Region: Greater Reading

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Greater Reading

The Greater Reading area is the urban heart of Berks County and has been a place of great vitality and significance for centuries. The City of Reading is at the center of the region and serves as the county seat and is emerging as a magnet for the region’s growing arts and cultural communities. Founded as a market town in 1748, the City is situated at the confluence of the Tulpehocken Creek and the Schuylkill River. The Union Canal and the Schuylkill Navigation also converged here, making Reading a crucial transportation hub for eastern Pennsylvania. The Reading Railroad also had a major presence in the area, with shops, depots, and miles of rail yards throughout the city and its surrounding communities. Reading was also home to a sizable textile industry, including some of the nation’s largest hosiery factories. The mills and factories employed tens of thousands of people, and made Greater Reading an industrial powerhouse throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

Today Greater Reading is a region of enormous momentum and unparalleled resources and opportunities. The Berks County Heritage Center and the Historical Society of Berks County are incredible resources for those who want to know more about the county and its history. The Heritage Center also houses the Gruber Wagon Works and the Heister Canal Center in addition to trails and other recreational opportunities. The Neversink Mountain Preserve and Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center also have trails and educational opportunities.

Places to Visit in Greater Reading

Allegheny Aqueduct Historical Park

The Allegheny Aqueduct was built by the Schuylkill Navigation Company in 1824 under the direction of Engineer Ephriam Beech. This “bridge for boats” was needed because the Allegheny Creek...

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Antietam Lake Park and Angora Fruit Farm

Antietam Lake Park is Berks County’s newest parkland acquisition. At 643 acres, Antietam Lake Park doubled the acreage of the park system and expanded opportunities for enjoyment of the...

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Berks County Genealogical Society

The Berks County Genealogical Society maintains an extensive collection of books and documents related to family, community or church heritages from Berks and surrounding counties with special emphasis on...

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Berks Nature

Berks Nature has been serving the Berks County community since 1974. The Conservancy works with landowners to permanently protect land from development, townships and boroughs on zoning issues, developers...

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Goggleworks Center for the Arts

The GoggleWorks offers 145,000 square feet of dynamic space, including: galleries; classrooms; dance and music studios; a darkroom; a glass blowing facility, plus a warm and cold glass studio/classroom;...

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Gring’s Mill Recreation Area

The historic buildings at Gring’s Mill Recreation Area house the Berks County Parks and Recreation Department’s administration and maintenance offices. An information center, group meeting facilities, snack bar, and...

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Hex Barn Art Tour

Take a 28-mile self-guided driving tour into the heart of Greater Reading’s farm country and discover Hex Signs, a uniquely American art form and best known symbol of the...

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Historical Society of Berks County Museum and Library

Founded in 1869, the Historical Society of Berks County (HSBC) is a museum and library located at 940 Centre Avenue, in Reading, Pennsylvania. The Historical Society houses a treasure...

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Keystone Canoe Club

he Keystone Canoe Club (KCC) of Berks County is a non-profit organization that was organized in 1973 in an effort to promote the sports of canoeing and kayaking, as...

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Nicholas Stoltzfus House

The Nicholas Stoltzfus House has survived 200 years of flooding and encroachment from highway development. Since the completion of the Blue Marsh Dam in the late 1970’s flooding is...

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Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center

The Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center offers environmental education programs. The center covers more than 665 acres of beautiful deciduous woodlands and coniferous plantations. Operated by the Pennsylvania Department...

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Reading Area Community College Yocum Library

The Yocum Library is the main library of Reading Area Community College. Although RACC students, staff, and faculty are the focus of the library’s resources and services, the library...

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Reading Area Firefighters Museum

The Reading Area Firefighters Museum is committed to the preservation of the Liberty Fire Station, built in 1876, at S. 5th and Laurel Sts., Reading, PA. The building contains...

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Reading Public Museum

Because the Museum has its roots in the public school system, there is a rich tradition of using the collections for teaching and research. Every year, thousands of elementary...

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