There are two parks located close to each other in Lower Saucon Township just outside of the southern end of Hellertown. They are Polk Valley Park and Alfred J. Fritchman Reservoir Park. Each is quite different in their surroundings and what they offer.
Polk Valley Park, a Lower Saucon Township park is situated along Polk Valley Road near the Saucon Valley School District campus. It is a hilly 48.5 acre park which opened in the spring of 2008. There are 3 multi-purpose fields (soccer/lacrosse/football), 2 Little League sized baseball fields; a mile long paved walking/biking trail and several grass trails through naturalized areas.
Located at the park is a 1+ acre Dog Park which features separate areas for small and large dogs and seating for dog owners. The Dog Park is open year round from dawn to dusk and each person may bring up to two dogs into the park at a time. All dogs must be spayed or neutered. Dog owners are liable for any injury or damage caused by their animals.
The park is open dawn to dusk. No alcohol or fires are allowed. A possible connector trail has been discussed by local officials that would lead to the nearby 5-mile Saucon Rail Trail, which passes through Hellertown, Lower Saucon Township and Upper Saucon Township.
To reach Polk Valley Park from Main Street (Route 412) in Hellertown, go past McDonald’s on your right, turn left onto Polk Valley Road, just after the shopping center. The park is at the top of the hill on the right, before Polk Valley Road turns toward the school complex.
The Alfred J. Fritchman Reservoir Park is located near the end of Reservoir Road, just past Polk Valley Park. The property is owned by the Hellertown Borough Authority.
The park which is mostly wooded contains high stands of trees, walking trails, a picnic pavilion, a playing field, a large-fenced-in pond, several smaller ponds and 2 streams. The fenced-in pond is just past the pavilion. Fishing is not allowed in the pond which most people refer to as the Hellertown Reservoir. (The actual Hellertown Reservoir is about 2 miles away off of Silver Creek Road in an area which is not open to the public.) Fishing was allowed at the fenced-in pond during the days of my youth. It contained plenty of catfish and sunnies. But it has been off limits for some years.
Reservoir Park is a great place to bird watch. Seen here are various woodpeckers, including Pileated. Owls, hawks and Wild Turkeys also are present. Eastern phoebes can be seen nesting in the pavilion in early spring. Also warblers, thrushes, chickadees and other songbirds can be spotted.
In the summer months, the park is a popular place for family reunions, parties and other social gatherings; including an annual British Car Show held in June which is hosted by the Keystone Region MG Club.
The Reservoir Park can be reached from Polk Valley Road just past Polk Valley Park. At the stop sign facing the Saucon Valley school complex, turn right to continue on Polk Valley Road. Go 0.4 miles and turn right onto Reservoir Road. Go down the hill and after crossing a small stone bridge turn left into a small parking area by the gated park entrance. Near the entrance to the park, is a picturesque small creek, the Polk Valley Run.
The Reservoir Park can also be reached by a long walk from the rear entrance of Polk Valley Park. At a gated emergency exit from Polk Valley Park; walk down the entrance road to a T intersection. Turn right (this is Reservoir Road) continue to the Reservoir Park.