The westernmost part of PA 212 between Quakertown and Richlandtown was part of the Richland Turnpike or Plank Road Company, a company established in 1854 to build a turnpike connecting present-day PA 313 and PA 412. PA 212 was first designated by 1927 to run from U.S. Route 309 (US 309) and PA 312 in Quakertown northeast to US 611 in Riegelsville. The western terminus was moved to PA 313 by 1930. The easternmost part of PA 212 was completed by 1940.
PA 212 westbound through Springfield Township, passing a nearby cemetery
PA 212 begins at an intersection with PA 313 in Quakertown, Bucks County, heading north on two-lane undivided Hellertown Avenue. The road passes through residential areas, curving east and becoming Tohickon Avenue. The route leaves Quakertown for Richland Township and heads northeast, crossing Tohickon Creek and becoming Richlandtown Pike. PA 212 is lined with homes as it passes through rural areas, crossing into Richlandtown. Here, the name of the road becomes Main Street and runs past more residences. The route turns northeast onto Church Road and heads back into Richland Township, where it heads north into farmland and woodland with some homes. PA 212 curves northeast and winds north into forested areas, entering Springfield Township. Here, the route becomes an unnamed road and turns northeast into agricultural areas with some woods and homes. The road passes through the community of Pleasant Valley as it continues north through more rural areas. PA 212 reaches an intersection with PA 412, at which point that route joins PA 212 in a concurrency.
The road becomes Main Street and turns east, passing through the residential communuity of Springtown. Upon leaving Springtown, the road becomes unnumbered again and heads back into areas of forests and fields, with PA 412 splitting from PA 212 by heading to the southeast. PA 212 continues east-northeast through rural areas, crossing into Durham Township. Here, the road heads through forested areas with some homes, passing through the community of Durham Mill. PA 212 curves east and parallels Cooks Creek before it reaches its eastern terminus at an intersection with PA 611 along the west bank of the Delaware River south of Riegelsville.
The portion of PA 212 between Quakertown and Richlandtown dates back to 1854, when the Richland Turnpike or Plank Road Company was created to build a turnpike linking the Doylestown Road (present-day PA 313) to the Hellertown Road (present-day PA 412). This road existed as an unimproved road into the 20th century. The present-day alignment of PA 212 was not legislated as a state highway in 1911. PA 212 was designated by 1927 to run from US 309 (now PA 309) and PA 312 (now PA 663) in Quakertown northeast to US 611 (now PA 611) in Riegelsville. At this time, the route was paved from Quakertown to a short distance north of Richlandtown. By 1930, the route's western terminus was moved to PA 313 and the route was paved from north of Richlandtown to past the east end of the PA 412 concurrency. The easternmost portion of the route leading to US 611 south of Riegelsville was under construction at this time. The portion of PA 212 under construction was completed by 1940. PA 212 has remained on the same alignment since.