Ephrata is where it’s happening

By on June 12, 2013

Recently on FaceBook, a friend posted that it was Saturday and he needed something to do with his two girls, ages six and 12 years old. It needed to be "fun, cheap and local." That got me thinking about what there was to do in our area that fit the bill. If you ask any kid in town they will surely tell you what a complete drudge their town is. It doesn’t matter where that might be because as we all know, whatever town we grow up in it is surely the most boringest town in the universe.

But wait, there’s more. There really is a lot to do in our little town. In fact, did you know that the borough of Ephrata has the largest park system, per capita, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania? Of course you might know about Tom Grater Park that is home to the Eicher Museum and Arts Center, as well as the community pool, the Ephrata American Legion, Tarrymore Tennis Club and the Ephrata Performing Arts Center at the Sharadin-Bigler Theater. But according to the Ephrata Borough website there is also:

Linear Park Trail, recently dedicated as the Major Dick Winters Memorial Trail, is approximately 4,800 linear feet of trail on the abandoned railway bed between East Fulton Street and Sycamore Road at Pointview Avenue. A 12-foot wide macadam trail with site lighting, benches, trash receptacles, and landscaping.

Lincoln Heights Playground is located at Hummer Road and Lincoln Heights Avenue and consists of 0.8 acres and contains a swing set and a play structure.

Lincoln Heights Outdoor Recreation Area with an entrance off Joann Avenue/Crescent Avenue consists of 17.8 acres and contains a swing set, a play structure, a gazebo, rest room facilities and three ball fields, two of which have lights.

Nissley Park/Playground located off Niss Avenue and Bellevue Avenue consists of 4.3 acres and contains a swing set, a climber, a backstop and ballfield, a basketball court and a 224-square-foot pavilion.

Pioneer View Playground located off 285 Boomerang Drive consists of 0.4 acres and contains a play structure.

Redcay Playground, located off Russell Alley, consists of 1.0 acre and contains of a play structure and a basketball court.

Bethany Playground, located off Tom and Jeff avenues, consists of 5.2 acres and contains a volleyball court, a swing set, a play structure, a basketball court, a backstop area and a 192-square-foot pavilion.

Sycamore Acres Park, located off Dawn Avenue, consists of 1.2 acres and contains a play structure and a half basketball court.

Terraces Park, located off Irene Avenue ,consists of 12.7 acres and contains a 65-foot ballfield, a swing set, a play structure and has an area for off-street sledding.

Edgewater Meadow Park, located off South State Street near Circle Drive, is a passive park area along the Cocalico Creek, which offers good fishing.

Heatherwood Park, located off Heatherwood Drive, is an 18.0 acre passive park area with some walking trails

Brickyard Park, located off Mason Drive, consists of 4.0 acres and contains a play structure, a tennis court and a spring-fed pond.

Moyer’s Meadow Park, located off Cloister Alley and Penn Avenue, is a passive park area along the Cocalico Creek that offers good fishing.

The Archery Range containing an indoor and an outdoor range and is located along North Maple Street. Call 733-7170 for information regarding use of the ranges.

Haller’s Homestead, located off Old Mill Road, is a passive park area along the Cocalico Creek that offers good fishing.

Upcoming events at Tom Grater Memorial in June are:

Saturday, June 15 there will be a special fundraising event for the Ephrata Recreation Center sponsored by several Ephrata Merchants, Park Play Day and Rubber Duckie Race. You can find details at The Fun-est Toy Store Ever, www.FunestToys.com

Tuesday, June 25 at 6:30 p.m., Concerts by the Creek’s first concert of the season will be Ernie Halter. Los Angeles up-and-coming artist Halter blends acoustic singer-songwriter with old school soul. Influenced by some of the legendary names of pop and soul, such as the Beatles, Elton John, Otis Redding, and Stevie Wonder, he first began to make waves for himself with the release of his 2005 collection, Lo-Fidelity.

The Ephrata Concert Band performs each Sunday and during the concert series the band has the challenge of performing a different and varied program of music — ranging from patriotic songs and marches to show tunes to hymns. The concerts are scheduled for the band shell at Ephrata Borough’s Grater Community Park, weather permitting. In the event of inclement weather, concerts are held at the Ephrata Recreation Center.

Some of these places are well known and others are hidden treasures waiting to be discovered again. Each has its own unique personality. A swing set or a few benches surrounded by just enough quiet to provide that quick break or enough "something to do" to get the kids worn out enough for a good nap.

Add to that list some other major landmarks that are just a quick hop away. Loyd Roland Memorial Park in Akron offers a registered Disc Golf course, tennis and much more all surrounded by beautiful vistas of ball fields and walking trails. And on the east end of town the latest addition to our area parks is the Ephrata Township Park on East Fulton Street at what some will call the old sand mine. It offers two ponds, miles of trails, playground equipment, athletic fields and more.

So when the kids are bouncing off the walls complaining that there is nothing to do, keep in mind that if you can reach back to those days before you needed to be plugged in to something to have fun, you can go into the garage, look under the workbench or in the basement behind the furnace, and find a ball, or a Frisbee or throw the bikes in the car and go outside and enjoy one of our community’s beautiful parks. They’re just waiting for someone to come out and play, like an old friend.

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