Reading, Pennsylvania, and its surrounding areas offer a variety of beautiful nature parks and outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy. While Reading itself is a city, there are several parks and natural areas within a short drive of the city where you can escape the urban hustle and immerse yourself in nature. Here are some nature parks in and around Reading, Pennsylvania, that you might want to explore:
- French Creek State Park: Located approximately 15 miles southwest of Reading, French Creek State Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The park encompasses over 7,500 acres of woodlands, meadows, and a 68-acre lake. Visitors can enjoy hiking, picnicking, camping, boating, fishing, and swimming. The park’s extensive trail system offers options for hikers and mountain bikers of all levels.
- Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center: This 665-acre nature preserve is located just south of Reading. It features a network of hiking trails that wind through beautiful woodlands, including old-growth forest areas. The center offers educational programs and opportunities to observe local flora and fauna in a peaceful setting.
- Blue Marsh Lake: Situated around 10 miles northwest of Reading, Blue Marsh Lake is a reservoir with over 1,100 acres of water and 36 miles of shoreline. It’s a fantastic spot for boating, fishing, and picnicking. The lake is surrounded by several trails, including the multi-use Union Canal Trail, which is popular among hikers and bikers.
- Antietam Lake Park: Located on the eastern edge of Reading, Antietam Lake Park is a 643-acre park with a serene lake, walking trails, and opportunities for birdwatching. The park’s trails offer picturesque views of the lake and surrounding woodlands.
- Angora Fruit Farm: This community park in southwestern Reading provides a mix of recreational and natural spaces. It’s known for its scenic walking trails, picnic areas, and a popular sledding hill in the winter.
- Schuylkill River Trail: The Schuylkill River Trail extends for many miles and passes through the Reading area. This multi-use trail is perfect for walking, running, biking, and even kayaking or canoeing along the Schuylkill River.
These are just a few of the nature parks and outdoor spaces in and around Reading, Pennsylvania. Whether you’re interested in hiking, picnicking, water-based activities, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature, there are plenty of options for you to explore and unwind in this region. Please check with local authorities or park websites for the most up-to-date information on park hours, rules, and facilities.