Audience members (top) of the Explore Wyoming County Parks & Trails presentation at the Dietrich Theater on June 23, check out a large version of the full-county map in the theater lobby that is included in the new brochures (above), which are available at the theater.
Years of discussion and months of dedicated planning led to the release on June 23 of the Explore Wyoming County Parks & Trails booklet, which contains maps and descriptions of walkways, waterways, nature preserves, overlooks and vistas, recreational venues, waterfalls, municipal parks and the best places to watch birds throughout Wyoming County, which has no official state or county parks. A special section of the brochure is dedicated to State Game Lands 57.
On June 23, project coordinator Rick Hiduk of Endless Mountains Media Services, along with author and county district attorney Jeff Mitchell, provided an overview of the project to a receptive audience at the Dietrich Theater. Slide shows depicting the beautiful natural resources highlighted in the booklet were paired with narratives by Mitchell and Hiduk detailing the impetus behind the project and the nearly hidden treasures of the game lands which, Mitchell noted, contain more and higher waterfalls than nearby Ricketts Glen State Park.
“If this were any place else in the United States,” Mitchell (above) remarked, “it would be a state park.” State Game Lands 57 contains unsurpassed beauty on many terms, he related, including boulders larger than the Dietrich Theater itself and pockets of land in which he has found no evidence of development by European settlers.
“The game lands portion of the booklet would not have been possible if not for Jeff’s expert knowledge,” said Hiduk (above). “But I also have to give credit to all of the other committee members who brought their specific areas of expertise to the table.”
The brochure was a collaborative effort by managers of some of the included venues and others who hope the project will lead to an official parks and trails group in Wyoming County and, eventually, a county park. In addition to the aforementioned, participants at monthly meetings included Diane Turrell of DDH Design, county planner Lynelle Farber, Rebecca Lesko of the Endless Mountains Nature Center, Jean Ruhf and Shelley McAndrew of the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau, Maureen Whipple of Friends of the Howland Preserve, Bill Kern of the Countryside Conservancy, birding expert Joe DeMarco, and Erica Rogler (below) and Margie Young of the Wyoming County Cultural Center.
In addition to the brochure and presentation, Explore Wyoming County Parks & Trails committee members have planned three public hikes of areas featured in the brochure. Lesko and Kern will lead a walk of Little Rocky Glen on Lithia Valley Road on Saturday, Aug. 11; Lesko will conduct a tour of the Endless Mountains Nature Center at Vosburg Neck on Saturday, Sept. 8; and Mitchell will organize a hike State Game Lands 57 on Saturday, Sept. 29.
After the presentation, audience members took the time to review an exhibit in the theater lobby that includes blown-up panels of the full-county map and photos of featured sites.
More information about the hikes, including times and special considerations, will be posted at www.DietrichTheater.com. Reservations at 570-996-1500 are recommended. The Explore Wyoming County Parks & Trails project was made possible via funding from the Endless Mountains Heritage Region and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Wyoming County Room Tax Committee and the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau, and the Wyoming County Commissioners.
“I’m so grateful that they did this because I love Wyoming County,” Pudgy Raymond of Falls said after Saturday’s presentation. “I’m very interested in the Little Rocky Glen walk. It’s where I learned to swim.”
Explore Wyoming County Parks & Trails brochures are currently available at the Dietrich Theater and the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau and will be distributed to other venues shortly.
The booklet is divided by recreation categories and portions of the county, such as the Tunkhannock and Vosburg Neck area pages above.