Road Tripping for Parks, Playgrounds and Ice Cream

We all know that summertime is the perfect time to enjoy the warm weather and hit the local parks for fun, play, fitness and general wellness. It’s also the best time to enjoy the cooling comforts of a delicious scoop of ice cream! 

To celebrate our state, small businesses, and everyone’s favorite treat, the fine folks at VisitPA have created a super ice cream trail. What’s an ice cream trail?  It’s actually three separate trails in Eastern, South Central and Western Pennsylvania that showcase 31 of the best local creameries and ice cream shops in their respective communities. Folks who set off on the trails not only enjoy a variety of wonderful flavors and treats, they see gorgeous scenery, meet new people, discover new places, and witness the many wonders found throughout the state.

Realizing what a wonderful idea the PA ice cream trail is, we thought we would lend our assistance and spotlight some of the best local parks located near some of the trail’s most popular attractions. Whether you’re working up an appetite from a day of play in the park or looking to walk off that triple-scoop on a nearby trail, these parks are the perfect places for extra ice cream trail fun. 

East PA 

Chester Springs Creamery at Milky Way Farm is a historic, multi-generational, family owned and operated working farm in beautiful Chester County, PA. In addition to providing the community with high-quality farm-fresh products, Chester Springs Creamery at Milky Way Farm boasts over 40 fantastic flavors. After one bite, you’ll understand why this popular creamery has garnered high praise from the locals. 

Chester Springs residents not only have this wonderful creamery in their community, they also have one of the best local parks, too! Hickory Park showcases a variety of age-spanning offerings in a clean, quiet and serene setting. Smaller children can let their imaginations run wild on the playground, while older children and teens will enjoy access to ball fields, basketball courts and sand volleyball courts. If a stroll in the park sounds perfect, the paved walking trails are ready for you. For more rigorous activity, the hiking trails will do the trick. 

South Central PA 

Fox Meadows Creamery in Ephrata, PA not only serves up thousands of cones, shakes and treats each year – they also let visitors get a peek behind the scenes! Step into the creamery, place your order and then take a look in the nearby window to see how their ice cream is made! Owned and operated by the Fox family since the 1950s, this popular ice cream destination features this signature “Baked Fox” treat: customer choice of a hot-pressed chocolate chip cookie or brownie outer shell with a cold scoop of their favorite ice cream inside!

Just down the road from Fox Meadows, you’ll find the Ephrata Township Community Park. Located on US-322, this 50-acre park features paved and stoned hiking trails throughout, baseball and soccer fields, and a pavillon that is able to rent for special events. Best of all, the park’s beautiful lake and pond are open to the public for fishing (subject to rules and regulations of the PA Fish & Boat Commission). 

Another great option in Ephrata is the Thomas P. Grater Community Park. This 19-acre park includes favorite features such as a playground, multiple ball fields, a community pool and walking trails, along with some uncommon additions like a skate park and wetlands area. 

West PA 

One of Mt. Lebanon’s local gems, Betsy’s Ice Cream has been pleasing taste buds from 1 to 100 with delicious handcrafted, homemade ice cream. Along with their topnotch ice cream, visitors can enjoy frozen yogurt, thick frosty shakes and other assorted frozen treats. Betsy’s has become so popular that they even offer catering services and online ordering! 

If you’re looking for a wonderful local park, you’ll be happy to hear that there’s one just down the road from Besty’s. Bird Park is a quick three minute drive from the area’s popular ice cream spot. A great place for a picnic, this popular park offers a grilling area, picnic tables, a pavilion, multiple athletic fields and is also dog friendly. Best of all, it features some of the area’s best nature trails. 

If you’re looking for one of the best playgrounds in the neighborhood, you’ll find it at Church Place Park! Located just 2 minutes away from Betsy’s doorstep, this gem of park also features a picnic area and game tables, too.  

This is just a quick glimpse at the many wonderful creameries, shops and parks you’ll discover on this year’s ice cream trail! No matter which part of the trail you choose, we’re sure you’ll have a fun (and delicious) time!