Ralph Stover State Park
|Ralph Stover State Park|
|Pennsylvania State Park|
The view of Tohickon Creek from the top of High Rocks during autumn.
|Named for: Ralph Stover|
|- elevation||256 ft (78.0 m) |
|Area||45 acres (18 ha) |
|Management||Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources|
|IUCN category||III - Natural Monument|
|Website: Ralph Stover State Park|
Ralph Stover State Park is a Pennsylvania state park on 45 acres (18 ha) in Plumstead and Tinicum Townships, Bucks County, Pennsylvania in the United States. It is a very popular destination for whitewater kayaking on Tohickon Creek and rock climbing on High Rocks (Triassic sandstone of the Newark Group). Ralph Stover State Park is two miles (3.2 km) north of Point Pleasant near Pennsylvania Route 32.
Tohickon Creek was named by the Lenape some of the first inhabitants of the area. "To-Hick-Hanne" means "Deer-Bone-Creek". Ralph Stover State Park was the site of an 18th-century gristmill that was built on Tohickon Creek by the park's namesake, Ralph Stover. Remnants of the mill and mill race can still be seen near Tohickon Creek.
The Stover family gave their land to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1931. The recreational facilities were built during the Great Depression by the Federal Works Progress Administration created by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide work for the unemployed. Author James A. Michener donated the High Rocks area to the park in 1956. Although "High Rocks State Park" is listed in the United States Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System and the coordinates given in USGS GNIS are located here, it was never an official name according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources or a separate park.
High Rocks is a 200-foot (60 m) sheer rock face, composed of smooth red Lockatong Formation argillite interspersed with friable Brunswick Formation shale. Since slippery and crumbly rock makes climbing somewhat difficult here, High Rocks is notable mostly to local climbers. Over sixty routes have been put up here over seventeen walls, with difficulties up to 5.12c/d and V7. Most are used for trad climbing and top roping, with some bouldering and sport routes present as well.
Tohickon Creek offers whitewater conditions for kayaking in the spring with the winter snow melt and several times a year when water is released from Lake Nockamixon. The creek is also a warm water fishery with smallmouth bass, sunfish, carp and catfish. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission also stocks the creek with trout.
A hiking trail of 1 mile (1.6 km) passes the millrace. There is a shaded picnic area along Tohickon Creek and a scenic vista at the top of High Rocks.
Nearby state parks
- Benjamin Rush State Park (Philadelphia County)
- Bull's Island Recreation Area (New Jersey)
- Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park (New Jersey)
- Delaware Canal State Park (Bucks and Northampton Counties)
- Evansburg State Park (Montgomery County)
- Fort Washington State Park (Montgomery County)
- Hacklebarney State Park (New Jersey)
- Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center (Northampton County)
- Neshaminy State Park (Bucks County)
- Nockamixon State Park (Bucks County)
- Norristown Farm Park (Montgomery County)
- Spruce Run State Park (New Jersey)
- Round Valley State Park (New Jersey)
- Tyler State Park (Bucks County)
- Voorhees State Park (New Jersey)
- Washington Crossing State Park (New Jersey)
- "Ralph Stover State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. August 2, 1979. Retrieved 2007-12-22.
- "Ralph Stover State Park". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
- Geology and mineral resources of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Bradford Willard, Jacob Freedman, D. B. McLaughlin, and others. 1959. 243 p., 24 pls., geol. map.
- "Rock Climbing Routes at Ralph Stover State Park; High Rocks". Rockclimbing.com. Archived from the original on December 30, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
- "Climbing Ralph Stover (High Rocks) State Park". Mountain Project. Retrieved 2009-02-12.
- "Find a Park by Region (interactive map)". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- Michels, Chris (1997). "Latitude/Longitude Distance Calculation". Northern Arizona University. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
- 2007 General Highway Map Bucks County Pennsylvania (PDF) (Map). 1:65,000. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Planning and Research, Geographic Information Division. Retrieved 2006-07-27. Note: shows Ralph Stover State Park
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