Tucked in the Greater Reading area is a lovely park named Gring\’s Mill recreation area found in the Schuylkill River Heritage Area. The mill was established along Tulpehocken Creek and is a beautiful historic spot. The Recreational Area has a lovely bridge you can cross, and occasionally find a fisherman there enjoying the day. There are trails you can enjoy, and frequently joggers and dog walkers will pass by as you stroll the lush Pennsylvania countryside.
If you stop by on a sunny spring day, you\’ll find fisherman, joggers, picnickers, kids playing, and couples strolling along the riverside. The park was a riot of spring colors.. Everywhere you looked you would find the bright green of young plants, flowers covering hillsides, and magnolias raining pink pedals with every breeze.
Schuylkill River Heritage Area
Greater Reading area – Gring\’s Mill Recreation Area
When we arrived at Gring\’s Mill Rec Area, the kids saw a playground on a hill and bolted directly towards it – squealing all the way. I found a shady bench nearby and relaxed while the kids climbed, slid, crawled, and jumped on everything.
Kid #2 discovered my clip-on camera lenses for smart phones and was fixated by them. So I was giving a quick lesson on wide angle, fish-eye, and zoom lenses. She was eager to take pictures, so we made our way to the canal and bridge. And many of these images are compliments of a preteen artiste.
Geocaching. Yes, again.
Naturally we geocached the area. Tom was there and able to tackle the caches hidden along the river\’s bank. I called the river bank a cliff of certain death and refused to climb down. I was being a lazy cacher this day! Luckily, Tom survived the ordeal and the cache was retrieved, signed, and returned.
We then made our way to the bridge, canal, and the trails along the canal. Everything was fresh and alive. It was truly a beautiful day. The kids loved leaning over the bridge and watching the swifts dart back and forth along the water\’s edge, and under the bridge itself. We ran down to look under the bridge and then back up to watch the birds flitting around the structure.
The Mill is a handsome building right next to the water. And with a still day, the reflection is perfect.
We then explored a lovely cottage that sat on a hill next to the canal. A stunning structure that was closed at the time, but looks like a charming place to stay.
There was a geocache near the cottage. While we searched for this cache, we stumbled upon a big, fat frog (toad?) nestled along the trail. He was a patient superstar as every kid had to get up close to see him. Adults, too. Amazingly, the frog just sat there while he became the center of everyone\’s attention.
We found the next cache and then explored the cottage grounds. Here we found a glorious Magnolia tree and stopped to take photos.
The lone Magnolia tree was so glorious that even the kids couldn\’t resist exploring it further. Every breeze helped the pink pedals rain down around us as we stood under the tree. It was irresistible! Everyone danced and laughed under the pink pedal showers.
It was a lovely morning of exploring, geocaching, and tree-climbing fun. And I plan to continue visiting the Schuylkill River Heritage Areas along the state.