Pinebrook Park on the Brodhead
IF YOU GO
Where: There are multiple entrances to Pinebrook Park along North Fifth Street, Stroud Township. Pinebrook Park North parking is available at the entrance, two-tenths of a mile south of Route 447 on North Fifth Street.
GPS coordinates: 41-02.120N, 75-12.644W
Trail information: Trails are well maintained and mostly flat. An easy 3-mile walk that can be done in less than two hours.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
- Well-behaved dogs and considerate dog-owners are welcome. Poop-scooping and leashes are required.
- Picnic tables, barbecue grills, picnic pavilions, and restrooms are available.
- When possible, take trash with you. At the very least, use trash receptacles.
- Fishing is allowed with license.
- On summer weekends, there is an entrance fee of $10 per person for people who are not Monroe County residents.
Wildflowers decorate the wide, flat trails at Pinebrook Park.
A young eagle searches for his next meal in Brodhead Creek.
Tragedy and beauty along Brodhead Creek
By Carol Hillestad
As I stand at the edge of this peaceful, shining creek on a sunny morning, the horrors and destruction caused by catastrophic flooding are 60 years ago are hard to fathom.
Of the 95 people who died locally during the Flood of 1955, 37 men, women and children were lost to the floodwaters near this very spot at Pinebrook Park North in Stroud Township.
With those thoughts clouding the sun, I’m meeting Ed Cramer here today. Ed is a township supervisor and one of the moving forces behind protecting this land along Brodhead Creek for future generations. He is also an architect of the greenway that he and other people of vision hope will one day stretch from Skytop in northern Monroe County to the confluence of Brodhead Creek with the mighty Delaware River.
A good start on that greenway is right here.
Pinebrook North is one of a series of linked parks and donated trail easements that form the green backbone of Stroud Township, with Brodhead Creek at its center. When the Mill Creek bridge over the Brodhead is completed in late 2016, the trail will connect with Yetter Park trails, leading along the Levee Loop to East Stroudsburg South High School, Creekview Park, and Dansbury Park.
For today, Ed suggests we leave one car at Pinebrook, drive down to Brodhead Creek Regional Authority (BRCA), and walk back north from there.
The crushed-stone path is wide, flat, and smooth, and we see mallards and a blue heron in the creek. Ken Brown, head of BRCA, was instrumental in putting in place a trail easement along the creek on BRCA property. This “eased” land remains theirs, but the township maintains the trail and the public is welcome to walk it.
As we head upstream, we see bikers, a jogger, children in strollers, and people out with their dogs. Ed says dog walking is a big activity here, as we come to a large, mown field – an unofficial, unfenced dog park – which BRCA also makes available for public use. (For the health and enjoyment of all, poop-scoop laws are enforced.) Pocono Family YMCA runs soccer and flag football in the field in season, with support from Stroud Region Open Space and Recreation Commission.
Crossing a bridge over Cranberry Run, we enter a lovely, open parkland with shade trees and benches bordering the creek. We’re at the south end of Brodhead Creek Park, which was bought outright by Stroud Township in the early 1990s.
“This land is all flood plain,” Ed explains. “It just shouldn’t be developed. Protecting land along the creek helps prevent disasters like the terrible flood of ’55. It also protects drinking water for thousands of people downstream.”
The trail continues with a short jog along North Fifth Street for about 50 feet, and then back down into the woods toward the creek in Pinebrook Park South. This and Pinebrook Park North are both leased by the township from their owner, Pinebrook Bible Conference. The township maintains the properties.
And everyone who wants to can enjoy a stroll along the Brodhead.
Carol Hillestad of Cresco is a writer and hike leader for Get Outdoors Poconos, a free hike series administered by Brodhead Watershed Association.
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