Finding an Ideal Country Retreat
by Deirdre Frost.
The wild woods of the Delaware River region has been the focus of my personal adventures leading me to the heart of the mountainous lake region at Lake Wallenpaupack in Hawley, Pennsylvania.
The natural beauty of this rugged, rural landscape is evident as I gaze at the lake with its open vistas of heavily wooded forests. Above the lake, eagles soar in the sky and I wonder if they’ll be black bears roaming in this backcountry. Here is nature’s proving ground for reflection that gives me a deeper appreciation of this part of the country. I feel a sense of peace and solitude, exploring the natural wonders and picturesque woodlands of this American heartland region covering portions of three states New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
My adventure takes me on a journey of experiences that generations have come to appreciate in this hallowed place. Like the early settlers, exploring the natural resources of this land and grow a full appreciation for this environment.
The glorious days of Hawley come alive in viewing the historic buildings, especially the old mills and factories, which reveal how the town’s focus was once tied to manufacturing. Some buildings have been preserved and converted into modern businesses and country inns. One of the highlights is finding the historic landmark in Bingham Park, depicting Hawley in its heyday as a thriving commercial center where coal was transported by rail and open barges along the Delaware and Hudson Canal. With the predominance of coal, the town was named after the original founder of the Pennsylvania Coal Company, Irad Hawley. In this golden era of railroads, coal was hauled by rail cars, such as the one in Bingham Park.
In further `exploring the history, I follow the Riverview Trail that leads along the riverbanks of the Delaware and Hudson Canal. In the midst of Bingham Park, I discover a delightful country house, The Settlers Inn, which is known for its warm and friendly hospitality, that continues to attract a large range of clientele drawn to the ambiance and fine cuisine.
Further exploration of the Inn brings into focus distinctive historic architecture and beautiful gardens overlooking the woods and stream. In keeping with a country theme, each of the rooms are attractively furnished and feature views of the surrounding gardens. Throughout the main house, Arts and Crafts period details are striking under the glow of the fireplace. Native Chestnut Wood Beams, other wood adornments, pottery collections and a Stickley clock add to a cozy, inviting feel. In the late afternoon, we join other guests for a wine tasting, which creates a relaxing environment and an enjoyable prelude to dining. The chance to unwind and savor the freshest and healthiest local ingredients in the fine food and wine in such intimidate surroundings exudes a particular satisfying charm.
From the menu, I choose fresh Chesapeake Bay oysters and a tender fillet mignon while my partner orders a delicious smoked trout and swordfish that are expertly prepared.
Capping off the evening, the soft aura in the dining room creates a soothing atmosphere as we listen to the live piano music that enhances the romantic intimacy. The warm, softly silhouetted décor adds to the ambiance complementing superb American cuisine. Such an enjoyable evening!
The morning brings another treat a most satisfying breakfast of rustic grains oatmeal followed by farm fresh produce and homemade bread.
Reflecting on this special experience, I am captivated by the local culture, cuisine, and traditions the Wild Delaware River Region offers visitors with its perfect blend of the old and the new and highlights the benefits of country living.
Contacts for further details:
The Settlers Inn at Bingham Park
Tel: (570) 226-2993