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Neshaminy State Park

Bensalem Twp, Bucks County, PA

Neshaminy State Park near the intersection of State Road and Street (Dunks Ferry) Roads. This section includes park office, parking, a river walk trail, swimming pool, playground, restrooms, pavilions and picnic areas.

The park is bisected by the Neshaminy Creek. Entrance to the upper section is north of Street Road; take 4th Avenue off of State Road. This section us home to the boat launches, marina, picnicking and fishing areas.

Swimming is not permitted in the Delaware River from any area of the park.

History [1]

"The major portion of what is now Neshaminy State Park was a gift to the Commonwealth by Mr. Robert R. Logan. A descendant of James Logan, colonial secretary to founder William Penn, Mr. Logan's estate 'Sarobia' was given to the state upon his death in 1956. The property had in turn been a wedding gift to Robert Logan and his wife, the former Sarah Wetherill of Philadelphia, by the bride's parents. The Logan's home has been removed, but many of their furnishings and belongings are now in the collections of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

"Dunks Ferry Road, forming one of the boundaries of the park, is one of the oldest roads in Pennsylvania. Beginning in 1679, Dunken Williams operated a ferry across the Delaware River. [to a location that is today in the City of Beverly, Burlington County, New Jersey] The road gave travelers access to his ferry, and today, over three hundred years later, 'Dunks Ferry' Road perpetuates both his name and enterprise.

"During the mid-1700s, a large inn was built to serve travelers. Operated by many owners over the years, the Dunk's Ferry Inn had a colorful history. One of the most successful owners was John Vandergrift, who also had a profitable shad fishing business for thirty-nine years during the late 1800s."

  1. Source: Pennsylvania DCNR (Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources) brochure

A Visit to the River

May, 2002

Each visit is as though I'm visiting my dearest friend. A warm, fuzzy feeling that takes ownership of me, not only my mind and spirit but also my senses.

This visit on this particular day was different. I didn't go to my "usual" spot; this time we drove to nearby Neshaminy State Park, bordered on the south by the Delaware River and split through the middle by the Neshaminy Creek.

My wide-brim straw hat shielded my face from the bright sun overhead as we walked along one of the paths through the park. It wasn't long before I could inhale the scent of the river, tantalizing me, and reminding me that we were quickly approaching the river views that I love so much. The towering shade trees were greeters along the way, their branches reaching out as if to beckon us.

As we walked closer to the river, it became noticeably windy; at times it took my breath away. I hadn't thought about how even though the ocean was yet more than a hundred miles away from this spot on the river that we would see and feel its effects ... the tide ... the river appeared to flow upstream.

Park benches peppered the area where one might sit and relax while enjoying the river views; however, the benches weren't close enough for me. I wouldn't be satisfied until I could place myself right at the water's edge. After all, you can't truly embrace a dear friend unless you are within reach.

The shoreline told its own story. A trail of foot imprints in the sand of a young couple just ahead of us, a father hand-in-hand with his young daughter, and the two of us, grandparents. I was reminded about human life cycles, of how one generation flows into another. In that instant, I remembered one of my favorite quotes, "Watching the river, I learn how to live." (author unknown) Life mirrors the ebb and flow of the river; somewhat a paradox, constant flowing, yet ever-changing in direction and speed. Ronald and I walked as far as we could along the water's edge. We saw hundreds of shells washed ashore as the tide rolled inland ... another life-cycle reminder that even the river offers its own "living places."

As I stood amid the natural beauty breathing in the fresh air, soaking up the warmth of the sun, and feeling my soul refresh itself, my eyes gazed out over the flowing river. I took the time to become aware of the surroundings. I listened to the rolling waves lapping at the water's edge while the winds sang its own song. In the distance I could see the skyline of neighboring Philadelphia with a painted backdrop of a white-clouded blue sky. Today in this troubled world, I found a place offering peacefulness and tranquility. Once again, my friend the river, embraced my spirit and the bond continues.

-- Julia --

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