Before opening the picnic basket or unraveling the kite at Samuel S. Lewis State Park, walk to the picnic pavilion at the top of Mt. Pisgah and relish the view.
It's a stunning picture of farmland, the river towns and the Susquehanna River. On one side of the picnic pavilion is a massive field of grass, perfect to run with a kite or to sprawl on a blanket and listen to the muffled noises of the world below.
"It's good for just taking a walk with the children," said Terry Brady, deputy press secretary for the state's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. "(The park) is an open air space that we just don't have enough of."
85 acres of park
Picnic tables and pavilions
Hiking trails: Hilltop Trail, one mile, easy walk through a pine plantation, scenic views and a rock formation and past an arboretum; Short Cut Trail, a short loop through the pine plantation; and the Back Trail, a one-mile hike through a forest.
Large, grassy hilltop for kite-flying or star-gazing
Disc golf course
For a picnic: Rent the Hilltop Pavilion for a family reunion or company picnic. Extra benches nearby are ideal for staring at the view. Reservations are accepted 11 months in advance for a fee; call 888-PA-PARKS. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the park as well.
Where it is: Just outside of Wrightsville in Lower Windsor Township, along Mt. Pisgah Road.
Its namesake: Samuel S. Lewis, a York postmaster at one time, served as the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania from 1939-43. He was also the secretary of highways and the secretary of the state's Department of Forests and Waters. His 35 acres of donated farmland seeded the park, expanded by state acquisitions.
Where to explore nearby: Take a stroll through Wrightsville and down to the river for a bit of nature. In Wrightsville, Shank's Mare, 2092 Long Level Road, has hikes, watercraft rentals, even dinner events occasionally and much more. Then, it's time for some ice cream. Jim Mack's Ice Cream, 5745 Lincoln Highway, (between Wrightsville and Hallam) has plenty of dessert options, miniature golf, a small petting zoo (now without Ricki the Bear), and arcades.