York Town Square

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Local county and state parks: York County’s best idea?

About 50 people hiked the paths at P. Joseph Raab County Park to hear a history of iron mining in York County. York County oversees 11 parks. Also of interest: Chickies Rock braced for rush of Susquehanna’s waters and York County: It’s shaped like a horse’s …., Scenic Yellow Breeches snakes along York County’s northern boundary and Site filled with wealth of York County geological info.

Ken Burns’ new six-part documentary “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” airing on PBS, raises the question about the length and breadth of county and state parks within the 900 square miles making up York County.
For many York countians, the 11 county parks and three state parks represent a place of fun and recreation.
But often long forgotten is the pain and political capital spent to bring them about… .

A red caboose sits along the Heritage Rail Trail County Park in New Freedom in this 2005 photo. A railroading museum operates in the former New Freedom train station.
The county’s newest parks – Native Lands and Highpoint Scenic Vista & Recreation Area – grew out of the Lauxmont controversy that cost two commissioners their jobs.
Those abutting the proposed rail trail as it was being developed feared what trail users would do to their property.
Indeed, as the rail trails continue to grow throughout the county, that discourse is still occasionally heard, although rail trail planners are pretty effective in quietly handling controversy.
The point is that ideas that seem great today – and York County’s parks are just that – they sometimes have come with a price.
Burns, of course, was the mind behind the Civil War series that hiked popular interest in the war.
A Hanover Evening Sun story related an incident that occurred three years after his Civil War series aired:
Burns said he was walking around the old Gettysburg visitor center with its superintendent. The park official picked up a Popsicle wrapper, turned to Burns and said, “It’s all your fault.”
“Attendance at the battlefield had increased dramatically since the series,” the Evening Sun story stated. “And that’s just what Burns said he hopes to do for national parks.”
York Town Square regularly explores county and state parks.
Here’s a sampling of links from past posts:
With hot controversy cooled, Highpoint offers Susquehanna River view for the ages.
Private, public interests built Lake Marburg for manufacturing, recreation.
How Sam Lewis State Park sightseers view Highpoint’s dome .
Wildflowers at Shenk’s Ferry glen sprouting despite centuries of encroaching civilization.
Native Americans help clean up Dritt family cemetery in new York County park.
Iron-mine-turned-into-party-spot turned into York County park.
Pioneering sisters operated York County grist mill.
York native, Pa. Gov. George Leader cleared dam plan.
Is that Pidgeon or Pigeon Hills in western York County?
About phone pole playground at Rocky Ridge: ‘Children’s heads got caught in between the logs’.
Rail trail ribbons criss-crossing York/Adams.
Richard Nixon’s visit to his namesake park sparks memories.

Photos courtesy of the York Daily Record/Sunday News.