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A typical view of the creek from Bedminster Township.
|Native name||Tachan Hoking, |
|Township|| Springfield |
|• location||The Lookout|
|• elevation||640 feet (200 m)|
|72 feet (22 m)|
|Length||29.5 miles (47.5 km)|
|Basin size||112 square miles (290 km2)|
|Progression||Tohickon Creek → Delaware River → Delaware Bay|
|River system||Delaware River|
|• left|| Dimple Creek |
|• right|| Morgan Creek |
|Bridges||Rocky Valley Road|
East Cherry Road
East Pumping Station Road
Pennsylvania Route 212 (Richlandtown Pike)
West Thatcher Road
Covered Bridge Road (Sheard's Mill Covered Bridge)
Pennsylvania Route 563 (Mountain View Drive)
South Park Road
Farm School Road
Pennsylvania Route 113 (Bedminster Road)
Pennsylvania Route 611 (Easton Road)
Randts Mill Road
Dark Hollow Road
Stover Park Road
Pennsylvania Route 32 (River Road)
|Slope||19.25 feet per mile (3.646 m/km)|
Tohickon Creek is a 29.5-mile-long (47.5 km) tributary of the Delaware River. Located entirely in Bucks County, in southeastern Pennsylvania, it rises in Springfield Township and has its confluence with the Delaware at Point Pleasant. It is dammed to form Lake Nockamixon.
Prior to European settlement, the area through which the creek runs was inhabited by the Lenape tribe. The area was called Tachan Hoking (pronounced Toc-ahn Hok Ing) or “Piece of Wood Area Place.”It could also mean Achtuhhu Ing (pronounced "Awk-too-who Ing") or "Deers Place." Early white settlers in the area noted the fast, constant current of the creek, and by the late eighteenth century a number of water-powered mills had sprung up along the lower portion of the Tohickon valley. Notable among these was the grist mill of Ralph Stover, in Plumstead Township. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, long after the mill had been shut down, the Stover heirs gave the area around the mill to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. After the Federal Works Progress Administration converted the area for recreational use, a Ralph Stover State Park was opened to the public in 1935.
The creation of Ralph Stover State Park was the beginning of the Tohickon Creek's shift from an industrial area to a recreational area. The next move in this direction came in 1958, when the United States Army Corps of Engineers dammed the creek just south of Quakertown, forming Tohickon Lake, another state park. It was later renamed Lake Nockamixon, another Lenape name meaning "place of soft soil."
More and more land along the creek was eventually turned into parkland. The next addition to the park was the High Rocks unit of Ralph Stover State Park, donated to the Commonwealth by the noted author James A. Michener, a local resident. It features vertical rock cliffs above the creek. Today another park, Tohickon Valley County Park, borders High Rocks on three sides and their trail systems interlace. Together they protect the steep valley that Tohickon Creek cuts through the hills south of the old grist mill.
The Boy Scouts of America also have a camp located along the creek, Camp Ockanickon, and a few private campgrounds are located along its course.
The Tohickon Creek is 29.5 miles (47.5 km) long, located entirely within Bucks County, is part of the Delaware River watershed, and drains of 112 square miles (290 km2). The GNIS I.D. Number is 1189623, the U.S. Department of the Interior stream code is 03110. It meets its confluence at the Delaware's 157.0 river mile.
Tohickon Creek is the longest waterway located entirely in Bucks County.Its tortuous course begins in the far north of the county, then generally winds east to the Delaware River. For the purpose of this article, its course can be divided into three main segments: the western half, Lake Nockamixon, and the eastern half.
Tohickon Creek begins its journey to the Delaware as a small, nondescript stream in Springfield Township on the slopes of The Lookout. From its source, it heads generally south, straight into Richland Township then Quakertown, the largest settlement along its entire course. It then takes a sharp turn east and for a while forms the boundary between Haycock and East Rockhill Townships. It takes one more turn south before heading into Lake Nockamixon.
Along this part of its route, the creek starts off small. Unlike the rest of its course, the ground is relatively flat and rock-free, giving it a slow current and somewhat muddy appearance. Because of the flatness of the area, Tohickon Creek's watershed along its western section is significantly larger than downstream. By the time the creek flows into Lake Nockamixon, it has already met about half of its tributaries.
As far as recreation goes, Camp Tohikanee and scenic Sheards Mill and Sheard's Mill Covered Bridge are located along this first part of the creek's route.
Almost exactly halfway through its route, the creek forms and runs through Lake Nockamixon. This is the only section of the course of significant distance where it flows northeast. It is about 5 miles (8 km) from where the stream becomes the lake and the dam where it becomes Tohickon Creek again. Along this distance it forms the boundary between Haycock and Bedminster Townships.
As the stream widens into the vast Lake Nockamixon, the current becomes almost undetectable. However, the deep water is by no means stagnant, and tends to stay clean and blue. For the first time along its course, the creek also supports a wide variety of fish, including walleye, pickerel, carp, and various kinds of bass and catfish.
This entire part of the route is contained in Nockamixon State Park. As far as recreation goes, boating and fishing are allowed in the lake water, and visitors may stay at park managed campgrounds along the southern shore of the lake or a nearby youth hostel.
Upon leaving Lake Nockamixon, Tohickon Creek becomes very different from the slow, tiny creek farther west. After leaving the lake it heads southeast, forming the boundary between Bedminster and Tinicum townships. It then begins heading in a generally eastern direction, though it constantly twists and curves for the rest of its route. Here it becomes the boundary between Tinicum and Plumstead townships, and flows through Ralph Stover State Park. At its very end it flows straight through the middle of the village of Point Pleasant and under the Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania Canal, then finally joins the Delaware River to be carried the rest of the way to the sea.
The ground along this part is very rocky and the creek quickly loses elevation, creating a clear, fast current. It is also along this part of its course that the creek dramatically cuts a valley into the steep hills along its sides. At the area popularly known as High Rocks, vertical walls of stone up to 200 ft (61 m) high rise above the northern edge of the creek. However, as the creek enters Point Pleasant, the ground evens out a bit and the creek becomes relatively more tranquil before entering the river.
Along this lower route of the creek, the rapids of the creek often produce whitewater when high-water conditions exist. At the very end of the creek, the village of Point Pleasant has developed into somewhat of a tourist destination, and visitors can see a number of scenic old bridges that cross the creek before it runs into the Delaware.
The Tohickon risees in Springfield Township on a layer of diabase which intruded into the Gettysburg and Newark basin during the Jurassic and Triassic. The diabase is typically dark gray to black, dense, and fine grained, consisting of predominately labradorite and augite.
It then flows through the Brunswick Formation laid down earlier, consisting of shale, mudstone, and siltstone. Mineralogy includes argillite and hornfels.
After passing through another extension of diabase, it continues its journey through alternating bands of the Brusnwick Formation and the Lockatong Formation until it reaches the Delaware. The Lockatong was laid down during the Triassic, consisting of dark argillite, shale, and some impure limestone and calcareous shale.
Since the 1930s, Tohickon Creek has established itself as one of the best recreational waterways in southeastern Pennsylvania. Along its course, it flows through three state parks: Nockamixon, Ralph Stover, and Delaware Canal. The eastern two thirds of its course are the most heavily used, and it presents many varied opportunities for any visitor.
Lake Nockamixon is the most visited spot along the creek's course. Boating is the most popular activity, and its main marina holds dozens of sail boats, and rents out smaller boats to visitors, too. Fishing is also a popular activity, and a fishing pier has been set up of the shore of the lake. Visitors can also hike or bike ride around the area, hunt in certain areas, and even camp if planning to stay for more than one day. When high-water conditions exist, normally in early March and late November, the dam at Lake Nockamixon releases surges of water for one day every few months. This turns Tohickon Creek into a whitewater course,and boaters can manage their ways the entire route from the lake to the Delaware River.
At the High Rocks unit of Ralph Stover State Park, visitors can rock climb up 200-foot (60 m) cliffs or look at the view from atop. A pathway, Ridge Trail, travels along the top of the wide valley from High Rocks and goes south into Tohickon Valley County Park towards Point Pleasant. At its very end, the creek passes beneath Delaware Canal State Park, where prior to the floods of 2004–2005 visitors could walk north all the way to Easton or south all the way to Bristol. The debris caught in the bridge in the adjacent picture is from this same flood that destroyed entire parts of the canal. Reconstruction of the park is currently underway.
|Rocky Valley Road||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|East Cherry Road||7437||8 metres (26 ft)||2||1||Concrete slab||1966||-||40°28'44.2"N||75°21'13.18"W|
|California Road||7425||14 metres (46 ft)||2||1||Prestressed concrete box beam or girders - Multiple||1970||-||40°28'30"N||75°20'54"W|
|East Pumping Station Road||7578||41 metres (135 ft)||2||2||Prestressed concrete box beam or girders - Multiple||1982||-||40°27'49"N||75°20'26.8"W|
|Pennsylvania Route 212 (Richlandtown Pike)||6937||66 metres (217 ft)||2||2||Steel Stringer/multi-beam or girder||1964||-||40°26'53.5"N||75°19'45.95"W|
|Erie Road||7576||18 metres (59 ft)||2||2||Steel stringer/multi-beam or girder||1932||-||40°26'40.5"N||75°19'11.2"W|
|West Thatcher Road||7413||61 metres (200 ft)||2||2||Steel stringer/multi-beam or girder||1973||-||40°26'25.7"N||75°18'40.4"W|
|Richlandtown Road||7416||28 metres (92 ft)||2||1||Steel stringer/multi-beam or girder||1974||2004||40°26'56"N||75°17'20.16"W|
|Covered Bridge Road (Sheard's Mill Covered Bridge)||7470||38 metres (125 ft)||1||1||Covered bridge||1873||1971||40°27'17.5"N||75°16'44.06"W|
|Pennsylvania Route 563 (Mountain View Drive)||7054||86 metres (282 ft)||2||3||Prestressed concrete stringer/multi-beam or girder||1972||-||40°26'8.2"N||75°15'54.13"W|
|South Park Road||7469||92 metres (302 ft)||2||3||Prestressed concrete stringer/nulti-beam or girder||1976||-||40°28'3.5"N||75°10'47.93"W|
|Farm School Road||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Pennsylvania Route 113 (Bedminster Road)||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|U.S. Route 611 (Easton Road)||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Randts Mill Road||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Dark Hollow Road||42700||52 metres (171 ft)||2||2||Prestressed concrete continuous box beam or girders - single or spread||2004||-||40°26'18"N||75°7'30"W|
|Stover Park Road||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Pennsylvania Route 32 (River Road)||6807||48 metres (157 ft)||2||2||Concrete Arch-deck||1922||-||40°25'22.2"N||75°3'59"W|
Tinicum Township is a township in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 3,995 at the 2010 census.
Neshaminy Creek is a 40.7-mile-long (65.5 km) stream that runs entirely through Bucks County, Pennsylvania, rising south of the borough of Chalfont, where its north and west branches join. Neshaminy Creek flows southeast toward Bristol Township and Bensalem Township to its confluence with the Delaware River. The name "Neshaminy" originates with the Lenni Lenape and is thought to mean "place where we drink twice". This phenomenon refers to a section of the creek known as the Neshaminy Palisades, where the course of the water slows and changes direction at almost a right angle, nearly forcing the water back upon itself. These palisades are located in Dark Hollow Park, operated by the county, and are flanked by Warwick Township to the south and Buckingham Township to the north.
Nockamixon State Park is a Pennsylvania state park on 5,283 acres (2,138 ha) in Bedminster and Haycock Townships in northern Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The park is one of the most popular in southeastern Pennsylvania, with most tourists visiting in the summer months.
Pennsylvania Route 32 is a scenic two-lane highway that runs along the west side of the Delaware River in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It begins at U.S. Route 1 in Falls Township outside of Morrisville and ends at PA 611 in the village of Kintnersville in Nockamixon Township. PA 32 passes through Washington Crossing Historic Park, a Revolutionary War-themed historical park on the site of George Washington's crossing on the night of December 25–26, 1776. It also passes through the boroughs of Morrisville, Yardley, and New Hope.
Point Pleasant is an unincorporated community in Tinicum and Plumstead Townships of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States. It lies on both sides of Tohickon Creek by the creek's confluence with the Delaware River; the creek is the dividing line between the townships. The ZIP code for the post office in Point Pleasant is 18950.
Lake Nockamixon is a reservoir in southeastern Pennsylvania, United States, and the largest lake in Bucks County. It is formed by a dam on Tohickon Creek and is the centerpiece of Nockamixon State Park. Swimming is not allowed in the lake, but boating is popular. The park maintains a marina and a boat rental as well as three other boat-launch areas.
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. Ralph Stover State Park is two miles (3.2 km) north of Point Pleasant near Pennsylvania Route 32.
Delaware Canal State Park is a 830-acre (336 ha) Pennsylvania state park in Bucks and Northampton Counties in Pennsylvania in the United States. The main attraction of the park is the Delaware Canal which runs parallel to the Delaware River between Easton and Bristol.
Ralph Stover was an American Justice of the Peace and politician in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Route 563 (PA 563) is a state highway in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The route runs 21.1 mi (33.96 km) from PA 63 in Upper Salford Township northeast to PA 412 in Nockamixon Township. The road runs through mostly rural areas in the northern parts of Montgomery and Bucks counties. Along the way, the route passes through the northern part of Perkasie and forms a concurrency with PA 313 in East Rockhill Township. North of here, PA 563 runs through Nockamixon State Park, heading to the north of Lake Nockamixon.
Henry Stauffer was born in Ibersheim, Germany on 1724 and died November 27, 1777. He immigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 9, 1749, and settled in Bedminster on 23 acres (93,000 m2), purchased of William Allen, June 12, 1762. The purchase of this land was recorded in the history of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Please see below this recording.
Haycock Mountain is a locally prominent hill with the highest summit in Bucks County. It rises above Nockamixon State Park, in the Delaware River drainage of southeastern Pennsylvania. Early settlers named it simply for its "resemblance to a cock of hay."
Harrow, Pennsylvania is an unincorporated community in Nockamixon Township, Bucks County located just NE of Lake Nockamixon. It is drained by the Tohickon Creek into the Delaware River. It is served by Routes 412, 563, and 611. It is served by the Kintnersville and Ottsville post offices with the ZIP codes of 18930 and 18942, respectively.
Aquetong Creek is a tributary of the Delaware River in Solebury Township and New Hope, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Rising from the Aquetong Spring, now known as Ingham Spring, just south of the intersection of U.S. Route 202, Lower Mountain Road, and Ingham Road, it runs about 10.75 miles (17.30 km) to its confluence with the Delaware.
Geddes Run is a tributary of the Tohickon Creek contained wholly within Plumstead Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in the United States.
Haycock Creek is a tributary of the Tohickon Creek in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in the United States and is part of the Delaware River watershed.
Threemile Run is a tributary of the Tohickon Creek in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in the United States and is part of the Delaware River watershed.
Dimple Creek is a tributary of the Tohickon Creek in Haycock Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania in the United States. It is part of the Delaware River watershed.
Beaver Creek is a tributary of Tinicum Creek in Bridgeton, Nockamixon, and Tinicum Townships in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The creek is part of the Delaware River watershed.
Rapp Creek is a tributary of Tinicum Creek in Nockamixon Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania in the United States. Rapp Creek is part of the Delaware River watershed.