Educational programs for the public and visiting schools, scouts, and special interest groups are standard fare at the preserve. One of the most popular programs is the annual maple sugaring operation, which gives visitors a look into the history and tradition of making maple syrup.
Lazybrook Park has proven to be an amazing venue for the Tunkhannock Rotary Harvest and Wine Festival. This event, held annually in October, has been an extremely successful and popular tradition for local people, in addition to folks from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware.
It’s not only the sports leagues that use the park every day. I see moms and grandparents at the playground and open field. The Girl Scouts come and work on their craft projects on the picnic tables that the Boy Scouts volunteered to paint to earn their community badges. The 4-H kids shoot off their bottle rockets there. You can set your watch by the group of women that walk the park every morning.
The aqueduct structure failed in April 2016 and we currently have two 50-inch diameter plastic corrugated pipes with coffer dams on both ends over the aqueduct to allow us to bypass water over the structure. Without the bypass, we would not be able to water the canal from the Raubsville area down to Centre Bridge. This aqueduct is crucial to canal operations, because it allows us to send water through the canal for approximately 24 miles down to Centre Bridge. With the temporary bypass in place we can still send water south, but only at approximately half of what our normal flow would be.
The Trolley Trail is not a typical rails- to-trails project where there are miles and miles of abandoned train tracks easily ready for a straightforward conversion. The original Trolley Trail now winds through swamps, backyards, Little League baseball fields, public roads, and all sorts of personal property.
We issued the invitation, and people volunteered. During the next four years, thousands of people, from Pennsylvania and beyond, visited the park to try their hand at archaeology, learning about local history as they carefully uncovered brick, nails, pottery, glass, and more at the historical site. Some people even planned vacations around a park visit, having learned of the Public Archaeology Dig from the Conde Nast publication, Cookie, and an airline magazine.
The transformation of the Clifford Township Recreational Complex began in 2006 with a $20,000 grant from the Keystone Fund to install a new playground and add dugouts to the existing baseball field. Improvements have continued each year thanks to the commitment of the Township Supervisors and the support of local organizations and community members. The complex is now a true neighborhood park complete with a regulation Little League field, playground areas for children ages 2-5 and 6-12, walking trails, access to the Tunkhannock Creek, and plenty of greenspace.
Although the process of creating the Conservancy and working to accomplish its mission of protecting the land put the idea of a trail on the back burner, Roz never lost sight of the vision of a community trail. She envisioned a place accessible to all: a place to walk through and enjoy the woods; a place for kids to learn to ride bikes without parents having to worry about cars; a place to push strollers, jog, or cross-country ski. The vision was in motion and there was no doubt she would prevail.
When people come to Lacawac they are thrilled to see such an oasis in the middle of the woods. They identify with the need to get back to nature. No matter who you are or what time period you live in, there is always this very human urge to connect with the outdoors and its inhabitants.
Moosic Mountain is also unique in that it is close to an urban area, yet still provides impressive scenery and biodiversity…This was an excellent and diverse hike with unique scenery and superb views. The Eales Preserve is a beautiful place that we are lucky to have protected and opened to the public. This is a place you need to explore.
Every day the Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail is being used by young and old alike to experience nature. We see singles, couples, and family groups enjoying the loop trail around the pond, taking in the solitude of the towpath through the woods or standing along the Susquehanna River watching the bald eagles in flight. We have canoers, bikers, birders, and brides all using the park. The local high school takes science and history field trips to the park.
These days, the trail has a whole new generation of users. In the winter there are people on snowmobiles, cross country skiers, hikers, teachers, and learners. In the summer there are bikers, hikers, scout groups, and more teachers and learners. Through the four seasons there is always something to learn. Animal tracks are always present, either in the snow or in the mud.
The children spend time at Conklin Run to learn about how insect diversity and abundance, temperature, and clarity can be used to determine stream health. We also spread out large tarps when we do arts and crafts with natural items like fallen leaves and twigs.
The 405-acre park had been the Wheaton family farm from the late 1830s until it was sold to the state in the early 1970s. One of the remaining farm buildings is the Wheaton House, the family home built in the early 1840s. By the 1990s it needed significant structural work to become a usable public space, and the Keystone Fund grant allowed us to begin the work.
There are a variety of animals and birds that make this area their home. While hiking through a hemlock stands one snowy afternoon we had the privilege of seeing a tiny saw-whet owl who was perched on a hemlock branch just a few feet above our heads. Each outing gives us a new opportunity to see the natural beauty that this land offers.
When the Nature Conservancy first became involved with protecting this unique Bog in the 1950s, I don’t think they ever imagined the impact it would have. Not only are the Bog’s natural features protected, but there are over 1,000 acres in the preserve and two miles of hiking trails. Most importantly, the Bog has become an invaluable educational tool. Since the early 1980s when the first section of boardwalk was completed, countless groups have visited the Bog.
But what’s most important is not what I have done for the trail, but what it has done for me. There is the joy when I see families pushing strollers along the trail, or when I see the National Guard or Penn State runners training on the trail. There was joy and excitement when Dennis (my significant other) and I handed water and sports drinks to half-marathon runners on the trail during our Town and Trail Event.
I also discovered the Delaware and Lehigh Trail section from Allentown to Easton. I ran, biked, and raced on it. It was my special place to get away, to think, to recharge my batteries. I was obsessed with spending time on the trail. Each time a new section was complete I had a new place to explore. When the segment from Cementon to Slatington was opened, it connected me to an endless playground. I can now ride my bike from my house to White Haven and beyond and be on less than five miles of pavement.
The Eales Preserve at Moosic Mountain attracts a variety of users, including bird watchers, hikers, mountain bikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts who relish the preserve’s many miles of trails. The Nature Conservancy works with a variety of partners to instill in visitors a sense of ownership and responsibility while ensuring compatible recreational uses for the land.
But spring isn’t the only time to enjoy the area. The wilderness delights visitors year-round who come to hike, boat, fish, and view wildlife. Hiking trails lead visitors though the largest forest corridor in central and eastern Pennsylvania, offering spectacular views of the Minsi Valley and glimpses of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and more.