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Take a drive: Enjoy the beauty of autumn in Bucks County


Tile maker Henry Mercer built Fonthill Castle in Doylestown in 1916. (photo by CR Rae)

Fall can be the most beautiful and fun season of the year, from the vibrant colors of the foliage to picking apples to make pies and applesauce. And a great place to enjoy the fall season is Bucks County.

One of the most beautiful drives for fall color seekers is the tour of covered bridges. The county is home to 12 historic bridges–most of which are listed on the historic register–and traveling among them takes visitors off the beaten path and into the thick of fall. Some are more than 150 years old. Ten of the bridges can be driven across. Driving on River Road along the Delaware River is beautiful and known as one of the best drives in the state. A drive on Cuttalossa Road will take leaf peepers to historic and scenic views possibly only found in this Pennsylvania county.

The bridges are unique and different in many ways, and the drive to visit each is beautiful. Pack a picnic, bring a camera, roll the car windows down and enjoy the fall colors, smells and sounds of the backroads. For more detailed information on the bridges and a map go to visitbuckscounty.com.

Bucks county is home to 12 historic bridges, some that are more than 150 years old. (photo by CR Rae)

Bucks county is home to 12 historic bridges, some that are more than 150 years old. (photo by CR Rae)

Make sure your family brings at least one hammer while you are wandering the country roads of the county. Why? To ring some rocks at Ringing Rocks Park. This huge field of boulders is a mecca for those who want to discover the variety of sounds the rocks create. Each takes on a sound of its own when hit with a hammer. Scientists are still trying to figure out why the 12,000-year-old rocks produce this sound. Bring enough hammers for everyone and have a “rock concert.” The park is on Ringing Rocks Road in Upper Black Eddy. Visit buckscounty.org and click on “Visitors” to find out more about the park.

Another iconic fall thing to do here is pick apples. A variety of orchards offer not only picking options but other things to do:

  • Tabora Farm & Orchard in Chalfont offers a full-service deli, a homemade bakery and homemade ice cream. Bring the kids along as the farm offers a huge sandbox, farm animals and more.
  • Shady Brook Farm in Yardley hosts Pumpkinfest and Horrorfest until Oct. 31. Some evenings are family-friendly, and on other nights as darkness falls, they say “the farm turns into a den of terror.”
  • At Solly’s Farm in Ivyland visitors can pick their own crops from apples to grapes and peppers to flowers. They offer soup, bakery items, preserves and more.

Finally, what better fall thing to do than visit a castle said to be haunted? Fonthill Castle in Doylestown is the former home of Henry Mercer, a well-known tile maker. The 44-room “home” is made from hand-mixed concrete and more than 100 years old, and the interior is decorated with a variety of tiles made by Mercer. His handcrafted work is displayed on the floors, walls and ceilings.

In their 55 exhibit rooms, travelers will find tools and products from the 18th and 19th centuries. Mercer was born in 1856 and died in 1930. During that time, he gathered quite a collection for his museum of more than 40,000 items. Family-friendly and interactive displays are available as you dive into their science and history.

For a list of current exhibits at Mercer Museum, tours of the Fonthill Castle and prices visit mercermuseum.org.

(from GateHouse Media/More Content Now)

 

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