Around a month or so ago, one of my best friends told me that she was scouting a location with nature perspectives. She is a photographer based out of Lancaster Pennsylvania, and was searching for something somewhat local, and also a place that provided gorgeous backdrops. Then, she had a really great idea and mentioned Hibernia Park, which sounded amazing since it also has connections to Pennsylvania history. When she mentioned that we should go together to explore the location in depth, of course I was in!
We live in the Philadelphia area, so the park, which is located in Coatesville was only about a 45 minute drive. I think from the Lancaster area it was about the same, so if you are visiting either Philly or Lancaster, this could be a nice place if you are looking for a beautiful park to relax at on your travels. One of the first thing that we noticed upon arrival (we pulled into 1 Park Road, Coatesville, PA 19320) was the ample parking that was available. I am sure that depending on the time of day or year this can fluctuate, but it was nice that there was a large lot at the time we visited.
After greeting our friends, my husband and I were literally awe struck by this immaculate mansion that looked elegant and historic all at once! That day, we did not go on a tour, but apparently, they do have them available. At one time, this place was home of Ironmasters in the 19th century.
I thought it was very interesting that the Hibernia Mansion was once the home of Thomas Costigan, a Philadelphia contractor, and his wife Mary in the 1880s. They had their own railroad car and used it on various occasions to travel between the city and Hibernia. Another Philly native, Colonel Franklin Swayne, who was a prominent real estate lawyer, purchased the mansion in 1894. Once he settled in to the region, he farmed, raised sheep, and sold ice. His dedication to the property continues its legacy to this very day.
After we looked around this building a bit, we decided to go right into the walking trail. Many trees embraced the walking path, and some were even labeled. These included Sassafras, Black Oak, Sycamore, and Eastern Hemlock. We were amazed at how tall these trees were, and it seemed as if they were dancing with the sky! Eventually, the trail led to a little overlook section and Chambers Lake. It was really neat to see little canoes and boats out with people enjoying a sunny day right on the water.
History danced with the present, as we hiked past the Iron Forge And Furnace Complex. You could actually see part of the Water Wheel Ruins and it is amazing that this structure has stood all these years. The legacy of the iron masters of the past reveals a more industrial time in Pennsylvania.
Our final stop on our hiking adventure was the Hibernia Childrens Fishing Pond. This really sweet pond actually is just for children to fish, and the limit is 5 trout per day per child! (In Pennsylvania we really love our fishing.) My husband also spotted a really cool frog at this pond that looked like it was the size of a hand!
Hibernia is an amazing park with such rich history, and if you are traveling to the area, this is a must visit place! The location has been put on the National Register of Historic Places by The United States Department of The Interior, and it is a spot to be enjoyed by many for years to come. Hibernia County Park also has playgrounds, pavilions, park offices, restrooms, open fields, camping, and even picnic areas. Make sure you check out their website for more up to date information, and reservations.
Also thank you very much to Marisa for highlighting various areas of the park with your photography! Marisa is the best in the business, and is one of the most talented photographers I have ever known. She is based out of Lancaster Pennsylvania and you can contact her at https://www.marisareneephoto.com/ and her Instagram handle is @marisareneephoto. She is an amazing sweet person and will help you feel comfortable and confident in your photoshoot, so make sure that you book with her today!
Additional Pennsylvania Parks-