Muncy Heritage Park

West Branch Canal Lock 21, Muncy

Construction continues at Muncy Heritage Park, located in Muncy Creek Township, Lycoming County.  Plans were developed through the SEDA-COG Community Resource Center (CRC).  An access road, parking area, and pavilion are being constructed, in addition to a trail linking the parking area with the pavilion, bridge, fishing platform and wildlife observation blind.

Known as the Muncy Heritage Park and Nature Trail, it is a project of the Muncy Historical Society and Muncy Creek Township, based on the master site plan prepared by the SEDA-COG CRC.  Funding assistance has been provided through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

According to Bill Poulton, president of the Historical Society, “This has been a shared vision for the past five years, but soon we are hoping to move earth and create park access.  Instead of parking in a soggy pasture, soon visitors to the park will have a handicap-accessible parking lot and marked trails.  They’ll be able to meander through the park and learn about the local wildlife, birds and trees, as well as the history of the West Branch Canal and how a canal lock works.”

Over 170 years ago, two locks of the Pennsylvania Canal were located on the 11-acre site of the Park.  Archaeological research has also uncovered the foundation of the lock-tender’s house, i.e., the individual responsible for opening the closing the locks for boats on the canal.

Plans for the new timber-frame pavilion are patterned on construction techniques one might have experienced during the peak of the Pennsylvania Canal era.

Brian Auman, a landscape architect with the CRC, sees the project as something more than a community park.  “This park gives you a glimpse into the past in a beautiful natural setting,” he said, “and the Muncy Heritage Park hopes to one day link with the Williamsport River Walk and the West Branch Water Trail.”  SEDA-COG is the Regional lead Organization for the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership’s Middle Susquehanna Region.

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