A Pedacito Of Bowman’s Tower In New Hope, PA
Updated: Jun 19, 2022
In the heart of Bucks County, an area with some of the most historic towns in Pennsylvania sits a 125-foot-tall stone tower. This tower, named Bowman’s Tower, is a part of the Washington Crossing Park- known for its historical grounds that witnessed some of the most important battles of the Revolutionary War.
It was named specifically after the land that George Washington stepped foot on after crossing the Delaware River. This entire park is filled with epic American history that is perfect for history lovers and travelers alike.
However, the real star of the show is Bowman’s Tower, which was a hiking destination that I had heard about for years. My boyfriend and I love to go on hikes, even though I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as the most outdoorsy type.
I prefer hikes that are more than just walking through mud, I like to learn about the history of the trails and maybe see some notable structures or views along the way. Bowman’s Tower was exactly what I was looking for, due to its historical namesake and incredible height.
On a particularly sunny day this summer, my boyfriend and I drove out to New Hope, PA where the tower is situated, and began our climb. We paid about $5 each to get into the tower, which I personally didn’t mind since the proceeds go to protecting the structures and landmarks that are in Washington Crossing Park.
We stopped to read the entry sign to learn more about the history of Bowman’s Tower, and boy, were we blown away!
We had no idea that this tower was more than just a landmark to commemorate Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River. Rather, it was the exact watchtower that was utilized when Washington and his troops made their descent upon Pennsylvania.
It was crazy for us to wrap our heads around the fact that hundreds of years ago, men stood exactly where we were, waiting for Washington and his men to dock for battle.
After soaking in some of the history, we started to navigate the winding staircase that would lead us to the actual lookout portion of the tower. The stairs were so small and narrow, I found it hard to believe that anyone with a shoe size of 7 or larger could fit. My boyfriend kept stumbling up the stairs due to how small they were. It was a very interesting climb, to say the least.
The tower also had an atmosphere that reminded of a cave, with everything being made of stone. While it was insanely cool, it could come off as a bit creepy, especially since there’s no light except for a few cut-outs that brought in natural sunlight.
There were even small crawl spaces that the park ranger, whom we had spoken to when buying the tickets, said to watch out for. Apparently, they were created in case of battle and were designed for troops to have a place to hide before attacking.
Finally, we reached the summit of the tower after climbing the stairs for about 10-15 minutes. The view was spectacular. There were metal bars that were installed to make sure that no one made the mistake of hanging a little too close to the edge. But you could see all of southeast Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey from this tower. If you squinted, you could even see a faint outline of Philadelphia!
There weren’t many other hikers or explorers with us, but a family came to the top of the tower while my boyfriend and I were admiring the view. They asked us if we could snap a photo, so we did, and they returned the favor.
The family was extremely friendly, and we chatted about how we had never known this place had such important historical ties. It was cool to know that people from all over the tri-state came here to get a slice of American history and exercise.
I would absolutely hike Bowman’s Tower again. Maybe in the fall specifically, so I could see the gorgeous foliage from a bird’s eye view. I always loved history while I was in school, so I enjoy incorporating some of my more sporadic interests in my daily life when I can. Hiking is also a great form of cardio, especially when climbing hundreds of stairs!
For those of you who live in the tri-state area or who might be visiting New Jersey or Pennsylvania in the near future, I think this is a great landmark to check out! Even if you’re a beginner hiker like myself, you’re bound to have an amazing time. Just load up on some water, bring your comfiest sneakers, and prepare for awesome views and historical tales!
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