A visit to Milford is an exciting prospect even as this borough in Pike County, Pennsylvania, covers an area of just 9 hectares.
Within this confine, there are plentiful sights to see and things to do, given this town’s great location and quaint history.
Wedged on the banks of the upper Delaware River and nestled in the Pocono Mountains, Milford was founded in 1796.
Its founder, John Biddis, one of the first four circuit judges of Pennsylvania, named Milford after his ancestral home in Wales.
The town eventually became the county seat of Pike County and now counts as part of the New York metro area.
In a visit to Milford, you will see its numerous historical buildings built during the 19th century and early 20th century.
Arts and culture have also flourished in the town’s charming setting over the years and Milford now annually hosts plenty of cultural events.
Milford’s proximity to the Delaware River and the Pocono Mountains offers visitors many exciting outdoor activities.
Learn what these are in the following list of 15 top things to do in Milford.
Visit the Columns Museum of the Pike County Historical Society
This museum is located on Broad Street and housed in a grand, 22-room neoclassical mansion built in 1904.
Established in 1930, the Columns Museum is also known as the “Home of the Lincoln Flag.”
This owes to the museum’s exhibit of the flag upon which the bloodied head of President Lincoln was said to have laid after his 1865 assassination.
The Columns Museum also displays on its two floors a collection of the personal belongings of the American mathematician, pragmatist, and philosopher, Charles Sanders Peirce, who lived in Milford.
An extensive collection of 19th-century garments are likewise among the curiosities in the Columns Museum of the Pike County Historical Society.
Explore Milton Beach
This beach is on the southern part of the town of Milton, stretching on the northern banks of the Delaware River and accessible via Milton Beach Road.
Weekend visitors of Milton Beach from mid-June through August can enjoy lifeguarded swimming in three beach spots along the Delaware River.
The facilities in Milton Beach include a pavilion, picnic areas, and a boat/canoe launch.
The picturesque scenery in and around Milton Beach is one of the reasons why Atlantic Magazine named the town of Milton "the prettiest county seat in America."
Milton Beach provides access to the Joseph M. McDade Recreational Trail, where you can enjoy views not only of the river and its streams.
The trail, enjoyed most by hikers, bikers, and cross-country skiers, also offers sceneries of forests, open farm fields, and historic landscapes.
Trek Out to Hackers and Raymondskill Falls
The enchanting sights of waterfalls are among the highlights that you can enjoy in a visit to Milford.
For this adventure, one option is to go via the 6-kilometer long Hackers Falls and Cliff Trail Loop with a trailhead on a parking lot in the southern terminus of River Road.
This trail, rated as moderate, loops around a lake and passes by Hackers Falls fed by the torrents of Raymondskill Creek.
You can extend the adventure by finding the easy trail down south to Raymondskill Falls.
These three-tiered waterfalls lay claim as Pennsylvania’s tallest, with a side note that adding its three drops puts it just a few feet shy of Niagara Falls.
Go on a Family Adventure at Kittatinny
Bring the family to the Kittatinny River Beach Campground on US Route 209.
Set by the scenic Delaware River, the award-winning Kittatinny offers its guests a slew of exciting outdoor activities for most ages and abilities.
Kittatinny runs seven strategically located bases along the Delaware River for an exciting selection of water-based activities.
These choices include kayaking or canoeing in calm or rapid waters, as well as whitewater rafting and river-tubing.
Operating for over 75 years, Kittatinny has a dual-racing, 150-foot high zip line set among the treetops of the Pocono Mountains.
Kittatinny also offers paintball games played on the hills of its campground overlooking the Delaware River.
Enjoy the Hilltop View at the Milford Knob
The Milford Knob is a hilltop rising some 660 feet above sea level within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Hikers typically access this scenic elevation via the 5.6-kilometer Milford Knob Trail, with beautiful wildflowers along its path.
Its trailhead is accessible on Federal Road and features a large parking area.
Rated as moderate, the trail traverses through a lowland mixed hardwood forest and scrub.
Leashed dogs are allowed on this path that links up with other trails traversing the Raymondskill Ridge.
These trails include the Quarry Trail and the Cliff Trail that, when combined with Milford Knob Trail, covers 8 miles of exploration of the natural attractions in and around Milford.
Let the Memories Happen at the Village Diner
Enjoy a touch of Americana at the Village Diner, which draws patrons with its T-shirt motto, “Making Memories Happen.”
This vintage diner was opened in 1956 and has become a landmark on its site on US Route 6.
Motorists on this highway stop at this friendly Village Diner for its homemade delicious food.
The menu items it offers range from fresh salads to soups and sandwiches, as well as wraps and roasts with gravy.
Village Diner also boasts hand-made burgers and marinated grilled chicken, plus some delightful Greek dishes.
Fish Like a Pro on the Delaware
The Upper Delaware River area of Milford is known for its thrills to anglers with an eye for Smallmouth Bass, Striped Bass, among other catches in this river system.
To get the most out of a river fishing trip from Milford, hook up with the Delaware Water Gap Charters on US-6.
Its charters include an expert and fully-licensed guide, a custom jet boat with a permit, plus safety gear and personal flotation devices.
Rods and reels, bait, and other fishing paraphernalia are also included, and all you need to have is a fishing license.
You can also opt for sight-seeing tours to check out the river valley’s resident wildlife, like whitetail deer, black bears, and bald eagles.
Gear Up at Pike County Outfitters
Don’t worry if you missed out on packing the right outdoor gear to enjoy the nature-based activities in Milford.
Spending some time shopping at the Pike County Outfitters on US-6 can equip you with the things you need for hiking, hunting/shooting, fishing, and boating.
The outdoor apparel brands it carries include market leaders like Compass360 Columbia.
The same goes for footwear like hunting or hiking boots, with choices like Merrell and Wolverine.
Knowledgeable in the Upper River Delaware Area, this outfitter can also help plan your outdoor adventure, like getting a fishing license.
Take the Toddlers to Have a Hoot Fun Center
This all-indoor family entertainment center is on US Route 6 and 20 adjacent east of the Scottish Inns.
It offers a lot of fun facilities, such as a soft obstacle course, ropes course, laser tag, indoor cages, and climbing walls.
These fun facilities are designed for toddlers of all age levels and have handicap-accessible features as well.
Have a Hoot Fun Center also provides a games arcade and a well-stocked snacks bar.
This amusement center is also popular for hosting children’s birthday parties.
Tour the Historic Grey Towers
The Grey Towers is a historic residence built in 1886 as a summer home of James and Mary Pinchot, the parents of conservation advocate and two-term Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot.
Known also as the Gifford Pinchot House or The Pinchot Institute, Grey Towers is located just off west of US-6 in Milford.
This historic home is not only impressive for its Neo-Roman architectural design.
The Grey Towers has also become an icon for conservation, with its supporters holding youth and educational programs in this historic residence.
It also helps deliver the conservationists’ message through the forestry, trails, and wildlife in Gray Towers’102-acre site.
With such sights, a visit to this historic home can inspire meditation and reflection not only about nature but also artistic and literary expression.
Sample the Beers on Hartford Street
Beer lovers visiting Milford tend to gravitate toward the town’s Hartford Street, as its eastern stretch is home to the Log Tavern Brewing.
One of its craft beers that draws praise is the Helles Fire, a Munich lager with a malty, sweet, and smooth taste.
Another winner in Log Tavern Brewing is its Peanut Butter Sawkill Stout that goes well with the fresh-baked pizzas, and chicken tenders also served in this craft brewery.
You can enjoy your drink and food at the Log Tavern Brewing’s outdoor seating area with a fireplace.
For take-out-beer, an option comes in the Beer Barn located on Harford Street, offering a one-stop shop for lagers and other beer types plus snacks.
Dine at the Waterwheel Café, Bakery & Bar
This quaint restaurant is on Water Street, offering American and Vietnamese fare.
Since 1989, Waterwheel Café, Bakery & Bar has exuded warmth in its cozy setting with a deck and a historic grist mill.
The menu picks in this restaurant include grilled sirloin steak sandwich, Vietnamese roast duckling, soup with rice noodles, and crispy fried shrimp.
This restaurant boasts as home to a 19th-century water-powered grist mill listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Known as the Upper Mill Grist Mill, this 24-foot working waterwheel has been restored and is still functional.
Check Out What’s on Stage at the Milford Theatre
This theatre on Catherine Street is the home of the Black Bear Film Festival held in October yearly.
Regarded as one of Pennsylvania's premier events for indie films, this festival includes not only screenings but also salons and workshops.
The Milford Theatre hosts other entertainment and cultural events, such as regular movie screenings and band music concerts on its stage.
The musical shows in this theatre are typical during special holidays like St. Patrick’s Day.
A historic structure with traditional interior design, the Milford Theatre opened in 1911 as a vaudeville theatre that later screened silent movies.
Join the Fun in the Milford Music Festival
Make plans to visit Milford in June in time for its annual weekend run of the Milford Music Festival.
This festival is a free event in the tree-lined streets of Milford.
The festival’s music genre covers everything from jazz and blues to rock and pop.
Besides bringing in the sounds of local talents, the festival is also a celebration of the shopping and dining experience.
More than 30 businesses in Milford participate in this crowd-drawing music festival, encouraging visitors to explore more of the borough.
During this festival, you can thus expect the mood in Milford’s shops and restaurants to be quite vibrant.
Test the Links of the Cliff Park Golf Course
Located on Cliff Park Road, this municipal golf course established in 1913 is part of the
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
It is known among golfers in Northeast Pennsylvania as the destination for great value at a remarkable price.
The 9-hole layout of the Cliff Park Golf Course is carved in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, inviting players to shun golf carts and go for a scenic walk instead.
Par 35 is the regulation play in this 3,115-yard course with a 34.1 rating and a 115 slope rating.
In a tour of the Cliff Park Golf Course, players are likely to recognize the surrounding rugged cliffs as the backdrop for some silent movies of yesteryears.
The borough of Milford is a small place yet brimming with many things to do and places to see during a visit.
It makes sense to put Milford in a travel itinerary with the ease by which visitors explore many of the natural attractions in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
In town, visitors can also have the enriching experience of exploring Milford’s history that molded the borough into the enchanting travel destination that it is today.