Popular activities are picnicking, visiting the pool, hiking, biking, disc golf, hunting, swimming, fishing, and boating. 2018 Bald eagle BIRDING Over 250 species of birds have been recorded at Nockamixon State Park. The numerous habitats of the park are havens for birds and wildlife. The park has grasslands, successional fields, pine plantations, second growth forests, wetlands, and the 1,450-acre Lake Nockamixon. The fishing pier in the Day Use Area is a great place to look for migrating waterfowl and raptors in the spring and fall. Over twenty species of waterfowl, including ducks, grebes, swans, geese, and loons have been recorded in the park. The paved bike trail in the Day Use Area passes through forests, overgrown fields, and picnic groves. Finches and sparrows are yearround residents. Spring and summer visitors to the area include Baltimore orioles, blue-winged warblers, prairie warblers, and white-eyed vireos. The forest by the pool in the Day Use Area is a good place to see pileated woodpeckers, which have nested there. Phoebes and eastern wood-pewees are common summer residents of the park. Migratory warblers often visit to rest and refuel in the trees. The lake by the marina is a great place to look for waterfowl, especially rafts of ducks during migration. In March and April, huge flocks of gulls pass through the area. Vultures roost by the marina year round. Nesting boxes in grassy areas host eastern bluebirds and tree swallows. Please do not disturb nest boxes. The forest around the cabin area comes alive each spring with the songs of wood thrushes, veeries, and ovenbirds. Summer visitors to Mink Trail are prairie warblers, Baltimore orioles, eastern towhees, and white-eyed vireos. The varied habitats by the dam support diverse bird species. The spillway of the dam is a favorite spot for killdeer, sandpipers, herons, great egrets, kingfishers, and osprey. The woodlot above the dam is home to wrens, rosebreasted grosbeaks, and blue-gray gnatcatchers. Bald eagles and osprey have been spotted around the deep waters above the dam and can be seen anywhere around the lake especially in February, March, and September. SCENIC VISTA A pull off along South Park Road west of the bridge over Tohickon Creek provides a scenic view of the dam spillway. In winter, the water freezes into a myriad of colors and shapes, creating a spectacular sight. Secretary of the Department of Forests and Waters, Dr. Maurice K. Goddard, proposed the park in 1958. The park was developed as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan for the Delaware River Basin. Originally known as Tohickon State Park after the principal stream flowing into Lake Nockamixon, it was renamed Nockamixon State Park by the State Geographic Board in 1965. The park officially opened in December of 1973. SENTINEL ROCK Sentinel Rock is a 25-foot-tall pinnacle of Brunswick red shale and siltstone located downstream of the dam and upstream of South Park Road on the east side of the creek. It is accessible via the mountain bike trail. This striking feature was formed by weathering and frost wedging, which wore away surrounding rocks, and left Sentinel Rock and other nearby ramparts to stand out as erosional remnants. NATIVE AND WARM-SEASON GRASS FIELDS When the park was created in the 1960s, most of the land had been small farms. Since then, the fields have become overgrown with non-native species like autumn olive, mile-a-minute, and multiflora rose. The park has reclaimed many of these fields and planted them with native warmseason grasses like Indian grass, big and little bluestem, and switchgrass. These grasslands provide a critical habitat which is rare in Pennsylvania. The fields benefit grassland birds like meadowlarks, bobolinks, and grasshopper sparrows, as well as wild turkey, rabbits, and small mammals. HISTORY The name Nockamixon comes from the Lenape phrase “nocha-miska-ing” meaning “at the place of soft soil.” Several Lenape tribes have been documented as living in what is now the park. ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND INTERPRETATION Nockamixon State Park offers a wide variety of environmental education, interpretive, and recreational programs. Through guided walks, hands-on educational activities, children’s programs, and evening programs, visitors gain appreciation, understanding, and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources. Programs are offered spring through fall. Teacher workshops and educational programs for schools are available. Please contact the park office for more information. The Environmental Education Center is only open during programs. Visit the DCNR calendar of events for a schedule of programs. http://events.dcnr.pa.gov/ Free pontoon boat tours of the lake board at the marina. These tours provide a history of the park and views of wildlife and beautiful scenery. Tours are scheduled from mid-May to September 1 and are weather-dependent. Preregistration for the boat tours is required and opens in early April. Tours fill quickly. Please contact the park office to register. FRIENDS GROUPS AND VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS FRIENDS OF NOCKAMIXON STATE PARK (FONSP): This group is a chapter of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation and qualifies as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The mission of the FONSP is to preserve, protect, and enhance the natural and recreational resources of Nockamixon State Park for present and future generations. To become a member or learn about volunteer opportunities, please visit: www.friendsofnockamixonstatepark.org. NOCKAMIXON SAILING CLUB: This non-profit organization promotes recreational sailing on Lake Nockamixon. www.nockamixonsailclub.org mountain bike trail conditions. The group also hosts organized mountain biking events on the trails. www.ridenox.com. www.facebook.com/RideNox VALLEY MOUNTAIN BIKERS: This nonprofit organization promotes mountain biking in the park. www.bikevmb.com NOCKAMIXON DISC GOLF CLUB: This disc golf club maintains the 18-hole disc golf course and hosts tournaments and other disc golf events. RIDENOX: This mountain bike trail maintenance group maintains the mountain bike trails and provides information on INFORMATION AND RESERVATIONS Nockamixon State Park 1542 Mountain View Drive Quakertown, PA 18951-5732 GPS: Lat. 40.46342 Long. -75.24179 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Park Office: 215-529-7300 Marina Office: 610-847-8254 weekends only from Memorial Day through Labor Day Boat Rental: 215-538-1340 Swimming Pool: 215-538-2680 Environmental Education Center: 215-529-7307 An Equal Opportunity Employer www.visitPAparks.com Make online reservations at www.visitPAparks.com or call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757), 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Saturday. @NockamixonStatePark If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit. • Be prepared and bring the proper equipment. Natural areas may possess hazards. Your personal safety and that of your family are your responsibility. • Because uncontrolled pets may chase wildlife or frighten visitors, pets must be physically controlled, attended at all times, and on a leash, caged, or crated. Electronic fences and leashes are prohibited. Pets are prohibited in swimming areas. Nearby Attractions In an Emergency Call 911 and contact a park employee. Directions to the nearest hospital are posted on bulletin boards and at the park office. Please make your visit safe and enjoyable. Obey all posted rules and regulations and respect fellow visitors and the resources of the park. • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Access for People with Disabilities This symbol indicates facilities and activities that are Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible for people with disabilities. This publication text is available in alternative formats. Protect and Preserve our Parks NEAREST HOSPITAL Grandview Hospital 700 Lawn Avenue Sellersville, PA 18960 215-453-4000 Information on nearby attractions is available from the Bucks County Conference and Visitors Bureau. http://visitbuckscounty.com State Game Lands 157 encompasses 2,010 acres, adjoining the northeast border of the park. Hunting, bouldering, and hiking are popular activities. Trails are not blazed. 610-926-3136 At Delaware Canal State Park visitors enjoy biking, hiking, fishing, boating, and learning about the canal building era of American history. 610-982-5560 Ralph Stover State Park offers seasonal whitewater boating, scenic overlooks, and rock climbing. 610-982-5560 700 Park Office Blue Symbols Mean ADA Accessible Public Phone 50 0 Pres s BUCKS COUNTY N Lake Towhee Road ill Saw m Road Ro Roa d woo d 0 40 Old Deerwood 1 lder ad Ro 0 60 e Lan ad 650 Road 850 450 ant PhenasRd. 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Mill Tr Three Mile Run 450 500 n ge Rid Upper Bucks County Technical School 3 NOCKAMIXON 2 0 Parking Paved R ichla ndt o wn 7 500 LAKE 400 ch r bria et Swe 1 il Tra LAKE Bus Parking Parking Lot No. Rev. 3/05/19 500 Parking Unpaved Bus Parking Horse Trailer Parking Hiking Trail Paved Trail Hiking and Horseback Riding 400 d Roa Region 4 Park Office El an t ep h Ro ad 0 45 Cabin ur Ch 2 rch CABIN COLONY 450 550 Chu 0 44 460 480 500 0 0 40 Hiking and Mountain Biking Bicycling Ax Road Road Ru n Sterner Mill Hiking Area ck Rd d l e . d R oa Mill Ro e GPS Coordinates 550 Decimal Degree Lat. Long. 1. Park Office 40.46342, -75.24179 2. Cabins 40.44765, -75.23415 3. Marina 40.46915, -75.22503 ld ek 1KILOMETER d Run Tr. ad Unpaved Road Gate No Fishing No Hunting State Park No Hunting State Park Hunting r me Cly Ster ner 600 563 Mil d R oa 40.4763, -75.20891 4. Tohickon Boat Launch 5. Spillway Overlook 40.46673, -75.18529 0 500 1/2 MILE Ol Fox Ro il Tra il sio Mis Cre 40 50 Tr a 55 113 Rd . Ha 0 ge 313 400 6. Haycock Boat Launch 40.48689, -75.19147 7. 3 Mile Run Boat Lauch 0 0 40.42511, -75.26014 1/4 l Archery Only To Quakertown, 4 Mi. 55 500 Rid 450 1/2 1/2 ad Tr ai 600 CONTOURS ARE ON 50 FT. INTERVALS Ro 500 Trail l M il l ad ek Cre Road Ga me Co mm Tra iss il io n N 500 Ro ge Bridge d id Tr. m 550 Br d Tohickon Co ve re lehe 500 0 Roa 0 Old 313 450 ile ee Thr 500 st 55 To Doylestown, 9 Mi. 500 450 350 Three M Run 450 500 563 To Perkasie, 4 Mi. Ea Richlandt o w n 45 Beth 600 TRAILS The hiking trails of the park explore forests, fields, and the edge of the lake. For the safety of all park users, dogs must be leashed and under physical control while in the park. Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets. Waste disposal bags are available at some trailheads. High Bridge Trail: 1.2 miles, more difficult hiking This wooded hiking trail runs along both sides of Tohickon Creek from the old barn near the intersection of Clymer and Richlandtown roads to the High Bridge on PA 563 and Quarry Trail. This trail connects the Sterner Mill Hiking Area with the old barn. Old Haycock Road: 1.3 miles, easiest hiking This hiking trail is an old road that reaches the lake. The trail begins behind the gate at the Haycock Boat Launch. Old Mill Trail: 5.6 miles, more difficult hiking This trail crosses a stream at the old mill pond and passes across the top of the stone dam breast. Hikers pass through a mature woodlot, pine plantations, and walk a loop that follows the lake shore. Access the trail from the western terminus of the Paved Bicycle Trail, from the gravel lot at the top of Deerwood Lane, or from Old Bethlehem Road. Hiking and equestrian only. Bicycles are prohibited. Quarry Trail: 2.65 miles, more difficult hiking This trail winds through old foundations, which are remnants of a summer camp. The trail provides a scenic view of the lake and an overlook of the old quarry that provided building material for area structures. The trail can be accessed from the Kahagon Road Parking Lot off PA 563 or Old Bethlehem Road. Sterner Mill Trail: 1.8 miles, more difficult hiking The southwest corner of the park has several loop trails that pass near the lake. Hikers can see a small pond, lake views, and pass through hardwood forests and pine plantations. These trails are closed to horses and bicycles. Southside of the Lake Trails: 13.5 miles, easiest hiking Established trails extend most of the way along the south shore of the lake. Park land on this side of the lake is narrow in spots but there is still a two-way “loop” of trails, including Elephant (4.6 miles), Church (5.1 miles), and Mink (3.8 miles) trails, and many parking lots for creating hikes of various lengths. Tell us about your experience at: www.ExplorePAtrails.com Paved Bicycle Trail: 2 miles, easiest hiking The popular Paved Bicycle Trail winds through the Day Use Area and is ideal for bicycles, strollers, wheelchairs, and walkers. The eastern end of the trail begins at the marina, which offers parking and great views of the lake. The western end of the trail features a waterfall and the Old Mill Pond. A spur off the main trail passes by the swimming pool and playground. Horses are prohibited. Caution: • This trail is not a loop • The trail has many curves • Please exercise caution and be considerate of other bike riders and walkers when using the trail Mountain Biking: A 10-mile trail system for mountain bikes is on the east side of Haycock Cove. Trailheads are located off Tower and South Park roads, and PA 563. Parking is available at the Tower Road and the Haycock Boat Launch parking lots. Horses are prohibited on these trails. Detailed trail maps can be downloaded at www.ridenox.com or picked up at the park office. Caution: • The ten-mile bike trail can be hazardous and slippery • Some slopes are steep with rough surfaces • The trail is for riders equipped for off-road riding • Bikers ride bike trails at their own risk • Trails are closed during wet conditions and signs are posted at the trailheads during these closure periods Closure postings are also available on the Nockamixon and Ridenox Facebook pages and the advisory section of the park’s website. Equestrian Trails: Horseback riding is permitted on roadsides throughout the park and on the following trails: Quarry, Old Mill, and the trails on the south side of the lake. Pedestrians should yield to horses. Horses may be rented at a private establishment near the park. Carriages and vehicles are prohibited on trails, except for approved ADA equipment. Lan e 400 ane hL d Roa