Poe Valley and Poe Paddy are surrounded by the Bald Eagle State Forest. Within this forest, there are many unpaved roads that have the signs "no winter maintanence" and "travel at your own risk"...there are few signs telling you where you might be or where you're going to end up. But it's FUN not knowing where you are:) I do recommend taking a topo map and a compass, neither of which i had when we did this, but I'm familiar with the area enough to know that eventually, I'll recognize SOMETHING. These areas are not developed at all and have some beautiful things to see...stream and creeks, waterfalls, wildlife, overlooks, etc. And the roads in the summer and NOT in bad shape, they just must be driven with caution if you're not in a 4 wheel drive vehicle.
I don't recall the water ever being as cold as it was on our last visit. But this summer hasn't been the sunniest summer either. I wish I had footage of my sister and me going into the water because it must have been funny to watch. 2 adults acting like babies because the water was so cold. It was this exchange for about 40 minutes "okay, I can take one more step" "ohhh, stop, it's cold" and "are you ready to just get in completely?" "yeah, just let me take one more step. Wow, that's cold" Meanwhile, kids were all around us not caring about the temperature. I looked at a little girl and said "wow, this water is freezing" and do you know what she said to me? "not to me it's not" I felt pretty stupid.
Normally the water isn't this cold, but it's not going to be the warmest you've ever been in. Once we finally started swimming, it was STILL cold, but we braved it:)
Reeds Gap is just that...a gap in the mountains. My father had talked about this and seeing it when he did his little "getting lost" adventure that I mentioned in a must see activity tip. My sister and I had no idea where it was, but when you're driving away from Poe Valley and Poe Paddy, (south), you come to an overlook and it's obvious. There's a turn out so you can stop and see the lovely view--it was hazy when we were there (still beautiful, though), but I imagine on an autumn day when the leaves are at their peak colors, it's breathtaking:)
The overlook is on "siglerville/millheim" road" but unless you get on this road from the beginning, NOT from the park, you won't know what road you're on. It's a gravel road leading to Milroy/Siglerville from Poe Valley NOT Poe Paddy.
Like all state and national parks, Poe Valley and Poe Paddy cater to the outdoor enthusiast. But at Poe Valley, one of the most fun things to do is rent a paddle boat and spend the day on the lake. They prices are very cheap and it's fun:)
There are also canoes and row boats but you're welcome to bring your own from home. Electric motors are also allowed
Additionally, there's also a lot of hiking, as the mid-state trail cuts through here, fishing is also prime in this area, especially for trout.
Equipment: As mentioned, you can rent boats here...or bring you own. Fishing poles, life jackets, good shoes for hiking are also necessary
Where do the names Poe Valley and Poe Paddy come from? 2 mountains: the Poe and the Paddy:-D
A valley was carved in the middle of what used to be just one long mountain, thus the name Poe Valley.
Poe Paddy State Park is now located on what was once an old mill. For the time, it was very prosperous--400 people lived and worked up here in the mountains, but quickly depleted the resource (hmmm, and yet, this still happens today) so they left. The forest is now recovering from the damage is sustained in the 1800s
Fondest memory: the fact it's now protected and NOT a mill-- it's being given a chance to recover.