Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, May 16, 1981, Image 90

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    C2—Lancaster Farming, Saturday, May 16,1981
Susquehannock State Park, a family retreat
Staff Correspondent
This month of May marks the
sixteenth anniversary of the
opening of Lancaster County’s only
state park.
For these last sixteen years, this
scenic, quiet, non-commercial
state park has remained prac
tically unknown to most of the
surrounding population areas.
Local neighbors often picnicked,
hiked or played ball there but it
was not until the possibility that
the park might be bought by
Philadelphia Electric that it made
its mark in the public eye.
According to park foreman,
Oliver Sheaffer, the 224 acre
Susquehannock State Park opened
to die public in May of 1965.
Sheaffer has been foreman there
for the last ten years. He has seen
the facilities at the park expand
gradually over this last decade. He
also noted the great surge of in
terest generated in the totally non
commercial park since the public
announcement of the possibility of
the park’s being acquired by
Philadelphia Electric.
After holding public hearings
and considering all sides of the
issue, the State continues to
maintain Susquehannock Park as
its sole Lancaster County state
park. Local residents and out
siders as well were heartened by
the news that the park would
These dogwood trees highlight the edge of your forte, you can always
the open meadow at the park. If hiking isn’t in the meadows.
«. <*'' •cAj' - - _ _
This little hiker stops to look at a bit of trail at the Susquehanna State Park,
nature’s wonders along the self-guided nature
remain in the state’s Department
of Environmental Resources and
therefore remain a natural setting
for family and group recreation.
A recent visit to the park for
photographic purposes proved to
present plenty of evidence to
support the notion that the park is
a peaceful, restful bit of nature
saved for drinking in the beauty of
rolling, grassy hills which are
trimmed by forests filled with
trails for hiking and horseback
The dogwood bloomed this May,
according to Sheaffer prettier than
in any of the other springs in the
ten years he has worked there. The
fields and dogwood were strikingly
reminiscent of Valley Forge,
better known for its natural beatuy
among the general public.
With the recent attention of the
possible purchase, the park has,
almost suddenly it seems, just
been discovered by the people m
the surrounding areas. Until
recently, it was used for family
gatherings and local scout and
other youthorganizations.
Sheaffer noted that many Anush
gatherings especially durmg their
holidays come to the Park for
recreation as well. Hitching rails
are provided for the horses of
Amish and riding club groups and
ample parking lots are provided
for automobiles. Much of the park.
“ is
- 'Wf'
Oliver Shaeffer, park foreman at the
Susquehannock State Park, takes care of the
grounds and the nature trails. He says he feels
however, is accessible only by foot
or horseback trails.
The Susquehannock State Park
is located on a wooded plateau high
above the Susquehanna River in
.*■ t'
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r y
ty a game of ball
the pat . is a great.
for rest and relaxation
Beautiful trees, the Susquehanna River flowing in
background, self-guided tours and clean grounds all grace
State Park in Lancaster County.
Southern Lancaster County. It
rises up out of the River Hills area
and commands a scenic spot from
which to view the river and several
sites within the visible boundaries
from the overlook area of the park.
From the overlook one can easily
see across the river one of the
largest nuclear power plants in the
world. The Peach Bottom, York
County, plant contains three units
and has been in operation since the
early sixties. It is owned and
operated by Philadelphia Electric.
Also a part of the Philadelphia
Electric’s enterprises in the area is
the Conowingo Dam Reservoir.
The backed-up water from the high
dam-breast built in Maryland just
below the state line is fourteen
miles long and one mile wide. The
“lake” has a maximum depth of
109 feet. Small boats operated by
pleasure fishermen can be seen
plying their way up and down and
across the lake,
As the boats reach the upper end
of the “lake” and draw almost
9 fomestead
ice for
directly opposite from the west
shore Peach Bottom Atomic power
plant, the boats will pass by an
island which appears to be nearly
round in circumference and risuig
in the center to a perfect cone
The irony is,that this island, so
close to the early nuclear power
plant, is the -Worid’s first Bald
Eagle sanctuary. The island is
called Mt. Johnson Island.
At the base of the steep hill atop
which the outlook rests are the
Pennsylvania Railroad tracks laid '
in 1877 and now operated by
Prior to the railroad's coming
through the county, the river was
used as a primary means for
transporting goods into the
Commonwealth through a senes of
canals on the Western shore in
York County. The Susquehanna
Canal was put into operation in
1840 and taken out of service m
(Turn to Page C 4)
ies to come