Sunday, April 29, 2012
Lancaster County Parks
~A Day in the Park~
As the temperatures in Lancaster County soar to unseasonal heights, the number of people getting out and about in the great outdoors is increasing. For some it is doing gardening work, for some taking a long walk. Others spend the afternoon in the park, strolling, relaxing, playing and eating.
Lancaster County offers many resources for those who wish to take advantage of the weather and spend a few hours in the fresh air. The beautiful parks teem with life from the squirrel to the children. Here is a suggestion for a day you will never forget. Enjoy your day in the park!
First stop: food. Lancaster County is filled to overflowing with restaurants, grocery stores and bakeries, but here are a few favorites. Begin your afternoon by picking up tasty pre-made sandwiches, deli salads, fruit and drinks from Stauffers of Kissel Hill. With locations in Lititz, Roherstown, and Lancaster, Stauffers is near several lovely parks.
You may also wish to try Issacs Deli. Their fresh, made-to-order sandwiches may necessitate pre-ordering, however their locations are very convenient. Issacs has locations scattered across Lancaster County, in Ephrata, Lititz, Mt. Joy and Strasburg, to name a few.
Second stop: recreation. It wouldn’t be a picnic without a ball or Frisbee!
Last stop: choose a park. Lancaster County is a wellspring of open spaces, even in the area of downtown Lancaster. There is still an element of nature in Lancaster’s Central Park. Named for its central location in the county, the park covers 544 acres and has six pavilions. There are playgrounds and the park is home to the community pool along with several ponds and water features.
A quiet spot, located on the banks of the Susquehanna River, Chickies Rock County Park is a low key, natural setting. Visitors can view the shore of York County from the park’s overlook of the river.
The Speedwell Forge Park offers much more than a picnic table and a few trees. This 415 acre park is located between what used to be Speedwell Forge Lake and the Furnace Hills State Game Lands. The park is mostly undeveloped, however there are hiking trails and open spaces throughout it. The diversity of habitats, from wetlands to deciduous woods, leads to a diversity of animal life as well. Among the animals routinely seen at Speedwell Forge are deer, ruffed grouse and several species of woodpeckers.
If you are looking for a shorter trip, or a smaller, more developed park, try one of these: Lititz Springs Park, Manheim Community Park, or New Holland Park.
These are just a few of the many beautiful parks in Lancaster County. For a list of more parks and information about them, visit the Lancaster County Department of Parks and Recreation website.