Living in Monroe County, PA gives us immediate access to the Delaware State Forest. 83,519 acres spanning four counties offering boating, camping, scenic beauty and of course, great roads for motorcycling. Today we’re off to see Grey Towers in Milford, PA.
Milford was founded in 1796 after the American Revolutionary War as a settlement on the Delaware River by Judge John Biddis. He named the settlement after his ancestral home in Wales. I first visited Milford in 1984 and it seems to have retained its look and feel to the present day. Restaurants, antique shops, old hotels, bars, museums, etc. offer more than enough for a day trip to this area with even more things to do within an hour’s radius of this area. A quick google search will yield enough things to do in the area to warrant many return trips.
The Grey Towers National Historical site is located just off of route 6 west of Milford in Dingman Township. It is the ancestral home of Gifford Pinchot, the first director of the United States Forest Service and twice elected governor of Pennsylvania. Built in 1886, it was donated by the family to the Forest Service in 1963 and three years later was designated a National Historic Landmark. Its French chateau appearance is complimented with exquisite landscaping and the 102 acre grounds to make for a day trip of exploring. Self-Guided tours of the grounds are permitted. We paid for the tour of the inside and wandered around the grounds a bit waiting for our start time.
The rooms inside were wonderful but we were disappointed it only included the first floor. The tour features a large entrance hall, billiard room, dining room, library, and a sitting room. The guide will also take you outside to view the grounds close to the house and as with the inside, there are numerous stories and history behind many of the other structures all around you. Probably the most famous story is the visit from President John F. Kennedy in September of 1963 to accept the donation of the site to the United States Forest service. It was to be one of the last public appearances of the president as he was assassinated less than two months later.
It was time to head home as we made our way back through the town of Milford to backtrack on route 209 south that cuts through the mostly undeveloped Delaware State Forest. We’ll be back there again someday to hike the grounds and of course spend some time in the town of Milford. It’s a nice area to point the bikes towards.