Nockamixon Cliffs


  • Nockamixon Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania


  • Land Management
  • Open Space Preservation

The dramatic 300-foot cliffs rise above the Delaware River along upper Bucks County’s scenic River Road. Habitat for an arctic-alpine plant community rare in both Pennsylvania and in the continental United States, Nockamixon Cliffs also provides scenic beauty as ice flows from its deep ravines, creating an ice palace spectacle in winter. Over 90 species of birds inhabit the cliffs, which historically have been used by the peregrine falcon and osprey, creating an excellent location for bird watching from either the top or bottom of this sheer ledge. Top Rock, a well-known lookout point, affords the visitor with panoramic views of the Delaware River and surrounding valley. Heritage Conservancy entered into an agreement to purchase the site with two conditions: that the state agree to ownership of the site and that the funds for purchase be raised within three months. State ownership would provide liability limitations for ice-climbing activities that could not be provided by a private owner.

A fundraising strategy was launched to obtain support from local environmental organizations, adjacent landowners and conservation-oriented citizens. These efforts resulted in the state’s acquisition of 38 acres of the most critical area of the cliffs. Today, Heritage Conservancy maintains a conservation easement on the property and assists in the site’s management. In addition, 240 acres of adjacent lands were placed on Heritage Conservancy’s Register of Significant Natural Areas.

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