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group of people whitewater rafting at Ralph Stover State Park

At just a 20-minute drive from Doylestown, Ralph Stover State Park is a popular destination for those who want to escape into nature.

Occupying just 45 acres, it may lack some of the size of other parks in the area. However it more than makes up for this deficiency with the range of activities you can do there.

Rock climbing on High Rocks and whitewater kayaking on Tohickon Creek are two of its biggest draws, attracting people from all over Pennsylvania and the surrounding states.

However, for those who enjoy more gentle pursuits, the likes of hiking, fishing and picnicking are also popular, as is birding, wildlife watching and photography.

As there is no camping available at the park, it is visited on a day use basis. However, for those who want to stay overnight in their trailer or RV, there are several campgrounds within easy driving distance where you can base yourself.

Activities

If you are intending to visit Ralph Stover State Park you will be able to enjoy a wide selection of recreational activities whilst you are there.

What follows is a brief overview of some of the main pursuits you can take part in.

Whitewater Boating at Ralph Stover State Park

Under the right, high water conditions, you will be able to enjoy whitewater boating at the park.

This takes the form of either kayaking or closed-deck canoeing, which you can launch into Tohickon Creek.

The course is a fairly challenging one and the creek contains numerous drop-offs, particularly at the High Rocks cliffs downhill.

Similarly, the Tohickon Creek, with its obstructions, strainers and drop-offs, can also be very treacherous. For this reason you should never attempt to tackle them alone.

Rock Climbing at Ralph Stover State Park

For those into climbing, the park offers cliff access, but only for technical rock climbing.

It takes place at the High Rocks which range from around 30 feet in height to over 150 feet and sprawl for around three quarters of a mile long.

Overall, it has over 100 climbing routes which consist mostly of traditional climbing and top rope. That said, some of the areas close to the edge of the creek may be appropriate for bouldering.

For those who want to scale the High Rocks Climbing Area, climbing safety equipment is mandatory. However, climbers should note that the park does not maintain climbing ropes, hardware, fixed anchors or cliff faces, so it is your responsibility to look after your own safety.

This is especially important to remember while climbing, as the spectacular views of the Tohickon Creek Gorge are breathtaking – making it easy to lose concentration.

Fishing at Ralph Stover State Park

In addition to whitewater boating, Tohickon Creek also accommodates several warmwater species of fish.

They include carp, catfish, smallmouth bass and sunfish which you are more than welcome to catch if you have a valid state fishing license.

Trails at Ralph Stover State Park

As well as the creek, the park also has several trails that meander through the park.

Most of them are quite short and vary in terms of degrees of difficulty. However, they all showcase a unique aspect of the park.

The Blue section trail for instance, extends for 1.6 miles and is an easy trail that can be used for both mountain biking and hiking. It takes you to 200-foot cliffs that present spectacular views of Tohickon Creek’s horseshoe bend.

Similarly, the Yellow Section runs for 1.9 miles and is considered a more difficult out-and-back hiking trail. It connects with the Orange Trail which takes you to one of the better rock climbing spots in the park.

Picnicking at Ralph Stover State Park

All that rock climbing, white water boating, hiking and fishing can be hungry work. Thankfully, the park has a picturesque picnic area located at Tohickon Creek.

Offering a good amount of shade, you will find tables and pavilions there for you to enjoy an outdoor meal.

Several charcoal grills are available for guests to cook warm food and there are also vault restrooms available.

During your picnic you are not allowed to consume alcohol and are expected to dispose of your trash in a respectful and appropriate manner.

Pets

The park is technically pet friendly, though you might want to contact the main office before you arrive to confirm its full policy.

During their time at the park your four legged friends would not be allowed in specific parts of it. Wherever it goes it will also have to be restrained on a hand held leash that is not longer than six foot.

Additionally, your four legged friend should be well behaved and not trouble other park guests or the flora and fauna. Owners should also clean up after they make a mess and dispose of the poop appropriately.

Camping

There are no camping facilities available at the park. However, for those who want to camp overnight in their trailer, tent or RV there are several campgrounds in the surrounding area which can accommodate you.

These include the Deer Wood Campground in Pipersville, Tohickon Family Campground in Quakertown, Dogwood Haven Family Campground in Upper Black Eddy, Ringing Rocks Family Campground in Upper Black Eddy.

Between them, they offer a range of camping options that include everything from primitive sites to those with connections for water, electricity and even sewage. You should also find cabins and lodges available to hire too.

Depending on which campground you decide to stay at amenities may include flush toilets, warm showers, a laundry, dump station, children’s playground or camp store.

Park Location

Ralph Stover State Park
6011 State Park Rd
Pipersville, PA 18947
Phone: 610.982.5560

Park Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing the hiking trails at Ralph Stover State Park: