Slideshow: Detweiler Park opens in Middle Paxton Township
Dauphin County commissioners last week opened Detweiler Park in Middle Paxton Township, which is now the county's largest park.
The 411-acre Detweiler Park in northern Dauphin County includes a stone farmhouse and the former Detweiler home, seven miles of walking trails and a fish hatchery maintained by the Dauphin County Anglers and Conservationists on Clark's Creek, which borders the park's western edge.
The park is named for the former owners of Stackpole Books, WHP and the Harrisburg Telegraph. Members of the Detweiler family, who owned the land for four generations, donated $897,500 of the land's $2.4 million purchase price to the county. The remaining money came from an $887,500 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and $607,500 in gaming grant money from Hollywood Casino.
Temporary parking and an entrance to the trails is available at the Dauphin County Conservation District's headquarters at 1451 Peters Mountain Road.
The commissioners are seeking public input in how to further develop the park. There is a website, www.detweilerpark.org, for county residents to share ideas for the park and sign up for email updates on upcoming park meetings.
Letters with ideas about the park also can be mailed to the commissioners at P.O. Box 1295, Harrisburg, PA 17108.
Public meetings will be held this year to get input for a master plan on what features should be developed, including a new parking area, fields for sporting events and potentially converting the former Detweiler home to a nature center. The county is restoring the house and may also rent it out to generate park income, said Carl Dickson, the county parks and recreation director.
The public input process expects to take about a year, Dickson said.
The county does not own the adjoining Stackpole home, which was the original family home.