gardens at grey towers national historical site

How to Spend a Day at the Grey Towers National Historic Site

Combining gorgeous architecture, a fascinating story, and a variety of opportunities for exploration the Grey Towers National Historic Site in Milford, Pennsylvania is a must-see. This historic mansion once belonged to Gifford Pinchot. Pinchot served as the first Chief of the US Forest Service and Pennsylvania’s governor for two terms. Just a 40-minute drive from the French Manor Inn & Spa, guests are able to explore the Pinchot’s former vacation home. The area is bustling with outdoor activities and historical sites you’ll want to scout out. Access our exclusive Vacation Guide and start planning your Pocono stay!

History of Grey Towers Historical Site

Grey Towers was constructed in 1886 for wallpaper mogul, James Pinchot. The building was designed by Pinchot’s long-time friend Richard Morris-Hunt, and eventually became the family’s summer home. James and his wife enjoyed entertaining at Grey Towers where they fascinated guests with luxurious tea and dinner parties.

Pinchot’s son, Gifford, began a career in forestry after his father became deeply saddened by the amount of logging in the area. He eventually founded the US Forest Service agency that administers national forests and grasslands, and also served as Pennsylvania’s governor from 1905 to 1910.

In 1963, the son of Gifford, Gifford Bryce Pinchot, donated the family property in Pennsylvania to his father’s company. The donation made way for the birth of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation. Today Grey Towers educates its visitors about conservation of our natural world and hosts a variety of conferences and seminars that bring together environmental thinkers and conservationists.

Things To Do at Grey Towers National Historic Site

Mansion Tour: Experience how the Pinchot family spent their summers in the beautiful Grey Towers mansion. During this one-hour guided tour, you’ll meander through the first floor rooms of the estate through the great hall, library, and Gifford Pinchot’s bedroom. The mansion tour season runs from Memorial Day weekend through October 31st.

Landscape Tour: The large estate boasts more than just the mansion. On a self-guided tour, you’ll find a variety of man-made features scattered throughout the Grey Towers that tell their own story. Guests can use a map to find artifacts such as the letterbox, the marble courtyard, and the popular bait box. Self-guided tours are available year-round.

Take a Hike: There are two scenic hiking trails at the Grey Towers National Historic Site. The Forest Discovery Trail is an easy trek that winds through the trees and makes its way to the Yale Forestry Summer School. Along the way, you’ll discover what makes the forest ecosystem special. Visit the tree trail where you can explore the estate’s grounds and learn all about the unique trees found on the property.

Discover the Town of Milford

Grey Towers was not the only thing that the Pinchots built in Milford, PA. On a walking tour, guests can explore 15 other sites in the area that were built or used by Pinchot family members. As a result, you’ll learn more about the fascinating history of this charming Pennsylvania town.

Book Your Stay at the French Manor Inn & Spa!

After you visit the Grey Towers National Historic Site, head back to our Poconos bed and breakfast and unwind! Our enchanting inn sits atop Huckleberry Mountain and provides a peaceful and elegant retreat after a day of fun. With 19 delightful rooms and suites, delicious dining options, and a luxurious spa, you’ll have an incredible and relaxing getaway no matter what time of year you visit. We can’t wait to see what you discover in PA!

The French Manor Suites