Hidden Landmarks of North Park

Historic rarities of North Park, some dating back more than 80 years, enliven the park’s landscape.


Miller Orris

This stone cabin overlooks the lake.

Miller Orris, Staff Writer

North Park is filled with hidden oddities that provide the park with character. These places help enrich the history and mystique of the park, as many of them have been in the park since it was built by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s.

Just off Brown Road lies Reynolds Road. A quick right from Reynolds leads to an unsuspecting parking lot. The trails here at the Latodami Nature Center will lead you through a large maze-like path within a field. In the middle, an elevated platform allows walkers to tower over the field during sunset.

A path the width of a car shoots off of McKinney Road, leading to an abandoned water treatment facility. Overlooking Marshall Lake, the early 20th-century stone structure looms on the edge of the lake, an interesting feat of architecture at the time, especially given its mundane use.

Traveling only a few feet from the water treatment plant will lead you to the aptly named Gravity Hill. This odd hill of local legend has a secret. Placing your car in neutral near the stop sign at the end will give the illusion of your car rolling against the slope of the hill.

Just at the edge of Kummer Road, an ornate well sits embedded into the hill surrounding the road. The “Fountain of Youth,” as its lettering says, is another fantastic reminder of the bygone era of interesting municipal architecture of the 1930s. The way it blends into the facade could almost trick one into thinking it is hundreds of years old. The natural spring inside the fountain still flows, though it was determined to not be safe for drinking shortly after its construction.

Just down Kummer Road from the Fountain is a cabin dedicated to being used by the Scouts. It is adorned with a nice mural that brightens up the scenery of the area.

On the eastward side of the North Park Pool, across the road, a trail can be accessed that leads to a picturesque cabin with an incredible view of more woodland. This trail is connected to others that surround the pool loop.

Right after the entrance to Pearce Mill Road, by the lake, a trail can be reached that ascends a hill leading to the ruins of an old cabin. Only the fireplace and some of the stone surrounding it remains, but it is still interesting to see something that stood before the lake was even constructed.

These locations are not what mainly drives people to the park, but they make it more vibrant and shroud it with more character. Hopefully they will be preserved in the coming years to ensure that landmarks like the Fountain of Youth stay intact.