Recreational Historic Landscapes

Historic landscapes also include recreational facilities such as state and local parks, trails, golf courses, formal gardens and horticultural parks and amusement parks. Planned amenities, such as man-made lakes, fishing docks, nature trails, picnic or camping pavillions, dance halls, club houses, cabins and amusement park rides can all be elements in a historic recreational landscape. Kennywood Park in Allegheny County is a historic amusement park created in 1898 and now a National Historic Landmark. Early golf courses like the Merion Golf Club in Delaware County and the Longue Vue Club and Golf Course in Allegheny County are considered historic recreational landscapes. Fairmont Park in Philadelphia is a good example of a public park type of recreational historic landscape incorporating the significant architecture of Boathouse Row into a natural setting with planned park amenities.

Several state parks have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places for their important natural and designed recreational features, such as Black Moshannon State Park in Centre County and French Creek State Park in Berks County. The Appalachian Trail, an extensive network of linked hiking paths from Maine to Georgia, winds through Pennsylvania and represents another kind of recreational historic landscape. Longwood Gardens in Chester County is a popular tourist venue and noted historic landscape combining historic buildings, fountains, a horticultural conservatory and landscaped grounds.

Scenic waterways or river valleys can also function as historic recreational landscapes. Riverfront Park in Harrisburg, a several mile long walking path along the Susquehanna River, was created as part of the early 20th century City Beautiful movement and is a historic recreational landscape as well.


Photo, Longwood Gardens, Chester Co.
Longwood Gardens, Chester Co.