On a beautiful Saturday morning we planned our day as we donned our hiking shoes, applied the sunscreen and headed out route 78 towards Bucks County, PA. Our GPS informed us it would be a 58 minute ride and as we ambled through the gorgeous country farmland it felt like no time before we saw the sign for Ringing Rocks Park. As we exited our car we noted several other families with similar plans. Some had packed picnics, some even brought their dogs, but everyone carried a hammer. You see, Ringing Rocks Park is a 128 acre park that contains a field of boulders (about 8 acres) that have a very unusual property. When these rocks are struck with a hammer or another rock, they sound as if they are metal and hollow and ring with a sound similar to a metal pipe being struck. Though geologists have studied the properties of these mysterious rocks, most are baffled about the reason for their musical tones.
The trail signs are clearly marked so we embarked on our journey. I must note that I was glad we had chosen to wear appropriate footwear as this trail is rocky and is not meant for flip flops or fancy shoes. After about 1/4 mile walk, we began to hear the music of the rocks. Those who arrived before us had begun to explore the field, striking rocks of various shapes, sizes and colors, always smiling at the music they created. My daughter Kayleigh clearly couldn’t wait to join the fun and picked up her pace, arriving at the field just slightly before us. The actual field of rocks is a sight to behold. It begs on to wonder just how these rocks arrived here in what is a breathtaking gift of nature. Walking among the rocks is an exercise in balance, but once balanced, the joy of creating musical tones out weighed my fear of falling down. After playing in what might be called a genuine “rock concert” we continued along the trail, exploring and searching for the largest waterfall in Bucks County. Though I don’t think we found the largest waterfall, we did find a small beautiful version about a mile up the trail. Hunger pains began to rumble in our bellies so we decided to hike back to our car and search for a place to have lunch.
Luckily we realized that we were near Frenchtown, NJ where we could not only find a good place for lunch but we could also shop, rent bikes, or simply explore the beauty of this unique little village. We settled on Galasso’s Pizza on Bridge Street, after having heard from Friends that the pizza was to die for. Boy, are we glad we did! The owner greeted us from behind the counter which was filled with mouthwatering selections of pizza pies and paninnis. After drooling over the choices we each made selections and found a table. The good arrived quickly and we enjoyed what I must deem the best pizza I have had in New Jersey. If you are in this area you MUST check it out!!!
After lunch and a little shopping I was able t convince my family to take a little side trip to Sand Castle Winery which was just a mile up the road. Bob and I had visited this PA winery about 15 years ago and I remembered it as charming. As we approached the new castle style building, we were taken with the beauty of the vineyard. Though I have not yet been to Italy, I felt briefly transported as I was reminded of scenes from one of my favorite movies, Letters to Juliet. We adults enjoyed a tasting of the 15 wines bottled at the winery. Our host amused us with stories to accompany each selection and even provided Kayleigh with a non-alcoholic spiced fruit drink that would be lovely served warm at the holidays. Of course we purchased that selection as well as a few more and we began our journey back home. As we stopped at a farm stand to purchase some of the bounty of this great garden state, we reflected on a day well spent. It was a day we would not soon forget!!!