Lake Ariel and Hamlin
The neighboring villages of Lake Ariel and Hamlin offer the visitor relaxing vistas, charming history, and enjoyable amusements.
Lake Ariel was once a popular summer destination for the wealthy, fed by the Pennsylvania Coal Company’s railroad and attracted by the deep blue waters of the lake. Today the beautiful lake front homes of the Victorian era stand gazing across the placid water and generations still enjoy swimming, fishing, boating, and other water sports in this serene getaway. The Clayton Park Recreation Area offers RV and camping areas, and boating options. At the north end of town stand the historic St. Thomas Moore church with striking architecture, and a new addition to house the growing community. The quaint Avoy Christian Church on Avoy road is the only historic church in the area to retain its original construction, offering a cozy, traditional atmosphere.
Nature lovers will want to visit Lacawac Sanctuary, a nature preserve, ecological field research station, and public environmental education facility with 545 acres of protected lands and a group of historic buildings. Lacawac is most notable for 52 acre Lake Lacawac - the southernmost glacial lake in the hemisphere that has been preserved in pristine condition totally free from development or encroachment. It also features nature displays, a native plants garden, demonstration forest, deer enclosure plots, five public hiking trails, public environmental focused hands-on learning experiences, and walks, university level ecological research and teaching facilities, and multiple geo caching sites. In addition the property preserves a natural boreal bog, the Wallenpaupack Ledges Natural Area, Partner Ridge, and the Heron and Golden Ponds. The 1903 historic “Adirondack Great Camp” building complex at its core has been named to the National Historic Register.
On the road between Lake Ariel and Hamlin, the spirit of conservation and environmental awareness continues in the newly built Evergreen Elementary School. The 18 million dollar project created the premier “green” school in the state, and was awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certification for their extensive use of geothermal heating and cooling, and solar and wind energy.
Claws and Paws lets visitors get close to some rare animals at their “zoo in the woods” and features a petting zoo, Dino Dig, Turtle town and animal shows, including the Wildlife Encounter Show with baby animals, colorful parrots, and interesting reptiles such as alligators and pythons. Up close experiences are offered each day at giraffe feedings when Twiga, the friendly reticulated giraffe, visits with people as they feed him carrots and his keeper gives a talk. Claws 'N' Paws was also the first zoo on the east coast to open a lory parrot feeding area where visitors can mingle with the birds where and the colorful, friendly lories fly over and eat apples from visitors’ hands.
For more animal bonding, Happy Trails Riding Stables has well-school riding horses for the beginner as well as the experienced rider, with Western and English instruction, as well as trail rides, pony rides, hay rides, boarding, and horse sales. To amp up the horsepower, visit the Hamlin Speedway’s 1/5 mile clay oval track and experience Slingshots, 270cc Winged Micro Sprints, 600cc Wingless Micro Sprints, and Stage 1 Modifieds racing from April to September.
From relaxing afternoons by the lake to wild adventures, Hamlin and Lake Ariel have amusements for everyone.