Sep 18, 201208:32 AMDaily News
Breaking news, practical tips, useless trivia, media reviews and more
Wrightsville full of history, great for boating
Before my venture into York County last week, all I really knew of it was it’s where my roommate works.
The only place I really saw as a sports writer in York was Dillsburg for Northern York High School, and they mainly played teams from Cumberland or Dauphin counties.
With no knowledge or expectations, I asked a coworker who had worked in the county which tiny town she would suggest I visit.
We made a list of potential sites. First up was Wrightsville.
As I drove through it, I was reminded of an industrial town in western Pa. The buildings and atmosphere looked a lot like Altoona.
Wrightsville has a small downtown area full of pizza shops and small stores and is surrounded by neighborhoods. On the eastern edge is the western bank of the Susquehanna River, and directly across is Columbia.
What stood out to me after driving through was Veteran’s Memorial Bridge—a huge two-lane bridge that spans the Susquehanna and connects Wrightsville and Columbia. I drove across accidentally because I missed a turn and found myself heading into Lancaster County—and noticed a walking path alongside it.
Due to traffic, I wouldn’t recommend the walking path for families on a leisurely stroll, but it would be fun to bike around the area and across the bridge.
This is technically the fifth bridge connecting the two towns, with others destroyed by natural disasters and Union soldiers. To prevent the Confederates from crossing into York County, a Union militia burned it in 1863.
The latest installment opened in 1930 and was dedicated on Veteran’s Day in 1980. The bridge and Wrightsville Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
I turned around in Columbia and headed back to Wrightsville.
While I didn’t find as much to do as in some other small towns, what Wrightsville has going for it is its history—and plenty of places to put a boat in the water or go fishing.
It has a trail along the river neighboring fields and parks. This area was the highlight of my visit as I took a quick walk around and checked out the view from the riverbank.
For those of us who don't own their own boats or kayaks, head down Long Level Road to Shank's Mare Outfitters. This is the perfect stop to pick up supplies and gear ranging from clothing to accessories like binoculars to footwear to even snow shoe gear. Shank's Mare has everything you need to enjoy an afternoon on the river.
North of the bridge is a massive restored warehouse containing the John Wright Store and Restaurant. Inside is a shop full of a wide variety of items—bags, purses, women’s shoes, jewelry and other accessories were all around the store. On one end was a section full of Halloween decorations and Christmas ornaments.
Connected to the shop is the John Wright Restaurant, which has a great view of the river and features a patio and outdoor bar. It boasts that it gets the freshest ingredients from local vendors and farms.
Kurt Bopp is assistant editor/web at Central Penn Parent. Check back next week when he writes about Mount Holly Springs.