Tyler State Park
Located 33 miles from Center City Philadelphia, Tyler State Park consists of 1,711 acres in Bucks County. Park roads, trails, and facilities are carefully nestled within the original farm and woodland setting. Neshaminy Creek meanders through the park, dividing the land into several interesting sections.
Hiking - Biking - Horseback Riding - Picnicking - Picnic Groves - Fishing - Boating - Disc Golf - Education - Theater - Center for the Arts - Education - Cross-country Skiing - Sledding - Ice Fishing - Ice Skating
Seasons and Hours: The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk. The park office is open specific hours. Contact the park office for facility seasons and hours.
Picnicking: Welcome! All picnic areas have picnic tables, restrooms and drinking water and are surrounded by mowed, grassy areas for sunbathing and relaxing.
Boardwalk Picnic Area: first-come, first-served
Boat House Picnic Area: first-come, first-served
Maze Picnic Area: first-come, first-served
Mill Dam Picnic Area: first-come, first-served
Upper Plantation Picnic Area: reservable
Reservable Picnic Groves
Call toll-free 888-PA-PARKS for information, pricing and reservations.
Hickory Nut Picnic Grove: reservable
Lower Plantation Picnic Grove: reservable
Boating: electric motors only
Motorboats must display a current boat registration. Non-powered boats launched in the park must display one of the following: boat registration; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks, available at most state park offices; launching permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on boating rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Canoe Rental: The Canoe Rental is open daily from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, weather permitting. Hours of operation are 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The last canoe goes out at 5:00 PM. A deposit and driver's license is required. Special rates apply for groups of 4 or more. There are also half day and full day rates. www.tylerstateparkboats.com
Fishing: Neshaminy Creek is stocked with trout and provides excellent fishing opportunities. Anglers may fish along the banks of Neshaminy Creek or from a canoe or kayak. Warmwater species include sunfish, black crappie, carp, smallmouth bass, and other panfish.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Go to the U. S. Geological Survey Web site for the water level of Neshaminy Creek Near Rushland. http://waterdata.usgs.gov/pa/nwis/uv/?site_no=01464750&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060,00010
Park trails lead visitors through areas rich in historic and scenic interest. The trails provide excellent views of the park and surrounding countryside. You can take a short walk or a long hike covering many miles. Several parking lots near the outer perimeter of the park allow access to remote areas and trails.
A large portion of the park is interconnected by paved hiking trails. Bicycle usage is permitted only on designated paved trails. Many trails permit multiple users, so please remember to share the trail. If you’re riding a bicycle, slow down and use caution on hills and around curves. Please stay alert for horseback riders when hiking on the equestrian trails.
Gravel hiking trails east of Neshaminy Creek connect the picnic areas. Access to trails on the western side of the park is available via the causeway across Neshaminy Creek. Here you will find most of the park’s bicycle and equestrian trails. Mountain bikes are prohibited on non-paved trails. If you ever find yourself lost or disoriented, locate a paved trail and follow the signs to the boathouse.
Biking: 10.5 miles
Trails are named at each intersection. Most of the bicycle trails are over eight feet wide, paved, and designed for easy, two-way travel. Paved trails are multiple-use trails. Be a courteous and safe bicycle rider.
Picnic tables are along the bicycle trails for rest stops.
Horseback Riding: 10.5 miles of bridle trails
Parking for horse trailers is near Number One Lane Trail in the large parking lot across from the arts center, in the Fisherman’s lot on PA 332 across from Spring Garden Mill, and at the Schofield Ford Covered Bridge parking lot off of Swamp Road. Hitching posts and a mounting platform are provided at the covered bridge access area.
Cooper Trail: 3 miles, blue blazes, easiest hiking
Hay Barn Grass Trail: 4 miles, green blazes, more difficult hiking
Neshaminy Creek Trail: 2.5 miles, red blazes, more difficult hiking
Disc Golfing: One of the top ranked courses in the country, this 36-hole course begins at the Upper Plantation Picnic Area. Much like regular golf, but using a “Frisbee” or disc, the object is to complete each hole in as few strokes as possible. Course maps with rules and scorecards are available at the park office and at the Upper Plantation Picnic Area parking lot. The Bucks County Disc Golf Alliance offers tournaments, clinics, and leagues. www.bcdga.com
Cross-country Skiing: Cross-country skiers may use the edge of fields and non-paved hiking trails when snow cover permits.
Sledding: Slopes below the Upper Plantation Picnic Area parking lot and west of the covered bridge are great for sledding and tobogganing when conditions permit.
Ice Fishing: Neshaminy Creek sometimes freezes and ice fishing is permitted on the creek outside of the ice skating area. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Ice Skating: Neshaminy Creek sometimes freezes and ice-skating is permitted near the boathouse warming area. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Home to the Langhorne Players, Inc., the Spring Garden Mill was once a grain and feed mill. The Langhorne Players are a volunteer community theater company that has converted the mill into a small theater for the production of unusual, thought-provoking plays and cultural events. www.langhorneplayers.org
Tyler Park Center for the Arts
The Tyler Park Center for the Arts occupies a building that was once an equestrian and hay barn. The arts center converted the barn and surrounding buildings into artist dwellings, workshops, and studios. They offer classes and workshops. The annual Crafts in the Meadow Fall Invitational Craft Show helps support the arts center. www.tylerparkarts.org
Environmental Education and Interpretation
The park offers a wide variety of environmental education, recreation, and interpretive programs. Through hands-on activities, guided walks, history hikes, and workshops, participants gain appreciation, understanding and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural, historical, and cultural resources.
Curriculum-based environmental education programs are available for schools and youth groups. Teacher workshops are also available. Group programs must be arranged in advance and may be scheduled by calling the park office.
Programs are available from September through May. For more information, contact the park office.
Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.
Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.
Access for People with Disabilities
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.
Three main habitats dominate Tyler State Park: forests, fields, and wetlands. The mixed hardwood forests are composed of oak, elm, maple, beech, ash, and walnut. They are great habitat for forest birds like warblers, tanagers, thrushes, and vireos. Native dogwood, spicebush, witch hazel, and viburnum make for a colorful understory.
Besides the many mowed and agricultural fields, the park manages fields planted with native, warm-season grasses. These grasses provide habitat for many animals, including field birds like red-wing blackbirds, bobolinks, grasshopper sparrows, and meadowlarks.
The native gardens, wildflower meadow, and landscaping by the park office are maintained by volunteers and are a popular location for photographers and native plant interpretation.
The richest and most diverse habitats of the park are the wetlands that boarder Neshaminy Creek. These areas have unique plants, such as skunk cabbage, ferns, and waterwort, which can survive in the perpetually moist soil. Neshaminy Creek is also home to large snapping turtles, eels, frogs, water snakes, and muskrats. While the stream north of the Spring Garden Mill Dam is a popular spot for turtles and wood ducks.
Farming has been a tradition here for more than 300 years. About one quarter of the park is still under cultivation using modern conservation practices. With the changing of the seasons, field crops like winter wheat, grains, corn, soybeans, and hay provide a breathtaking pastoral landscape.
Several fields were planted with native grasses in 1999. These fields will provide habitat for a variety of wildlife.
History and Park Development
The area that is now Tyler State Park was originally inhabited by the Lenni Lanape. Colonists purchased some of the land from William Penn in 1682.
Early in the 18th century, people farmed the land and families like the Coopers, Blakers, and Twinings built mills, houses, and barns. Neshaminy Creek supplied power for several mills, including the Cooper Mill and the Spring Garden Mill. The paved trails in Tyler State Park were once farm roads. Many of the trail names indicate the farm routes they once were; Mill Dairy Trail connected Spring Garden Mill and the Thompson Dairy, whereas Stable Mill Trail went to the Tyler Stables.
The original stone homes in the park are fine examples of early rural Pennsylvania farm dwellings. Ten farmhouses date from the 18th and 19th centuries and are currently being leased as private residences.
The Buckman Barn, located near the intersection of routes 332 and 413, is one of four barns in the park. It is a bank barn, which is built into a slope to provide easy wagon access to both levels. The Buckman Barn wasn’t built until the late 19th century, but sits on land purchased directly from William Penn in 1682.
The Spring Garden Mill still stands in the park near where route 332 crosses Neshaminy Creek. Although it now houses a community theater, the structure reflects its original purpose. From the outside, visitors can see where wagons pulled up to the mill and grains were hoisted by pulley, the waterwheel housing, and the ventilation cupola.
Before becoming a park, the Tyler Estate, also known as Neshaminy Farms consisted of 18 farms over 2,000 acres of land. The Tyler Estate was owned by George F. and Stella Elkins Tyler who purchased the land between 1919 and 1929. Their first purchase was the Solly Farm, at the north end of the park. The Solly House served as the Tyler’s country home until the mansion was constructed. The Tyler mansion, now part of Bucks County Community College, was designed in the French Norman style and consisted of 45 main rooms, two dozen fireplaces, a Dutch Room, and an English Pub.
Tyler Stables, built in the 1920s, is a massive Colonial Revival barn and building that now houses Tyler Park Center for the Arts. It was built by Mr. Tyler to house his workers and horse groomers and board 25 horses. In addition, they raised poultry, sheep, and pigs. On weekends, Mr. Tyler would host the Huntington Valley Hunt Club for riding and fox hunting.
The land that is now Tyler State Park was acquired through Project 70 funding and has been developed using funds from Project 500, the Pennsylvania “Land and Water Conservation and Reclamation Act.” The park officially opened on May 25, 1974.
Schofield Ford Covered Bridge
Between 1869 and 1871, the citizens of Newtown and Northampton Townships petitioned the Bucks County Commissioners to build a bridge connecting their two communities. By 1873, the bridge was completed and for the next 118 years it played an important and changing role in the social and economic life of Bucks County.
The finished bridge, built entirely of hemlock and oak, was supported by two stone abutments and a center pier. It stretched 166 feet across the creek, making it the longest covered bridge in Bucks County, as well as the only double-span bridge. The post and beam construction method, typical for the time, easily bore the weight of horses, wagons, and carriages traversing the old Holland Pike for business and pleasure.
When the covered bridge was constructed in the 1870s, it received no formal name from the County Commissioners, but took on the names of the farming families adjacent to it. Near the end of the 19th century, the Solly family owned the land and the bridge became known as the Solly Bridge. In 1917, George Tyler purchased the Solly land, and a 1931 map of the Tyler property refers to the bridge area as Schofield Ford, the name which was adopted when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased the land from the Tyler Estate in 1964.
In 1991, this county landmark was destroyed by fire. Using authentic materials and methods, a group of concerned citizens from various parts of the county undertook a united effort to rebuild this historic bridge. After five and a half years of planning and fund-raising, the Schofield Ford Bridge Committee organized a coalition to rebuild the bridge in the summer of 1997.
On September 6, 1997, the bridge was dedicated to the volunteers and contributors who made the reconstruction possible.
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DiscoverE has programs for young people ages 4 to 17, provided by Pennsylvania State Park educators. By combining recreation and education, we hope to motivate children to learn more and return often, leading to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment and conservation leadership.
In Watershed Education, teachers and students assess water quality of a local stream on a quarterly basis and develop strategies to solve local water quality problems.
ECO Camp - Exploring Careers Outdoors - is a week-long residential camp for a cross-section of high school youth from across Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Participate in action-packed, hands on activities and recreational adventures in Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests that expose youth to conservation, recreation and careers in natural resources. Learn how people make a living working in the outdoors.
Explore education for more information on these and other programs.
Explore the Calendar of Events to find a program near you.
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Tyler State Park
Information on nearby attractions is available from Visit Bucks County. www.visitbuckscounty.com
At Delaware Canal State Park visitors enjoy biking, hiking, boating, educational programs, and learning about the canal building era of American history.
At Benjamin Rush State Park visitors enjoy biking, hiking, and gardening.
Washington Crossing Historic Park is dedicated to interpreting Washington's historic crossing of the Delaware River on December 25, 1776. In addition to the annual crossing reenactment, the park offers a look at historically preserved buildings of the 18th and 19th centuries, a collection of Durham boat replicas which are used in the annual crossing, videos, guided tours, and special programs. The Bowman's Hill Tower gives an excellent view of the Delaware River valley.
Maps and Downloadables
Below are many of the maps and publications for this park. You can read them or download them and might need special software (all free) to view the publications.
You must have the free Adobe Reader to view the maps and brochures that are in pdf format (.pdf).
Alternate versions of the text of the brochures are in rich text and text formats. Click on the files to view them. To download (.rtf) files:
Interactive GIS Map
The Interactive GIS Map uses Geographic Information Systems to create a map that does not need to be downloaded and features driving directions, searchable park amenities and customizable maps. Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
The main entrance to the park is at the intersection of Swamp Road and PA 413 (Newtown Bypass). Take Exit 49, Newtown/Yardley, of I-95 and follow PA 413 North. The park entrance is on the left.
For GPS units:
GPS DD: Lat. 40.23103 Long. -74.95315
Driving Directions: The Interactive GIS Map has turn-by-turn driving directions to the park office from the Park Information Window. Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
Tyler State Park