By: JOHN GRIFFEE
Potato Creek State Park offers one of the best local park experiences available in our area. The park’s amenities include camping areas, fishing locations with boat launches, picnic areas, a beach front, a wide variety of trails, including for snowmobiles, hikers and mountain bikers, along with a nature center which hosts weekly events.
At the entrance to Potato Creek State Park, the road takes visitors along a winding drive, showcasing multiple sections of the park, with outlets for trails. As the temperatures begin to rise, windows will be rolled down to hear the symphony that can fill the park with the sounds of life.
The park is one of the best showcases of local wildlife diversity, with two landmark species being the Bald Eagle and Osprey. Along the drive, visitors can drive past the nesting platform for the Osprey and watch as they hunt in the water. Despite the cold, wildlife was ever-present on the lake.
The trails offered at the park vary in difficulty, giving any level of hiker a proper challenge on well maintained trails. Each trail is filled with scenic outlooks, hosting looks into some of the beauty in the park.
In the ponds throughout the park, birdwatchers will find delight, being able to spot anything from Buffleheads to Herons. On early mornings in the right time of year, hikers can catch the sad melodious tune of a Loon breaking through the silence of dawn. There is an overall grace and charm to the park.
Potato Creek State Park cannot be talked about without mentioning the nature center at the end of the main road. The walk into the nature center opens to a large glass pane, overlooking the lake, with local birds grabbing food from feeders and flitting away.
Snakes, frogs, turtles and other animals rest in illuminated terrariums near the window. Weekly activities are run allowing visitors to help feed the animals inside along with the birds outside. The window can give parkgoers a private look at some of the animals who join the birds at the feeders, with deer, woodchucks, squirrels and more sneaking a bite.
Surrounding the front desk are exhibits detailing the history and development of the park. Souvenirs rest beside the wall of helpful pamphlets and trail guides. A winding staircase leads children up to an interactive area full of games and books.
The nature center offers multiple activities on their schedule for children, along with park wide opportunities for the family.
Whether your focus is hiking, fishing, biking or simply enjoying the woods, Potato Creek State Park has something for everyone. Admission on weekdays is free, and 7 dollars per vehicle on weekends.
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