This week we visited the Historic Pool Forge Playground. If you haven’t checked out this playground and creek area, I highly recommend doing so. Whether its just for a short visit or spending all day there, you will fall in love with this place and certainly not run out of things to do. Let me show you why.
Historic Pool Forge is located along Route 23 between Goodville and Churchtown. It’s not far from Shady Maple, so you can plan your visit to these two places together.
As you enter the Pool Forge property you won’t see the playground. You’ll need to turn left and go down the narrow driveway towards the back of the property (unless you enter through the covered bridge, then it will be a right turn).
The playground sits back in a wooded area beside the Conestoga Creek. As you visit the park, you hear magnificent natural sounds of chirping birds, crickets, cicadas, water flowing over rocks and the occasional great blue heron call. If you hear the heron, don’t freak out! They can sound awful, but they won’t hurt you. My family refers to them as dinosaur birds because of the sounds they make.
The sounds were just so beautiful during our visit that I had to record this short video to give you an idea of the serenity and peace. I took a few moments while my kids played on the playground to just sit and enjoy the sounds and the view while I recorded this.
The playground itself was designed for all ages of children.
There is a little tot area, complete with a pretend serving window and a telescope perfect for child’s imagination.
The riding animals and truck are good for toddlers as well as older children.
The “playground telephone” (what are these called anyway?), works perfectly and even carries a whisper. I had the cutest conversation with my son, whispering to him about a “snake” hole I found.
The main playground structure has large slides, and a rope with a climbing wall perfect for ages 4-10 I would say. Although I’m sure children older than that could make great use of it too.
Speaking of climbing walls, we loved this two sided climbing wall. One kid can climb up each side and then meet at the top for victory! Younger children (my 4 year old) needed help with this, but there were definitely easier sections than others. I would guess that kids up to 16 (even adults) could be challenged on this wall.
The moving balance beam is definitely unique. I actually had to try it out myself to see what it was like!
Another positive thing about this playground is that there are normal swings, a swing for children with disabilities and baby swings, so all your children, toddlers and infants can be swinging at the same time if they so desire!
Next to the playground is a beautiful pavilion with many picnic tables, perfect for eating a snack or your lunch.
The playground sits on a hill next to the creek. The creek itself is only ankle deep at most places, but occasionally you will see spots that are up to thigh deep.
There are several different places to enter the creek easily if you would like to get wet or even just get down closer to the water.
Most people tend to enter the water in this big area that I call the wading pool of the creek. Its pretty shallow for the most part. My 2-year-old walked out to the little island very easily on his own, but he is a brave little guy too. The water does move pretty fast on the far left but it is not deep. Right after the mini water rapids however, there is a really deep spot. It was probably about 3-4 feet deep when we were there. Its not a large spot, and my kids easily stayed away from it, but it is a place to be careful. You wouldn’t expect it to be that deep there, until you take a step towards it.
The downside of playing here is the entrance is very steep and muddy. Unless you don’t mind messes, then it won’t bother you.
We also enjoyed climbing on this large sycamore tree, and admired the beauty of it. Isn’t it amazing how the roots formed these natural steps? We were in awe exploring God’s nature.
You’ll even see little fish, although I wasn’t able to capture a good photo of them. I think the water is so clear that not only can we see them but they can see us. Every time I got my camera out they swam away!
This would be a great place to meet a group of moms or friends for a morning playtime and picnic lunch. You would not have a hard time spending hours here as your kids switch back and forth between the playground, the creek, and eating snacks/lunch. There are porta-potties that are kept pretty nice for you and your kids to use.
Please note the park has a carry your trash out policy, so there are no trash cans. Plan on bringing plastic bags for your trash if you need them.
When you leave, plan to exit through the covered bridge. Your kids will love it!
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