On a gorgeous autumn day, when the rain had finally stopped falling, I pulled into the small parking area at Mocharniuk Meadows on Hanover Street, anxious to spend some quiet time outdoors. This Upper Pottsgrove park is a real treasure. In general, it’s an elongated loop that has you heading downhill from the parking area. As you make your way around, you’ll get your heart rate up on the way back to your car; do a few laps and you’ll have gotten in a respectable workout. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for wildflowers. I caught sight of a few and promised myself to come back in the spring.
One of the neat things about Mocharniuk Meadows is that there are a couple places to veer off the loop. Being naturally curious, of course I had to investigate. When I was about three-quarters of the way around the meadow, I took a path to the left and approached a cute footbridge that said, “Welcome to Hollenbach Park.” I crossed over and came upon a plateau of soccer fields with a backdrop of houses peeking up from down below.
As I said, I was in the mood for walking, so I headed up the incline to get a photo of the Hollenbach Park sign. Please note that Upper Pottsgrove’s park signage is tops. There’s no way you’re going to miss their major parks!
Then, as I made my way through the parking area, curiosity struck again, and I wondered what was in the wooded area off to my right. Lo and behold, I came upon a trailhead and a sign for the Ron Frick Nature Trail (designed & constructed by Cory Lang & Friends). While the property essentially backs onto the housing development, it seems someone has used part of this area for dumping. (Maybe a clean-up project for some Scouts?)
Otherwise, this was another one of those discoveries that made me feel like a kid again. This trail winds down and through some woods and then slopes back up, giving a couple different options for turning right and heading back toward the parking lot.
It’s not going to satisfy someone looking for a long hike, but it would be perfect for young children – especially if they’re bored with their older sibling’s soccer match. It also quenched my craving for a decent walk since I’d covered a reasonable amount of ground by combining it with Mocharniuk Meadows and the stretch across Hollenbach field (before the clouds began threatening again.)
On my way back across the footbridge, I noticed that the sign on that side says, “Welcome to Mocharniuk Meadows.” Very cute! (I later found out that Nick Faulkner built this bridge for his Eagle Scout project just this past summer – nice job, Nick!)
I put a call into the Township to ask about the debris in that one section of the woods and just remembered that it’s Columbus Day. I’ll get back to you on that and revise this post accordingly.* This wraps it up for the parks of Upper Pottsgrove, and now it’s time to turn the blog over to Rosemary Keane, who will be reporting on Boyertown, Douglass, New Hanover and Amity in the weeks to come. In the meantime, I hope you have the chance to get outside!
* Oct. 12, 2010. I just spoke to Linda at the Township. The trail was put in a few years ago by Cory Lang as part of his Eagle Scout project. The Township will be looking into the situation and getting the area cleaned up.
Location: Use 1428 N. Hanover Street, Pottstown, PA 19464 to find it with a GPS or mapping program.
Size: 6.0 acres
Facilities: Meadow, walking trails, creek, footbridge to adjacent Hollenbach Park
Suitability: All ages of humans and dogs (on a leash.) They’ve got doggie bags at the entrance, in case you forget yours.
Activities and Tips: Check out wildflowers in spring and fall.
Hours: Dawn until dusk
Location: Use 1370 N. Hanover Street, Pottstown, PA 19464 to find it with a GPS or mapping program.
Size: 25.2 acres
Facilities: Soccer fields, parking, port-o-potty, trail
Suitability: Soccer players/teams, walkers & hikers, very young children with supervision
Activities and Tips: Hollenbach is not just for soccer. Explore the Ron Frick Nature Trail to the right of the parking lot, as you are facing the fields.
Hours: Dawn until dusk
Upper Pottsgrove Township
1409 Farmington Ave.
Pottstown, PA 19464
See the Upper Pottsgrove Township open space and recreation page to learn about their programs and facilities.