I wanted to go hiking today because the weather was absolutely perfect for a hike, but I didn't want to go to the same old places that I've been going all year. I wanted to discover somewhere new and interesting. I used Google maps and looked for a big green spot and plotted a course. I had no idea what I would find there, but I was not let down in the least.
The 600 acre big green spot on the map is owned by South Mountain YMCA. They operate a huge camp and maintain numerous hiking, walking and riding trails. There are so many things to do in the main camp, but I concentrated on the estate side where the peak and the horse trails are. Cushion peak is at the crest of a large hill or small mountain depending on your definition with a rise of about 250ft. The view is amazing and the trails are quite nice.
I stumbled on an old spring house with an iron door. It was locked, but I was able to sneak the camera in for a shot of the crystal clear sparkling water that apparently made this place famous at one time. My hike was enlivened by a group of passing wild Turkeys and a few deer and a couple of hawks that tried to keep out of site.
Its a shame that I discovered this place so late in the season because now that they will be opening in the spring it will be more difficult to come back and explore the area without disrupting their guests. We might have to plan a weekend or a few days stay here real soon. I hope everyone gets a chance to see this unblemished jewel of Berks county. please ask for permission at the YMCA office before exploring on your own.