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FAMILY FRIENDLY
Painted Turtle Pond

EASY
Painted Turtle Pond
Grings Mill

MODERATE
Tom Lowe Trail

DIFFICULT

 

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Hike Ideas
In nearly a century of hiking, this club has accumulated a vast knowledge of our local hiking trails and outdoor adventure opportunities. Here are some that our members enjoy and recommend. If you would like to share a favorite hike of yours, please submit your information and photos to: hikeideas@bmecc.org


FAMILY FRIENDLY / EASY


Painted Turtle Pond in Nolde Forest

Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center is in Berks County, Pennsylvania, on PA 625, two miles south of PA 724 and three miles north of PA 568. There is a link on their web site with a park map. Nolde Forest encompasses more than 665 acres of evergreen and deciduous woodlands. It is absolutely beautiful and smells really nice. There are lush ferns, moss, and a quiet peacefulness that is very inviting.

I like to park at the Saw Mill Parking Lot located off PA 625. From there you can pick up a map from the large sign-post and walk up the stairs and by an old dam onto the Watershed Trail. This trail follows a little creek called Punches Run for about a mile. There are many beautiful trails to explore and I’m just giving you two short options here. They both take you to the Painted Turtle Pond, a favorite of my children. In the summer there are all sorts of fun critters in the little pond (my son likes to catch the newts) and a pretty meadow with flowers and benches. It is a great lunch and rest stop.

For a longer hike:
• Follow Watershed Trail to Cabin Hollow Road.
• Turn right onto Cabin Hollow Road.
• Cabin Hollow turns into Owl Trail.
• Turn left onto Kissinger Road.
• Turn left onto Chestnut Trail and then immediately look for a trail on your right, which is a switchback down to the Painted Turtle Pond.
• Come back up the switchback and turn left to get back to the crossing of Kissinger Road.
• Turn right onto Kissinger Road.
• Turn right onto Watershed Trail and follow it back to the Saw Mill Parking Lot.

For a short hike:
Follow Watershed Trail about 1/2 mile.
• Turn left onto Kissinger Road.
• Turn left onto Chestnut Trail and then immediately look for a trail on your right, which is a switchback down to the Painted Turtle Pond.
• Come back up the switchback and turn left to get back to the crossing of Kissinger Road.
• Turn right onto Kissinger Road.
• Turn right onto Watershed Trail and follow it back to the Saw Mill Parking Lot.

If you check the map you will also find that there is a lovely stone mansion on the property, not too far from the turtle pond, that is nice to walk around. On certain dates the mansion is open for visitors. My hike outline does not take you to the mansion but it is an easy stop to add.

Note: There are bathrooms located near the parking lot.

Nolde Forest web site
Hiking Trails Map

Michelle Hnath


EASY


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Gring's Mill Recreation Area

Hiking the Union Canal Trail, Berks County, PAThe Gring's Mill Recreation Area in Wyomissing, PA offers a variety of hiking and outdoor opportunities. On any given day the Union Canal Bicycle & Walking Trail is alive with hikers, walkers and bike riders. This family friendly park offers recreational amenities such as six tennis courts, a softball field, an eighteen station exercise course, a volleyball court, shuffleboard, horse-shoes, and a ranch-theme children's play area. There is a summer concert series and Holiday Light Program. Make a day of it and utilize the available picnic areas and pavilions along the Tulpehocken Creek. Enjoy the scenic footpath. Look for the red covered bridge. Red Bridge, Berks County, PA

Park hours are 8 am to dusk.

Note: There are bathrooms at the Grings Mill barn, and the Red Bridge barn along the trail.

Directions to Park
Information about Heritage Center and Red Bridge
Description of points of interest along the trail

Martyann Gutierrez


MODERATE


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Tom Lowe Trail

Tom Lowe Trail Hike, Shartlesville, PAMy favorite trail in the local hiking area is the Tom Lowe Trail located in Shartlesville, PA at the base of the Blue Mountains. The Tom Lowe Trail is 3.1 miles of total hiking enjoyment. There are several stream crossings, some elevation gain, wildlife viewing opportunities and more. Complete a loop hike with an additional 2 miles on the Sand Spring Trail or change direction and meet up with the Appalachian Trail. This hike may seem short and sweet but the challenging terrain makes this trail the best kept secret in Berks County.

Map and Directions

Martyann Gutierrez


DIFFICULT


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Difficult Hike 1

 


Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club, P. O. Box 14982, Reading, Pennsylvania 19612-4982, USA, info@bmecc.org

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Photos: Brian Swisher, Martyann Gutierrez, Willem Nabuurs

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