Saturday, August 8, 2015

Pennsylvania State Parks: Shikellamy

Looking Down on Northumberland from
 Shikellamy State Park 
Shikellamy State Park consists of two different areas divided by Route 11 and the Susquehanna river. To visit one we traveled north from Shamokin Dam, took Route 15 at the traffic circle, and soon turned right at a park sign. The entrance road winds to the top of the mountain where the 78-acre park is located at the edge of a 360-foot cliff overlooking the river, Northumberland, and Sunbury.

Looking down read more
we saw two branches of the Susquehanna converging to form a framework for a unique picture of the busy town of Northumberland. Within the limits, railroad cars moved between buildings and vehicles traveled Route 11’s path through the town. In the river, speedboats made plumes of water. We could also see Sunbury like a miniature town in the distance.

Leaving this park, we descended the mountain to the other side where we turned left onto Route 11. Down the road and across the bridge, we entered Northumberland, turned right onto Route 147, and crossed a bridge to Packers Island.

View of Packers Island with Sunbury to the Right

Turning right at the sign, we entered the 54-acre Shikellamy State Park Marina. Majestic trees surrounded and towered over the roadway. All through the park, similar trees provided an atmosphere of a cathedral, a lofty ceiling over a beautiful creation. Light sprinkling through the tree illuminated the butterfly garden and various plantings throughout the park.

From all points in the park located on an end of Packers Island, shimmering water is visible. The North Branch of the Susquehanna flows on two sides and Lake Augusta is located on a third side. Lake Augusta is formed by the world’s largest inflatable dam placed across the West Branch Susquehanna River.   

From the cliffs, we had seen only a few people on the island. After entering the marina, we realized that the trees hid the park visitors under their branches. Many people traversed this wonderland: some strolling or jogging, others just stood viewing the river, parties sat at picnic tables, and the day we visited, a select few stood at attention in a line with faithful pets in training for a dog show.

Both parts of Shikellamy State Park provide a banquet for one’s eyes:  the upper park because of its view and the marina’s atmosphere created by the large trees. Neither words nor pictures can adequately describe what one feels while visiting Shikellamy State Park.

1 comment:

  1. We used to go to the Marina every summer for a picnic with Tom's family. It's fizzled out, and I miss it.