Muncy Heritage Park & Nature Trail

601 Pepper Street, Muncy Pa

"Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail is 11 acres of historical and environmentally significant property on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. The area allows Muncy to showcase the history and natural beauty of Penn Port, a commercial center and residential area that grew out of and around the bustling West Branch Canal industry of the 1800s."


This was a foggy morning, but you can see some of the signs along the path.
 Some picnic tables
This is a really pretty park, and with all the history here, would be a great location for a homeschool group outing.


Mule Barn Pavilion

 Inside the Mule Barn Pavillion - look at how this is all constructed!


Canal Packet Boat Pavilion

 This was new, since our last visit, but I believe that this is what this article refers to:
Members and volunteers spent most of Saturday cleaning the park and setting up the Canal Packet Boat for visitors. President, Bill Poultan, announced that the next project will include a pavilion barn that will hold the "John Waldron" packet boat for future events. - See more at: http://www.muncyluminary.com/page/content.detail/id/507445/Muncy-Heritage-Park-held-formal-dedication-on-Sunday.html?nav=5007#sthash.cOa86uly.dpuf"




Pond, Overlook, & Bird Blind

 There is a path to walk around the pond here.  (Note - My twins helped construct this, they, also Eagle Scouts, are friends with the scout who constructed this for his Eagle Scout Project)

The Bird Blind

Bridge Progress in October 2013 (Bridge is now complete)

If you cross the bridge above - you walk for a bit on the towpath.

Across the road from the park entrance there is more of the park, with more educational signs, and a great view of the river.


History:



Great Youtube video:

Links:



In The News:


Muncy Heritage Park & Nature Trail Dedication

05/19/2013
02:30 PM - 04:30 PM
Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail
Located at 601 Pepper Street in Muncy, the Heritage Park and Nature Trail sits on an 11-acre tract of land donated to the Muncy Historical Society in 2004. This generous act set in motion the process to turn the ecologically and culturally rich property into an incredible public park for the residents of Lycoming County and visitors from the region and beyond. The park was created as a place for quiet recreation and celebration of the region's unique beauty as it is expressed through the park's woodlands, meadow, pond, stream and river landscapes. The park is a bastion for teaching and interactive learning about the local environment and our local heritage. The park actively ties into and promotes the mission of other regional projects designed to promote healthy living, connect to the history, culture and environment of the Susquehanna and to improve quality of life.
The park straddles the entrance to the Muncy section of the West Branch Canal that was opened in 1834 and operated throughout the 19th century until badly damaged by the floods of 1889 and 1894. The site is also tied to the region's lumber heritage and it sits in view of the "Last Raft" crash site. From an ecological perspective, the park land exhibits a wonderful diversity of landscapes and plant communities.
Following a brief formal ceremony, dedication guests will be invited to walk the network of trails that highlight some of the unique areas of the 11-acre park and to view the interpretive panels located along the main pathway and towpath. Ligth refreshments will be available as well.  
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New Park & Trail for Muncy

News - April 2013
In 2004, 11 acres of undeveloped land just outside Muncy, along the West Branch of the Susquehanna, were donated to the Muncy Historical Society. This generous act set in motion the process to turn the ecologically and culturally rich property into an incredible public park for the residents of Muncy and visitors from the region and beyond.
Now, the Muncy Heritage Park & Nature Trail are to be formally dedicated and opened Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm at 601 Pepper Street, Muncy Creek Twp. in Muncy, PA. Tour the park and join the Muncy Historical Society for light refreshments. For event information call 570-546-5917.
The sustaining vision  for the Muncy Heritage Park has been to create a place for quiet recreation and celebration of the region’s unique beauty as it is expressed through the park’s woodlands, meadow, pond, stream and river landscapes.
In 2008 a Master Plan was produced by SEDA-COG's Community Resource Center to guide development.  See the Master Plan and learn about the history of the site by downloading the documenthere (22 MB).
The park will also be a bastion for teaching and interactive learning about the local environment, local heritage and the creative arts. Gathering and learning space is evident in the park's pavilion which was designed resemble the historic barns from the canal era, and constructed by local craftsmen.
More than an isolated resource, the park will actively tie into and promote the missions of regional projects designed to promote healthy living, connect to the history, culture and environment of the Susquehanna and improve quality of life throughout North-central Pennsylvania. These regional efforts include the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, the Lumber Heritage Region, and the Lycoming County Comprehensive Plan.

Project partners include: PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – Community Conservation Partnership Program, TreeVitalize Program, Williamsport –Lycoming Foundation, Muncy Creek Township, The Muncy Historical Society, Bill and Linda Poulton, Robin Van Auken, Dennis Chestnut and C&C Tree Service, local Boy Scouts, and the SEDA-COG Community Resource Center

Muncy Heritage Trail completing third phase

Towpath trail runs along canal bank

August 22, 2012
by Barbara C. Barrett (bbarrett@muncyluminary.comThe Luminary
MUNCY - Developed for its historical significance and resting on 11 acres of land, the Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail has almost completed its third phase of development. The site, located at the end of Pepper Street along the river's edge, is rich in history. It is the origin of Muncy's illustrious canal industry when Port Penn was booming with commerce and local trade.
Much infrastructure has gone into the planning and design of this park that is a secret gem to many who live here. The canal trail where mules and horses once pulled canal boats, runs approximately 10 to 12 feet wide. Trail markers are placed along the groomed trails explaining the canal boats, the native trees and the special migratory birds and water fowl that frequent the site each season. From chirping sparrows to great blue herons, gold finches and catbirds, the site is a delight for all bird lovers. Several blue bird feeders are also placed throughout the trail system and a bird blind is strategically placed to observe the water fowl without disturbing them.
The Heritage Park is a partnership program administered through the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Muncy Historical Society. The signs, markers and trails were completed in December 2011.

Article Photos

Developed for its historical significance, the Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail can be enjoyed all year long. The park site is tied to the region's lumber heritage and canal industry.
With easy access and parking, the well-kept trail circles a pond, natural streams, and native wildflowers that can easily be enjoyed by everyone. The infrastructure was a two year process according to Bill Poulton, who oversaw most of the work. Eventually the tow path will extend back into Pepper Street which will be part of the fourth phase. "This park is a nice access to the Susquehanna River," said Linda Poulton from the Muncy Historical Society. Many partners have come together for the land conservation. That includes the PA Humanities Council, the PA Lumber Heritage Region, Susquehanna Greenway and the PA Historical and Museum Commission. According to the Poultons, a low impact development grant with Susquehanna Greenway and the Endless Mountain Corridor, was used to help prevent any run-off into the Susquehanna River. "The park has become a beauty," said Linda Poulton.
Volunteers work to maintain the trails and the existing pond that is laced with colorful lily pads, live fish and reptiles. There was once a milk pond there used for the canal but it eventually was grown over with weeds. The pond that remains on the current site was built in 1965. On the other side of the park is an overlook to the Last Raft where a designated historical marker tells the story of the terrible accident that took place there.
This fall more natives will be planted by the pavilion that is designed like an old mule barn. An observation deck lies close to the water's edge and a 45 foot wooden bridge connects the trails over a stream and leads into a parking area. All of these wooden projects were built by Eagle Scouts, Troop 25 according to the Poultons. The Lumber Heritage Region helped with the signage, and once the archaeological dig was finished, dirt could be moved to make way for the trails.
The trail system was designed to withstand high waters and last September's flooding withstood any major damage. "The pavilion was built high enough so it wouldn't flood," said Linda Poulton. Another pavilion will be built to house the newer cargo boat from Easton that is currently in storage.
Phase three of this project is almost completed as a proposal for a grant is in process. "We want to build a farm bridge to expand the canal," said Bill Poulton who had just returned from a meeting with the Lycoming County Conservation division. "We are going to rebuild the bridge to connect the other side of the tow path from the south side to the north side," he said, "and replicate as best we can as it existed in 1834, but keep it ADA compliant." Depending on funding, the engineering study, construction of the bridge and related permits, Poulton hopes to start the process soon to complete phase three. "We are receiving bids right now and hope to start by early spring," he added. Part of the funding will come from a mini grant with Susquehanna Greenway, and the Lycoming County Planning and Community Development is helping with the application.
Phase four will be the final phase of the Heritage Park and Trails and will re-establish the original tow path from the new bridge to Pepper Street and interconnect the trails to the river while restoring the canal basin.
"It's become a place of solitude, walking the nature trails and observing the historic elements of the park. It is a countywide vision," added Poulton.
- See more at: http://www.muncyluminary.com/page/content.detail/id/506902/Muncy-Heritage-Trail-completing-third-phase.html?nav=5007#sthash.OpDcDdA6.dpuf

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