Enjoy spook- tacular fall fun
“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves. We have had our summer evenings, nowfor October eves!”
— HumbertWolfe. I love that one! It’s invigorating. And a little spooky. Perfect. October is a beautifulmonth in Pennsylvania and Schuylkill County is particularly lovely with its mountains, valleys and pastoral scenes. Autumn’s finery is all around us as Mother Nature dons her most vibrant gown, so plan plenty of outdoor time this month.
The first thing I recommend is taking a walk. I love taking a simple walk around my neighborhood, but there are many walking and hiking options throughout Schuylkill County youmay want to consider.
There’s a vigorous sevenmileWolfe CreekFalls Hike at 10: 30 a. m. Saturday with RobinTracy. You have to register withRobin at 570- 4672506, so be sure to give her a call today. If you’re looking for something a littlemore moderate, joinRobin onOct. 11 for theSwatara StatePark Hike. Regina Gargano
There’s aWeeOnes’ Autumn AdventureWalk with Porcupine Pine at SweetArrowLake County Park, PineGrove, on Oct. 18 and Girard Manor Jaunt with TomPesock rounds out the month’s guided hikes on Oct. 29.
Of course, there are plenty more opportunities you can enjoy on your own. The historic Tow- Path trail in Port Clinton, SchuylkillValley Trail, The Irish Flats Trail in Schuylkill Haven, Tri- Valley’s Environmental Education Center, Landingville Marsh, the Sen. James J. Rhoades Nature Trail and the Lehigh and NewEngland Trail in Tamaqua all provide excellent views, dramatic fall colors and some invigorating exercise this month.
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Drehersville, is the perfect place to get outdoors and enjoy the changing colors of autumn and they’re packed with activities this month.
TheM& T RaptorsUp Close program runs every weekend throughout the month. There’sArctic Raptors: Adaptations to an Extreme Environment on Oct. 14, Vera Cruise River of Raptor on Oct. 21 and Migrating BirdsKnowNo Boundaries: The Middle East Test Case on Oct. 28. The views at Hawk Mountain are unsurpassed and I promise you will thoroughly enjoy time you spend there.
Whileyou’re in the southernSchuylkill region, make time to visit PioneerEvergreenFarm’sFallFestival running throughtheendof themonthinOrwigsburg. Pioneer offers affordableautumn familyfun at its finest.
Not only do they have one of the best scenic mountain hayrides to be found anywhere, they’ve also got a 200foot mountain slide, obstacle bounce house, pumpkin patch, tube slide, water balloon launcher, pedal go- karts, a bucking bronco, train rides, pony rides, a smart farm game, a petting zoo and a three- acre tree maze. You can top off your visit at the hot dog and S’mores roast!
Nearby in SchuylkillHaven, it’s First Saturday, where there will be various specials at businesses all around town, including 4Play Moonshine’s Goblets, Steins and Moonshine paintingworkshop, Walk In Art Center’sOpen House plus awhole lotmore throughout the town. Walk In Art Center also has a Safe Trick orTreat event planned for Oct. 11 and aMurder Mystery Dinner on Oct. 21.
There are a variety of harvest happenings in many of our towns throughout Schuylkill County. In Pottsville, Avenues’ Fall Festival is on Saturday and the Majestic Children’s Theater presents “Shakespeare’s Henry V” on Oct. 14 and 15. In Tamaqua, the Heritage Festival is on Sunday and the Tamaqua Community Arts Center brings us aBarbershop Chorus Concert onOct. 14.
Ashland is home to its annualApplefest on Oct. 14 and Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine& Steam Train’s fall festival onOct. 21. In Pine Grove, you can enjoy the annualAutumn Stroll and Halloween parade on Oct. 21.
Spooky, scary, creepy, crawly, ghoulishly good times are an October hallmark and Iwould be remiss if I didn’t round out this article with some frightening fiendish fun.
Eckley MinersVillage hosts a hauntingly good time the last twoweekends in October with haunted lantern tours. No. 9 Mine will scare you right out of your pants Oct. 27 to 29 in the haunted mine. SCCAsimply oozes dread on Oct. 27 and 28 with theworks of Edgar AllenPoe and again onOct. 30 and 31 at the Haunted Mansion tours.
Orwigsburg’sANight of Chili and Chills will have your spine tingling on Oct. 28! Finally, you can take a HauntedWalking Tour of Pottsville every Saturday evening inOctober thanks to our friends at the Schuylkill County Historical Society.
I hope you’ll enjoy everything our fine community has to offer this month. For more information on these and other October events, visit our calendar of events atwww. schuylkill. org and our partners atwww. skoocal. com for a complete listing of spook- tacular fall fun!
( Gargano is executive director of Schuylkill County