COATESVILLE, PA — In my early 20’s, my parents moved from East Fallowfield Township to West Caln Township. I was in college at the time.
The first time I drove home to see the new house, I was in awe of this beautiful site that came in to view as I traveled Wagontown Road off of Rt. 340. There were many windy turns through this unique district graced with historic homes, and just after traversing a small hill, I witnessed the most striking view – Chambers Lake, which is a man-made lake full of wildlife inside of Hibernia County Park.
In the many years since, each time I visit my parents, there always seems to be someone boating, fishing, bird-watching, photographing and/or simply viewing this majestically-placed piece of human-built nature. I personally always need to stop for a moment when I am in the area. It’s that breathtaking.
In fact, I distinctly remember when my daughter was about 3 years old. As we approached the same hill, I asked her to watch what we would see as we rounded the upward bend. She looked on with amazement as the scene unfolded. It was winter and the lake grew ever-larger as we encountered it, covered with ice and adorned by the surrounding snow-capped trees. Make no mistake, this picturesque and quiet place is as magical and pleasing-to-the-eye in winter as it is in the spring, summer and fall.
Yet, one might not realize everything that is in his or her own backyard, so to speak. Still reminiscing about my 20-something years, I was determined to master roller-blading. I decided to venture into the park to try out my new skates. Little did I know, Hibernia Park would soon become a place where I would enjoy walks on various trails, bring picnic lunches and easily spend an entire day relishing in the sheer beauty of the open fields, meadows and woodlands.
Located at 1 Park Road in Coatesville, Hibernia County Park has 990 acres of trails, trees, spacious grounds, play areas for children, pavilions, and picnic venues. Many enjoy camping at the park as well. The lake, which was made in 1994 to provide a supplemental source of local drinking water and needed flood control for the Brandywine Creek watershed, has become very popular for fishermen, boaters and hikers.
For those who love history, the park also offers walking tours from Hibernia’s historical mansion. Guided tours provide information about the 19th-century iron masters and country gentlemen who originally owned the estate – specifically mansion builders Charles Brooks and Colonel Swayne. Public tours are available on Sunday afternoons from Memorial Day to Labor Day. But that’s not all – In December, the park offers candlelight tours of the property.
When you are considering a trip to and/or support of a historical park this year, don’t forget about Hibernia. After all, it’s in your backyard.
Hibernia is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Pennsylvania Inventory of Historic Places as well as the Hatfield-Hibernia National Register Historic District. Additionally, Hibernia Mansion joined the Rural History Confederation in 2009.
Become a member of Friends of Hibernia Park.
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