King's Gap Environmental Education and Training Center
The greatest passions of your life are often, but not always, developed at an early age. For me, horses and nature have always been an integral part of life. Living where I do, I'm lucky because I am surrounded by those passions just outside my doorstep. Even though I have them in my daily life, you never forget where the greatest love affairs of your life started.
So when the kids and I traveled back home this summer to visit family, I took some time for myself to visit King's Gap Environmental Education and Training Center in the south central part of Pennsylvania. It is a smaller size state park laid out around a stone mansion that served as the summer home of James Cameron, a prominent politician in early 20th century Pennsylvania. As state parks go, it is one of my favorite if only for the long history I share with it. I can remember going as a Girl Scout to the mansion and learning about the natural world and making woodsy-inspired art projects.
And I can remember a few trips by myself while home from college break to go on short little hiking excursions on South Mountain.
It was marvelous to walk though the hard wood forest interspersed with young pines that is so typical of the central Appalachians,
to see some wildlife native to the region,
and to end the hike on the veranda of the mansion looking north down the Cumberland Valley that was the land I grew up in.
I have lived in a variety of places throughout my life and love them all. What a privilege, though, to have learned to love nature in this spot.