On the banks of the Delaware River, Milford is a charming, historic town that was incorporated in 1796 by Judge John Biddis. He fashioned the streets and squares to imitate the city of Philadelphia and named many of the streets after his children.
Water power ruled the day and water mills were the heart of industry in Milford’s early years. Saw mills, grist mills helped to produce paper, pasteboard, animal feed, corn meal and flour all along Sawmill Creek in Milford. The Upper Mill still maintains a working water wheel and some of the equipment used to run the mill in its hayday.
Milford is the home of the American flag that was hanging in the theater where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. The flag was used to pillow his head and still has blood stains on it. Originally the property of the theater owner, the flag was given to his daughter, Jeannie Gourlay Struthers, who later moved to Milford and donated it to the Pike County Historical Association. The flag is displayed in the Columns Museum in Milford
Notable in Milford’s history was its famous resident Gifford Pinchot. A two time Governor of Pennsylvania, Pinchot was the first head of the U.S. Forest Service and is considered the father of the modern forest conservation effort. His family residence in Milford, Grey Towers, was used in the early 1900s as field classrooms for the Yale School of Forestry and is now the headquarters of Pinchot Institute for Conservation whose mission is “to advance conservation and sustainable natural resource management by developing innovative, practical, and broadly-supported solutions to conservation challenges and opportunities.”
The town of Milford and the surrounding area are a part of the Delaware Valley School District. With an emphasis on academics, Delaware Valley is ranked 60th out of 498 Pennsylvania public school districts in 2013 according to a study done by Pittsburgh Business Times. According to the district’s mission statement the district achieves such academic success by ensuring that “students of all ages are challenged to maximize intellectual, emotional, social and physical potential.”
Pike County is among the fastest growing counties in Pennsylvania. Known for its beautiful natural landscape, small heritage-rich towns and more than 125,000 acres of land available for use by the public for hiking, hunting, fishing and camping, Pike County continues to grow. The availability of wildlife, clean water and fresh air combined with easy accessibility to major urban areas in New York and New Jersey draw people to Pike County.
Access to the Delaware River provides many opportunities for beautiful outdoor adventures. Many enjoy rafting, canoeing or kayaking down the river and outfits like Kittatinny Canoes in Milford are happy to provide the equipment to bring you down the river and transportation tobring you back to your vehicle.
Hiking is one of the favorite activities in the area. The best way to appreciate gorgeous views of the Delaware River is from the Cliff Park Trails.Or enjoy the trails around the many waterfalls in the area such as Raymondskill Falls, Dingmans Falls, Bushkill Falls or Child’s Park. Hiking up to “The Knob” offers a stunning view of the town of Milford.
With so much open space and emphasis on conservation of our land, there are numerous places to camp in the area. One such place is Dingmans Campground which offers campsites right on the banks of the Delaware River.
The Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) in Dingmans Ferry takes advantage of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and offers many programs, activities, classes and events for residents and visitors of all ages centered on appreciating and learning about nature and sustainable living.
- Miford Township
- Westfall Township
- Shohola Township
- Dingman Township
- Borough of Milford
- Blomming Grove Township
- Delaware Township
- Lackawaxen Township
- Lehman Township
- Porter Township
Milford is known for its appreciation for all kinds of arts. There are several art galleries in downtown Milford including The Artisan Exchange – a gallery and shop that features fine handcrafted goods from local artists, and the Highland’s Photographic Guild – a gallery of the works of talented local photographers who are dedicated to capturing Milford’s spirit in photo. The Milford Theater presents live performances throughout the year.
Learning about the rich history of the area is a cozy way to spend the day indoors. The Upper Mill offers a free self-guided tour of the Grist Mill and the equipment used in its time. After, browse the unique shops that now occupy the renovated space in the Upper Mill.
Events and Attractions
The Black Bear Film Festival takes place every October in Milford and brings relevant and interesting independent films to the town in celebration of Milford’s film location history. A very popular event, the festival showed 14 movies during the three dayevent in 2013.
The Winter Lights Festival is a weeklong winter celebration in Milford. Features include professional ice skating acts, musical acts, a “mac & cheese” bakeoff, cookies, hot cocoa and an ice skating rink open to the public.
Sponsored by individual business owners in Milford, the Milford Music Festival offers free musical performances from musicians in a variety of styles for several days in the early summer. Beyond the music, the whole town adds to the festivities with sidewalk sales, food and the Dimmick Block Party.
The home of Gifford Pinchot, called Grey Towers, is a beautiful attraction in Milford. The striking mansion, built in French chateau style, offers seasonal tours of both the abode and the grounds and is the home of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation. Events on the grounds such as the annual Festival of Wood, bring the community together to enjoy music, arts, demonstrations and children’s activities.
The famous Abraham Lincoln flag that cradled our 16th President’s head after he’d been shot is housed and exhibited at the Columns Museum in Milford. Besides the flag exhibit, the museum offers local history information and artifacts.
A central location for swimming, boat launching and eagle watching on the Delaware River can be found at Milford Beach, where many residents and visitors spend summer days enjoying the cool water of the river.
Horseback riding is just the tip of the iceberg at the Malibu Dude Ranch. Cattle driving, skeet shooting, evening bonfires and even rodeos that guests participate in bring together a full country experience, without having to venture far from the town of Milford.