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State park welcomes playtime in January

Lyn Thorpe, Seth Curtis, Maria Fox of South Canaan and Lori Curtis of Waymart enjoy some downhill sledding at Prompton State Park during Winter Trail Day, hosted by the Friends of Prompton State Park.
Contributed photo by Tammy Compton

By Tammy Compton
January 16, 2013

PROMPTON, PA — Smiles abounded on the faces of the young and the young-at-heart at Saturday’s Winter Trail Day held at Prompton State Park, PA. It was a day for embracing the white stuff and all of the outdoor winter fun that goes along with it.

Hosted by the Friends of Prompton State Park, a group dedicated to the improvement of park facilities and promoting tourism there, the well-attended event featured a variety of free demonstrations, including snowshoeing with Northeast Wilderness Experience, cross country skiing lead by The Lodge at Woodloch, geo-caching explained by a representative of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, disc golf with the Pocono Disc Golf Association, ice climbing information presented by Back Country Summit Guides, an ice safety demo by the PA Fish and Boat Commission, and an ice fishing tournament organized by Seaman’s Marine.

“It’s a great thing for the kids,” said Tino Penzone, a local Boy Scout leader who couldn’t wait to return to do some hiking with Troop 8 of Carbondale. Prompton State Park holds fond memories for Penzone. “We did a lot of ice fishing here over the years. We did a lot of fishing during the summertime, and kayaking. We had a great time—my brothers and my sons and my grandsons. It’s a nice place and not that far. We have so much within a close area here. People don’t realize what’s right in their own back yard that they’re not enjoying,” he said.

Having just jumped off a dark green, fat-tire mountain bike, 12-year-old Kayla McDonough, Penzone’s granddaughter, was exhilarated. “You could feel more traction than on a normal bike,” said the Carbondale area student.

“Everybody is stopping by because they’ve never seen bikes with wheels and tires this wide. They’re up to four-and-a-half inches wide, and the normal bike tire is only about two inches wide,” said Zach Wentzel of Sickler’s Bike and Sport Shop of Clarks Summit. Calling Prompton State Park an underutilized gem, Wentzel said, “I live at the dam. This is basically my backyard. I do everything here. I use the lake for my canoes with my family. We fish. There are eagles to watch. We use the trails to hike on and bike on. We hunt in the park.”

Saturday’s visit was a first for William Smith of Canadensis. Big on mountain biking and hiking, Smith said, “I’m really impressed with the variety of activities that they’re offering here. It’s kind of a one-stop-shop for fun.”