GPS Coordinates for Directions: 40°15’23.0″N 76°49’55.4″W
During the Fall of 2017 the plan was revealed to begin work to restore historic Paxtang Park on City Park Dr. between Derry St. and Paxton St. after cyclists began visiting Harrisburg to explore the Parkway Trails. The initial work to restore the park began in 2018 as SAMBA volunteers cleared the park of trash and tamed decades of overgrown vegetation. City workers assisted with clearing dead trees that were repurposed in the park. Pennsy Supply made a generous donation of stone, Boy Scouts built the kiosk and the rest of the fundraising and work to restore the park was carried out by SAMBA’s volunteers. We are looking forward to a time when it is appropriate to host an official Grand Opening event in the park.
Why restore the park?
1) The park is an important part of local history and served as the hub for recreation in Harrisburg during the early 1900s. The trolley line from Market square ended at the site and there was a popular amusement park, swimming pool, picnic area, lake and theater.
2) The location of the park is the center of the Parkway Trail System and an ideal parking and meeting area for visiting cyclists using the Parkway Trails or Capital Area Greenbelt. The parking area can accommodate 16 vehicles, making the location ideal for group rides to meet (eventually) and great starting point for visitors exploring the trails.3) This will be an important cycling infrastructure improvement for the area as users are directed to this lot and away from some of the smaller, overcrowded parking areas. The hope is that by establishing this facility we can provide more welcoming accommodations for visitors, helping to make the area a more desirable destination for trail use and outdoor recreation.The park is now a mixture of crushed stone parking spaces, picnic areas and open meadow bordered by Spring creek and features a trail kiosk, picnic tables, benches and pavilion. SAMBA has also been involved with planning for the continued preservation and improvements to the Park as the project to widen I-83 takes shape in the coming years.
Please explore the link below to view a previous SAMBA website post including an article from Harrisburg magazine that provides more historical information about the park and the surrounding area as well as a complete collection of historic postcards that depict the original park during it’s heyday: