high adventure without high risk
Outdoor Appeal: 10
Setting: Commanding view of Lambertville and New Hope looking northward on the Delaware River. The trail leading to the overlook is actually an old road. Although the total hike to the overlook from the parking area is no more than half a mile, it is possible to ride a bike to the vista.
Explorable Op's: A lot. Our hike took us only on the road leading to the overlook. But there are other trails leading into the woods off the main road. For the more adventurous, there is a pond off the left side of the trail at about a quarter mile. We did not venture to check it out because the area around it looked awfully muddy. But there were loads of spring peepers chatting us up as we walked by.
Difficulty: Easy. There is a slight incline on the trek to the overlook. But overall this is very easy to do even with small children. The trail is an old road so the footing is quite safe.
Facilities: Nada. There are no bathrooms or running water. But the parking area is only about a five minute drive from Lambertville. You should go prepared for accidents to happen. But in case of a real emergency, civilization is within close reach.
Review: You'd be hard pressed to find a more rewarding hike for kids than the trail to Goat Hill Overlook. The distance is perfect to make it seem to kids that you've hiked all day, although you've only hiked half a mile. Older kids can roam the woods before setting out to the overlook to make it a bit more challenging. The trail is wide open and has only one turn before it doubles back. So the trail is essentially two long straightaways which are perfect for letting kids run (or bike) as far as they like with out the fear of them getting out of sight. The view is truly as good as any in this part of the world, including Bowman's Tower. But unlike Bowman's Tower, Goat Hill is free. The overlook itself is spacious - about the size of a football field. Even if you don't like to go hiking, this is a must.
It hasn't been hard to find I good day to get outdoors this spring, but we were lucky enough to make this hike on a real beauty. Obviously a day with low humidity and clear skies is going to give you the best view. We also happened to be out when all the flowers were in full bloom, so we got a real treat.
There is a cherry tree on the left side of the overlook that was blooming on our trip. It was a down right lovely surprise for us to find once we go to the overlook. There is a steep decline behind the Goat Hill Overlook sign, so you need to be aware that it is there. Max and Frank spent a good deal of time throwing sticks down the hill and the retrieving them, so although it is steep, it is manageable. There are picker bushes lining the overlook area, so you also need to be careful of the them as well.
After the boys played for a bit, we sat down to have a picnic. We spent about two hours at the overlook itself. Although the area is really just a large field with a view, Max and Frank didn't seem to grow tired of it in the least. In fact it was hard to get them moving back towards the car once the decision to leave was made. The area is big enough for older kids to throw a ball around or play frisbee. Depending on the direction of the wind, you may be able to get a kite to fly as well.
We set off for the car a little after noon. One of the nicest things about the hike is that it is slightly down hill all the way back to the car. Max road his bike (although his curiosity left me carrying it at times) so going back to the car was a breeze for him. He coasted most of the way.
This is one of our favorite hikes. It's easy all around. It's exciting for the kids and relaxing as a parent.
Recommendations: A picnic is a good idea. It's even a short enough walk that you may want to consider lugging a blanket and chairs. It's easy to spend a lot of time here without even feeling it pass you by. It has been hard to find detailed information about Goat Hill Overlook online. But this PDF gives some information about the site preservation and directions on how to get there. Hope you enjoy. Happy trails.