Underground Adventures, A Craft Beverage Trail and More: Schuylkill County Awaits
From an authentic coal mine and steam train to a unique craft beverage trail that celebrates region’s beer, wine and spirits, Schuylkill County is filled with attractions for visitors of all ages.
Located in eastern Pennsylvania less than 90 minutes from Philadelphia, Schuylkill County is a hidden gem within the Keystone State. Outdoor recreation activities abound throughout this scenic region, including an Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area and Whitewater Rafting Adventures.
Famous Reading Outdoors features 20,000 acres of off-road vehicle and mountain bike trails along with hunting and game lands. Trails are geared for the beginner and expert alike and include wooded portions as well as acres of flats, rugged terrain with steep hills and deep ravines. Rausch Creek Off-Road Park is devoted to providing a fun, legal place for off-road enthusiasts to go four-wheeling with their four-wheel drive Jeep, truck, or SUV.
The area is filled with campgrounds that allow easy access to biking trails, hiking paths, fishing and canoeing, while several state parks that offer a variety of recreational options are also close by.
Two of the most popular attractions actually take you underground. The Pioneer Tunnel and Steam Train, also known as “The Other Land Under,” takes visitors on a tour of an underground mine as you ride an old-time steam train, all while miner guides relate the fascinating history of anthracite coal. Also, the historic Crystal Cave, not far from Schuylkill County, is known for its abundance of milky white formations that have thrilled visitors for over 145 years. The endless number of crystalline formations on the walls and ceiling of Crystal Cave are what gave it its name.
The county is home to numerous historical attractions which are sure to please the historian in the crowd. Take a step into the past as you enter Tamaqua’s beautifully restored 1874 Philadelphia & Reading Railroad. Saved from the brink of demolition, the Tamaqua Railroad Station now serves as a county Visitors Center, as well as a cultural and economic hub in Historic Tamaqua.
A shopper’s paradise, visitors can browse for antiques at Vintage 61 Storehouse where they’ll discover refinished old furniture, or look for vintage clothing and hats, along with jewelry and much more, at Hidden Treasures.
One of the most enjoyable ways for adults to spend some time in the county is to participate in a unique craft beverage trail that celebrates region’s beer, wine and spirits. Currently there are 11 member breweries, wineries and distilleries on the trail that you’ll want to visit, experience, discover, sample and perhaps buy their homemade products.
Long Trout Winery does unique bohemian wines and has a disc golf course on their property, and Stone Mountain Wine Cellars is coupled with a farm market carrying local honey, jams, jellies and more. King Cole Winery is the newest winery to open, and offers very different flavors all handmade including blood orange, raspberry, watermelon, mango and coffee wine. Nestled in the pristine Mahantongo Valley, Benigna’s Creek is situated at the highest point in the valley and features award-winning affordable wines, and Red Shale Ridge Vineyards offers Whites, Reds and Fruit wines. Stone Mountain Wine Cellars primary acreage is planted to the Norton variety, a unique American blue/black grape which can be finished dry somewhat resembling Cabernet. Beer aficionados must sample some of the ten beers on tap at 1787 Brewing Company, including ales, IPAs and stouts.
No matter the time of year, Schuylkill County offers you an action packed itinerary that will fill your days with adventure, education and an all-around good time.
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