Along the northern rim of Harrisburg, PA, only a short stroll from the wide Susquehanna River, lies a startlingly peaceful conservation area, known simply as Wildwood Park. Very rarely do city dwellers find such uniquely pristine acreage within four miles of a bustling downtown district. At its core, Wildwood Park is an outdoor recreation mecca for those with a penchant for hiking, biking, and picnicking. However, the Nature Center, named after beloved civic leader and entrepreneur Benjamin Olewine III, provides ample opportunities for learning and community togetherness. The Central Hotel & Conference Center, one of the best hotels in Harrisburg, PA, is a brisk, seven-mile drive from Wildwood Park and its 210 acres of tranquility and natural beauty.

Wildwood Park

Community members typically utilize Wildwood Park’s topography for afternoon strolls, morning jogs, and a little weekend bicycling. That being said, there’s a lot of hidden splendor that only a frequent visitor would be privy of (until now, of course). First of all, the six miles of trails house a diverse array of birdlife. The unwavering jovial birdsong is Wildwood Park’s unofficial theme song. Birders often gush about spotting a black-crowned night heron, common yellowthroat, wood duck, American white ibis, Pacific golden plover, or osprey. Meanwhile, muskrats, deer, common snapping turtles, foxes, caterpillars, and monarch butterflies frequent the terrain, especially near the “Morning Glory” spillway. Wildwood Lake covers approximately 90 acres of the park, providing a healthy dose of serenity and much-needed quiet to the land.

The Benjamin Olewine III Nature Center

Photo of Wildwood Park's Nature Center.Wildwood Park itself is only the tip of the iceberg. Due to social distancing efforts, the Benjamin Olewine III Nature Center’s hours will likely fluctuate over the coming months. Interior exhibits tell the Susquehanna Valley’s absorbing story. Meanwhile, the Nature Center plays gracious host to a bevy of events, including wellness walks, rotating exhibitions, photo contests, lectures, volunteering, scout trips, and craft expos. Currently, the “Art in the Wild” exhibit can be experienced throughout the park within steps of the Nature Center. Local artists, using mostly organic materials, have crafted works of art that encapsulate the conservationist credo of Wildwood Park. The Dauphin County Parks & Recreation’s Facebook page is a great way to stay in touch with ongoing efforts and upcoming events.

The Central Hotel: Sophisticated Lodging in Harrisburg, PA

Photo of The Central Hotel's Lavish Restaurant, Just Minutes from Wildwood Park.Whether you’re in town for a convention, a romantic getaway, or a family retreat, you’ll find sophisticated comfort at The Central Hotel, the city’s crown hospitality jewel. The hotel itself boasts one of the most beloved pubs in Dauphin County, O’Reilly’s Tap Room & Kitchen, as well as a business center, spacious fitness room, and large indoor pool. And, thankfully, pets are more than welcome here at The Central Hotel! Besides Wildwood Park, local attractions include Hersheypark, Governor’s Row, and The State Museum, with Gettysburg and Amish Country a little further out. Please give us a call today at 800-644-3144 to learn more about our various offers and packages (or visit our website).