On a Saturday a couple of weeks ago I decided I’d try to work in time in the outdoors as I was running errands. I had three stops in nature that day. The first, at Towpath Park, and the third, on the Uwchlan Trail, I’ve written about. The middle experience. Kenilworth Park, was the longest hike, and perhaps the most interesting, if only because I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Kenilworth Park is located just outside the borough of Pottstown, a few miles from Towpath Park on PA Route 724. I discovered the park thanks to the extensive series on parks by Positively Pottstown! writer Sue Repko. While her park series is interesting and I’ve made some discoveries thanks to her legwork, her focus is on family parks of the playground and soccer field variety. Nothing wrong with that, because the outdoors is for everyone, but I prefer something more wooded and less groomed.
Fortunately, Kenilworth is both groomed and wild. Yes, there’s the athletic fields, and the picnic pavilion. But there’s also a lake with a raised overlook, a stream with a small waterfall, a wetland area, wooded trails, and a field with an eighteen hole disc golf course. Ms. Repko’s blog post at the link will fill you in on details of the park. Read on for details of my time in Kenilworth.
The hike wasn’t long, at most a mile, but the variety of my experiences was rich. For instance, I’ve never seen ducks feeding on algae before. And here they were on the edge of the lake feasting away.
First I circled the lake, and then into the woods. After crossing a small wooden bridge I was in a strip of forest, walking to flashes of sun between the trees.
After I went through the trail and wandered around the disc golf course, I crossed over the wooden bridge and walked along Kenilworth Creek. There is a short trail between the sleepy creek and the patch of wetland. The creek was covered with fallen leaves. I’d heard the words “polar vortex” and “cold” in the weather forecast, and I knew soon enough the trees would be bare and the skies grey. I lingered by the creek and the small waterfall. The waterfall is artificial, and at first I said to myself “is that a waterfall or a leak?” But water on stone won me over.
Outdoor people often plan big and participate bigger. But if the outdoors is indeed for all of us, that means places like Kenilworth Park are as needed, and perhaps as important, as Yellowstone. I wasn’t alone at Kenilworth; people were walking their dogs, hiking with their kids and their parents, and participating in the natural world. I felt in good spirits as I returned to my car. Not only had I spent an hour in the woods during my busy day, but I felt validated. And I realized that sometimes little places can have a big impact.