For my final day in New Hope the major goal was to ride the excursion train. I had a reservation for Sunday Brunch on the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad train for 10:30 a.m. However I checked out of my hotel around 8:00 a.m. and parked at Union Square again. This time I used my credit card to pay for a parking receipt that was good until 3:15 p.m.
Since I had several hours before the train departed, I walked over the New Hope-Lambertville Bridge into Lambertville and took some photos of various establishments including The People’s Store and Panoply Books on North Union Street. I didn’t really spend a lot of time researching Lambertville, but this small town in New Jersey does give you many other options when you are visiting New Hope. Eventually I found an entrance to the Delaware and Raritan Canal and decided to follow its towpath. The New Jersey canal towpath was a lot more crowded than the Pennsylvania side had been last evening. It may have been because it was a Sunday morning and there was nothing else for people to do. I walked so far that I reached the Route 202 toll bridge before I finally turned back to walk on the other side on the canal. While on the return trip I came across an abandoned railroad freight car which had been painted with graffiti. It was a pretty interesting sight so I took many photos of that. Eventually I came out at Bridge Street and walked back across the New Hope-Lambertville Bridge into New Hope.
Before the Sunday Brunch train ride I still had time to visit the Bucks County Playhouse where I walked around the building to the Delaware River bank and took photos of the Aquetong Creek dam spillway which forms a man-made waterfall right next to the Bucks County Playhouse. I finally made my way to the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad at around 10:00 a.m. when the ticket booth opened. I picked up my ticket which came in an envelope with one of their brochures. Although the train boarded at 10:30 a.m. I think we waited an half hour before it actually started moving. They waited until they had brought all the food onto the train. There was a dish of grapes, fruit, and a few small muffins to munch on before the main course. I didn’t remember what I ordered but it turned out to be the Monte Cristo with Griddled Turkey, Ham and Swiss Cheese. This was a huge sandwich so I was only able to eat half of it. The train ride lasted 45 minutes and there wasn’t much to see except for the woods. It was quite similar to the excursion train at Jim Thorpe PA. The train went a little faster on the way back than it had on the way to Lahaska Station.
Upon my return to New Hope I had three final things to do before heading home; buying a book at Panoply Books in Lambertville, doing the Parry Mansion tour, and visiting the New Hope Arts Center. I walked across the New Hope-Lambertville Bridge yet again and made my way to Panoply Books on North Union Street. There I bought Wormwood Star: The Magickal Life of Marjorie Cameron which has been on my wish list for long time. This is a biography of an occult artist. The fact that this bookstore had this book may be another consequence of New Hope’s peculiar concentration of psychics and Wicca stores.
I got back to New Hope in time for the first tour of the Parry Mansion at 1:00 p.m. The tour was supposed to begin with a short film but they were having problems with the laptop so we skipped that. I saw various rooms on the ground floor and bedrooms on the second floor decorated according to the style of various eras; Colonial, Federal, Empire, and Victorian. After the tour I rushed to the New Hope Arts Center where I saw an exhibit of local artwork. I finally left New Hope for the three hour drive home at 2:00 p.m.
New Hope is definitely one of the best small towns in Pennsylvania for a tourist. Only Jim Thorpe PA would be comparable. I was impressed by the many boutiques, the many art galleries, and the many fine restaurants. Even though I thought I wouldn’t find enough things to keep myself occupied, I was actually a bit rushed to experience everything. The walks along the canal towpaths certainly require a lot of time. I’ve gathered enough information on New Hope to plan future trips but since New Hope is so far away I probably won’t make any casual weekend trips.