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biking

Observation Tower at Governor Dick

Observation Tower at Governor Dick

Here's a place I've been anxious to revisit. I first visited Clarence Schock Memorial Park at Governor Dick back in my Amish Road Show days. I'll post the original video further down. That was kind of a crazy time because Zoe was just a baby and had just starting to walk. Basically, we needed out of the house. It was fun, but she screamed the whole way back to the car, and it was slightly less than enjoyable. 

So the other weekend we returned with both kids older and accustomed to a decent hike. The park is located just south of Mount Gretna, Pa on Pinch Road. About a 1/4 mile south of Mount Gretna Road (Rt. 117) you will see a pull-off that provides access to the firetower. If you go another 1/2 mile or so down Pinch Road you'll find the entrance to the Environmental Center Parking Lot. This is where we like to park if we can. With over 15 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and equestrian use there's more than one way to get to the tower.

Panoramic view of the Observation Tower rising beyond the Trees at the edge of the wildflower fields.

The most direct hike is up a service road, but there are plenty of trails to branch off on, and most of them are not really stroller friendly that i saw, just a heads up. Our crew made our way through the wildflower fields. There were plenty of flying and stinging insects around, but for the most part they didn't bother us. That's where I got my Insta360 Nano out and started recording. Check out the video below to see what came next ... 

The climb up the tower is not too bad. The kids did really well with some help and guidance. I guess a lot of people don't realize it's ladders, not stairs. As you can see, when you get to the top you're in a cage. I had my selfie stick with me so I got to poke my Insta360 Nano just a little bit higher. Take a look at the view on the south side of the tower ...

There is a lot I still don't know about this park. However, that's just a reason to visit again. I know that the Park offers a wide range of nature based and  other educational programs. They also work with the Public Schools a good bit as was the desire of the late Clarence Schock. Be sure to stop by their site for more details on all of the activties, rules, and other information about the park.

 

Blast from the past ...

Like I said, this was our second trip up here. Just over five years ago I came up for my Amish Road Show site. This was back when I first got my GoPro Hero 2. Such a proud moment. Check it out ...

Enola Low Grade Trail - Providence Township - Part I

Enola Low Grade Trail - Providence Township - Part I

The Enola Low Grade Trail was on the to-do list this weekend.  Well, at least a section of the 23 miles south of Safe Harbor. I began this section at the Fairview Road Parking Area and headed west for about 3 miles to the Hollow Road Bridge. 

Tip: There is no port-a-potty at the parking lot. However there is one about 100 yards west on the trail.

This wide panoramic view over the handlebars was captured as I headed from the parking lot towards Fairview Road. 

I initially had my heart set on making it all the way to the Rt. 272 tunnels in Smithville. The trail is basically flat with finely crushed gravel, so It's relatively easy to cover a lot of ground. Unfortunately time was working against me, especially once I reached the bridge at Hollow Road. 

 I had missed this bridge as I was doing my researching on Google Maps. So it was a delightful surprise. As soon as I pulled up I heard the clippity clop of buggies. When I stopped my bike the views were very beautiful on either side of the bridge. Which nicely fits how I describe the Enola Low Grade Trail to people:

The trail quietly and peacefully twists it’s way through the woods and countryside giving you a raw rural view of Lancaster County. At times it’s bland for miles, but when you get to the really great views they are beyond extraordinary.

This wide panoramic shot shows the Enola Low Grade Trail headed east over Hollow Road in Providence Township.

Looking North over Hollow Road. From the Enola Low Grade Trail.

There were quite a few Horse and Buggies on Hollow Road that day. As I pulled up I caught the tail end of a buggy headed North into the rolling valley. 

Within a few minutes I also captured a buggie headed South into the beautifully colored woods. There was a biker crossing the street as the buggie passed. I definitely thought his shadow casted on the road was an interesting element to the scene. The elevated perspective the bridge provided was definitely neat.

Looking South over Hollow Road. 


360 Views

I have been trying to make sure I carry my 360 gear with me this Autumn. It's extra weight to grab one or two panos on a trip, but every time I get super excited to share them with you.

Hollow Road Bridge

This 360 View was captured on the Enola Low Grade Trail at Hollow Road. The bridge gives you a really nice elevated view of the rolling countryside to the North and heavily wooded area to the South. As with the pictures above a Horse and Buggy came along. I captured it on both sides of the bridge just for fun.

Fairview Drive Parking Area

Fairview Drive currently offers one of the best access points to the Enola Low Grade Trail in the Providence Township section. It's quietly tucked away in the countryside and has a decent view to the south. 

From here you're roughly 5 miles from the Smithville Tunnels, and just a 1/4 of a mile from Rt. 222 in Quarryville where the old bridge was removed. If you're looking to access the Quarryville section of the trail you're going to have to start on the other end of town for now.

Share with us!

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