Sports, Recreational Activities Available In Mountaintop Area

Mountaintop residents, both young and old alike, were able to enjoy many activities throughout 2013 including running, biking, skiing, sledding, snowshoeing or skating, in addition to a host of organized sports.

Mountaintop Area Little League kicked off the 2013 season in April with their annual Opening Day parade and ceremony for approximately five hundred little leaguers. Joe Grzenda, a twenty year veteran pitcher in Major League Baseball, shared some words of wisdom with all the boys and girls. The fun continued until the evening with multiple games.

Mountaintop Youth Soccer had some progress on the completion of their complex this summer. Since 2009, Mountaintop Youth Soccer games have been played at their complex on Church Road, and now the youth sports organization has plans ready to start a new concession building to house equipment, a picnic pavilion, handicap accessible restrooms, and concession stand that will service the four full-size soccer fields at the complex. Architectural plans for the new 3800 square foot building were recently completed and the project is moving along. Once the building is done, the concession stand must be staffed by parents and volunteers –probably one of the biggest challenges most youth organizations face in their constant need for revenue.

After years of planning, property negotiations, engineering reports and fundraising, the new Black Diamond Section of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor Trail officially opened in July to much community celebration. The 8.1 mile trail section runs from Glenn Summit south to Middleburg Road in White Haven and will eventually connect Wilkes-Barre to Bristol, PA –a 165 mile route that ends just north of Philadelphia and follows the old Lehigh Valley Railroad bed. The intent of these “Heritage Corridors” as they are called, is to promote economic development through tourism, and railways are very common throughout the country.

Ice fishing and skating was again quite popular among residents, although last winter stayed quite warm from much of the early months and then finished in a snap of frigid cold, finally allowing residents to use the Ice Lakes and Blythburn Lake for icy activities. However, if you would rather not have to deal with the uncertainties of a lake or a pond, one can always skate at the Wright Township ice rink that was added to the park three years ago. The rink has seen plenty of use in both summer and winter and there are plenty of unofficial sledding areas in the park that children love to frequent after a fresh snowfall.

Sledding and ice skating are not the only activities around the mountain. Residents looking to burn some winter calories can also go snowshoeing or cross country skiing at nearby Nescopeck State Park as well, just like the one John Jacob, a conservation volunteer and member of the Greater Wyoming Valley Audubon Society, held last February. John is currently the Field Trip Chairperson and Newsletter Editor for the society, whose mission is to “conserve and restore natural ecosystems…for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity”, and is anxious to continue to involve people in the outdoors. He volunteers at the state park to help with bird counts, and does field trips and hikes, such as his First Day hike on New Year’s Day and several birding trips.

+++++ If the cold isn’t your thing, Steven

Waskie, the new Park Director for the Wright Twp. Summer program, had a lot in store for the children who attended the camp this past summer. Waskie, a 2012 graduate of Crestwood HS, spent the last two summers as an aid before applying to run the 6 week program that typically rosters between twenty and thirty campers, ages 6-12. The program makes full use of the park’s resources, such as the basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, the baseball field, the street hockey rink and the playground fountain. The program always closes out the season with a culminating activity such as an on site barbeque and talent show at the end of the day where prizes donated from local businesses are awarded.