Fall Foliage River Ramble

river ramble pumpkins feature image

When nature presents a dazzling spectacle of autumnal color, take in the show with a leaf-peeping drive along the Delaware River. Start by heading south from Easton on Route 611—and immediately start thinking about fueling up with a breakfast stop at Mueller’s General Store and Kitchen. Located next to the canal towpath just a few miles from the city (but worlds away from the frenetic pace of urban life), the unassuming exterior of this self-proclaimed “destination on the Delaware” belies the quality of the comfort-driven fare presented at this delightful eatery.

Weekends bring a trio of both breakfast and lunch specials and, during favorable weather, seating on the riverview patio. A genuine all-day menu enables guests to indulge in such seasonal tastes as Pumpkin Pecan or Apple-Raisin Pancakes in mid-afternoon or a Char-Grilled Burger or Stuffed Meatloaf dinner first thing in the morning. Let your stomach dictate its preference!

Behind the restaurant, a pedestrian bridge spanning the canal supplies a charming backdrop for selfies, and be sure to make a swing through the general store for road supplies before heading out. Coffee hounds should note that signature house-roasted coffee sold by the bag, whole bean or ground, includes regular flavor and a pumpkin spiced variety.

Continuing southbound, bear left onto Route 32—better known as River Road, a wildly scenic byway that winds through history-laden villages, past architecturally striking bridges, and below dramatic rocky cliffs. The real stars of the leisurely sojourn, however, are the vivid hues of deciduous woodlands hugging the road. Bright yellow, gold, orange, and red leaves of black walnut, hickory, maple, and dogwood are joined by the burnished bronze tones of various types of oak, which are typically the last trees to burst into color. The natural beauty of these calm environs makes the drive feel like a rolling meditation. (Music pairing tip: Even non-fans of classical music might embrace the bright-and-bold to smooth-and-soothing tones of “Autumn” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons during this epic excursion.)

Goal-oriented individuals may choose to cap the trip with a visit to the observation deck of Bowman’s Hill Tower at Washington Crossing Historic Park, a short hop below New Hope. The vintage stone structure rises 125 feet above the hilltop to provide a 14-mile view of the Delaware River and blazing glory of the surrounding countryside.

On the ride home, congratulate yourself on getting reacquainted with the old-fashioned concept of a “pleasure drive.” And make a vow to experience life in the slow lane again next fall.

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