Milford, Pennsylvania is a historic town in the beautiful Poconos Mountains. Visitors have access to an array of outdoor adventures that are fun for the entire family. Top Milford attractions include Grey Towers National Historic Site, Raymondskill Falls, the Upper Mill, Milford Beach, and Columns Museum.
1. Grey Towers National Historic Site
© Grey Towers National Historic Site
Built in 1886 by James Pinchot, Grey Towers is also referred to as Gifford Pinchot House or The Pinchot Institute. James recognized the increasing destruction of natural resources and urged his eldest son, Gifford Pinchot, to consider a career in forestry.
Together, the family introduced the idea of conservation, which led to Grey Towers now being one of the strongest supporters of conservation education, schools, and youth programs. Visitors will enjoy exploring Grey Towers and the 102 acres it sits on; the site is filled with trails, forestry, and wildlife, while the mansion itself hosts educational events, walks, and other guided tours.
122 Old Owego Turnpike, Milford, PA 18337, 570-296-9630
2. Raymondskill Falls
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The tallest waterfall in the state of Pennsylvania, Raymondskill Falls is a part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The waterfall has three tiers, and combined, it is over 150 feet tall.
Visitors are invited to view the majestic waterfall, which is 4 feet shy of Niagara, from either of the two viewing platforms: one near the head of the falls and the other near the bottom tier.
Visitors can also hike to the waterfall and explore the surrounding areas. There are three other waterfalls nearby: Dingmans Falls, Shohola Falls, and Bushkill Falls.
3. The Upper Mill
© The Upper Mill
Built by James Burton between 1804 and 1837, the Upper Mill is a fully restored, operating, water-powered gristmill listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Open to visitors for free self-guided tours, the mill allows them to go back in time and catch a glimpse of life in rural America over 150 years ago.
Historically, the Upper Mill served as a hub for local tradesmen and consisted of the gristmill, a black smith, and wood and metal shops. It is now home to boutiques, a café, bakery, and a bar.
Water & Mill Streets, Milford, PA 18337, 570-409-4646
4. Milford Beach & the McDade Recreational Trail
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Visitors can come prepared to swim their stress away in the Delaware River at Milford Beach; picnic areas, a pavilion, a boat launch, a canoe launch, restrooms, and lifeguards are available to ensure a fun trip for the entire family.
It's a perfect place to discover Milford's natural surroundings and to explore the McDade Recreational Trail, which has panoramic views of the river, bubbling streams, forests, farm fields, and historic landscapes visitors can admire from the many observation decks. The recreation site has been popular with hikers, bikers, and other adventurers since 1945.
378 US-6, Milford, PA 18337, 570-296-7421
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5. Pike County Historical Society & Columns Museum
© Pike County Historical Society
Since 1930, the Pike County Historical Society (PSHS) and Columns Museum has been accumulating artifacts and archives involving the people, places, and events of Pike County's remarkable history. "The Columns," a manse built in 1904 by businessman Dennis McLaughlin, was added to the collection in the 1980s.
Visitors are invited to peek into the history of Pike County; exhibits include the Lincoln Flag, World War II posters, a collection of books and art, and vintage clothing - many from famed Pike County residents. Visitors can plan their visit around the PCHSs events calendar, which hosts civil war encampment sets and meet and greets with many individuals.
608 Broad St., Milford, PA 18337, 570-296-8126
6. Badea & Soul Day Spa
Though Milford is known for entertainment and adventure, it is also a wonderful place for relaxation. Badea & Soul is a day spa for Milford's visitors to unwind and pamper themselves. The spa has a lot on offer from Shiatsu and Thai massages to deep cleansing or acne treatment facials.
There are a variety of body scrubs and body wrap options available, including the Mediterranean Salt Glow, Honey & Sugar, or a Slimming Body Wrap. The spa is also famed for medicinal massages; lymphatic drainage, labor-inducing reflexology, cupping therapy, and ear candling are some of the options they offer. Many of the treatments can be scheduled for couples or groups, ensuring that guests have the most personalized experience possible.
405 Broad Street, Milford, PA 18337, 570-409-6540
7. Waterwheel Cafe, Bakery & Bar
A favorite for locals and visitors alike, Waterwheel Café is a bakery and bar in the heart of Milford. Since 1989 the café has been the go-to spot for many who have been drawn to the casual atmosphere and flavorful menu on offer.
The menu displays an eclectic mix of the chef's talents, and choices include lamb chops, skirt steak, and filet mignon, as well delicious main courses with a Vietnamese flair such as an oven-roasted salmon, or jumbo shrimp and scallops in a lemongrass curry sauce.
Guests can enjoy good food and cold drinks amidst the great live music at the Waterwheel Café.
150 Water Street, Milford, PA 18337, 570-296-2383
8. Black Bear Film Festival
A celebration of art and independent cinema, the Black Bear Film Festival is an annual festival dedicated to promoting independent films and filmmakers and to honor the role Milford played in early American filmmaking colonies.
The event is held every October, and visitors can enjoy the opening night gala and movie, various film workshops, and an opportunity to meet budding and renowned filmmakers and other artists. There are complementing film screenings, special events, and workshops for visitors to attend throughout the year - these events are a great one-off to understanding the atmosphere of the Black Bear Film Festival.
114 E Catharine St., Milford, PA, 570-409-0909
9. Golden Fish Gallery
The Longendorfers, a family of artists, have owned the Golden Fish Gallery since the 1970s. The gallery features the artwork of all three members of the family. John Longendorfer creates contemporary works that lean toward medieval fantasy while his wife Lillian Longendorfer has a lot of pastel and oil work in impressionistic style on display.
Their son Edwin Longendorfer is a self-taught artist with many unique works. Visitors can enjoy a number of events at the Golden Fish gallery, including a monthly art show committed to promoting local artists and craftspeople. The works of these artists include jewelry, souvenirs, mosaics, and carvings, giving visitors a sense of the variety of art Milford offers.
307 Broad St, Milford, PA, 570-296-0413
10. Milford Music Festival
© Milford Music Festival/Facebook
What used to be the Milford Jazz Festival since 2002 was reestablished in 2013 as the Milford Music Festival, a non-profit organization with a calendar of cultural events to showcase new and emerging talents in Milford. The annual music festival is held every June and elevates the exposure locals and visitors have to the arts while giving back to the community as much as possible.
The Milford Music Festival also hosts and participates in community events such as an annual fundraiser, sidewalk shopping sales, a light holiday tree lighting celebration in December, and many other occurrences throughout the year for visitors to enjoy.
11. Kittatinny River Trips & Ziplines
Milford is an adventurous, outdoorsy, town, and Kittatinny Canoes ensures that visitors make the most of their visit. From tubes, boats, and rafts to canoes and kayaks, there are many river trip options that allow visitors to get in the water and up close and personal with the beauty of Milford's nature.
Going through breathtaking scenery in calm waters or white water rapids, visitors are sure to enjoy themselves and are urged to bring a picnic lunch, relax, swim, and spend a day on the river. Kittatinny Canoes also accommodates camping, zip lining, and paintball.
River Beach Campsites in Milford, PA, 800-356-2852
12. Action Bikes & Outdoor
At the foot of the Pocono Mountains, Action Bikes & Outdoor is a full service bike shop in the Delaware River Valley. Visitors can expect to find bike rental services, bike, kayak, canoe, and accessory sales, and a bike repair shop on site.
They can also schedule group rides offering views that can't be seen anywhere else with the Cycling Club or participate in one of the many other events scheduled by Action Bikes. The team members that comprise Action Bikes & Outdoors are faithful bike and adventure lovers who have been in the industry for over 13 years, so visitors can rest assured that their Milford bike experience will be unsurpassed.
611 Broad Street, Milford, PA, 570-296-4009
13. The Artery Fine Art and Fine Craft Gallery
© Anna Pismenskova/stock.adobe.com
Nestled in the beautiful and historic Forest Hall building, the Artery Fine Art and Fine Craft Gallery was founded in the summer of 1999 by a cooperative of emerging and established artists and artisans hailing from the Tri-State area. Currently, the gallery supports fifteen artists including Laura Dudes, Liza Smith Simpson, Marie Liu, and Claude Larson. These celebrated local artists and artisans regularly showcase new works, thus creating a spectacular collection of oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings for the gallery in addition to ceramics, photographs, sculptures, and more. Visitors to this open space gallery are also invited to drop by the gift shop, which offers gorgeous one-of-a-kind keepsakes to take home with you. Better yet, why not take home a piece of art that catches your eye.
210 Broad Street, Milford, Pennsylvania 18337, Phone: 570-409-1234
Attraction Spotlight: Grey Towers
Located in Milford, Pennsylvania, Grey Towers is a historic landmark that is widely recognized as the home of Gifford Pinchot, who was the first director of the United States Forest Service.
Grey Towers has four periods of history: James Pinchot initial construction, Gifford and Cornelia’s ownership, the Forest Service’s ownership, and modern efforts with historic preservation.
In 1875, James W. Pinchot moved from New York City to his hometown of Milford, Pennsylvania after he retired. Upon returning to Milford, Pinchot purchased approximately 3,000 acres of land, which overlooked Delaware. Once he purchased the land, Pinchot began designing what would become Grey Towers. In 1884, Pinchot worked alongside a family friend named Hunt to help design a French chateau, which was influenced by Marquis de Lafayette’s LaGrange and Pinchot’s French origins. In addition to Hunt, Pinchot hired Edwards-Ficken to slightly alter the design, which would ultimately change the overall foundation as well as a few decorative additions.
The overall cost of Grey Towers was around $19,000 for construction and $24,000 for interior design elements, such as furniture. After realizing and regretting how forest-product industries, such as his own, cause environmental damage, Pinchot created the United State’s first forestry program for graduate students at the Yale School of Forestry. From 1901 to 1926, Grey Towers was used as the Yale School of Forestry’s primary location for fieldwork.
In 1908, James Pinchot passed away. In August 1914, Gifford split the Grey Towers estate with his brother Amos. Together, Gifford and his wife Cornelia Bryce used Grey Towers as a summer vacation home. Since Gifford and Cornelia wanted to develop their political careers and entertain guests more often, they decided to make renovations to the original home. Some of the renovations included creating a larger sitting room and merging the library into the living room.
Cornelia also valued gardening. In order to bring more attention to the gardens, Cornelia hired Chester Holmes Aldrich. Aldrich made many additions to the estate, such as adding a swimming pool, raising the structure, and adding architectural elements to the gardens. Then, sometime during the early 1930s Cornelia hired William Lawrence Bottomley. Bottomley designed and created the Finger Bowl, which is a raised dining area located outdoors, which is made out of a pool’s structure.
When Cornelia passed away in 1960, her son Gifford Bryce Pinchot honored his family’s wishes and gave the Forest Service the estate. Originally, the Forest Service decided to use Grey Towers as a conference center with storage space and offices. On September 24, 1963, President John F. Kennedy dedicated the Pinchot Institute to directing Grey Towers. 1963 was also important for Grey Towers because the Secretary of the Interior officially recognized the estate as a National Historic Landmark.
On August 11, 2001, Grey Towers reopened to the public. This also happened to be on the same day of Gifford Pinchot’s birthday. Recently, Grey Towers has continued to be renovated and maintained in order to keep its historical significance and functionality.
The main attraction at Grey Towers is the estate itself. Visitors are encouraged to tour the interior and exterior of Grey Towers.
Visitors have the opportunity of touring Grey Towers via a specialized guided tour. One of the largest benefits of a guided tour is that it details the exact history of the Pinchot family, as well as their influence and role on Grey Towers. The story also details how Grey Towers played a key role in the Pinchot family’s social and political lives and ideals.
Visitors can also participate in a special three-floor tour, which takes place only on the weekends at 4 pm. Also, groups of ten or more can take private specialized group tours. It’s important to note that guided tours require special fees. For more information about the guided tours available at Grey Towers, visit the Towers’ official website, or contact them during their hours of operation.
Grey Towers hosts a variety of public and private special events throughout the year. In order to obtain an updated list of public special events, check out the Towers’ online special events calendar.
Grey Towers Heritage 8K Run/Walk is an 8k run/walk that supports the GTHA mission of providing service to the Forest Service, which in turn helps promote education, historic preservation, and promotion. The Grey Towers Heritage 8K Run/Walk usually takes place in May and is a two hour event in the morning with registration open one hour prior to the event start time.
151 Grey Towers Drive, Milford, Pennsylvania, 18337, Phone: 570-296-9630
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