We were excited that the end of May was finally offering warmer days and were equally excited to visit the Wood Winery in Madison Twp., PA. This winery would be the smallest we’ve visited thus far and we were hopeful the small family owned atmosphere would yield a fine product.
We took route 191 north in order to first ride up the east side of the third largest lake in Pennsylvania known as Lake Wallenpaupack. Its 52 miles of shoreline and 13 miles in length offer scenic travels for any vehicle but there’s never a shortage of motorcycles going in one direction or the other around here. Lake Wallenpaupack was created by the Pennsylvania Power & Light company in 1926 for hydroelectric purposes and flood control. Today, it is best known as a major recreation area with camping, swimming, boating, restaurants, and more.
The area was named Wallenpaupack by the Lenape Indians. The name means “The Stream of Swift and Slow Water.” The power company constructed a dam on Wallenpaupack Creek at Wilsonville and a levee named the Tafton Dike. It required 2,700 men working from 1924 to 1926 to complete and 7 months for the reservoir to fill.
We sat at the dam for a while, a place that offers probably the best view of the water before deciding to head down 590 south to 690 into Madison Twp. There are strict rules in place around the area of the lake to preserve the natural shoreline. Space here doesn’t permit all that could be discussed about this area, places like the Lacawac Sanctuary, the Claw ‘n Paws zoo, are just a couple of examples of places to stop which would make its own story for a future time. We departed the top of the lake and took route 590 south to 690 into Madison Twp., the home of the Wood Winery.
Ken and Donna Wood, along with their family and their dog own and operate the Wood Winery which could be mistaken as just another residency if it were not for the small sign out front that you happened to be looking for. This is a small batch winery sourcing their fruits and grapes from Pennsylvania farms. They also carry local cheese, honey, crackers, preserved goods, syrups, and more. We picked out a number of wines to taste and were pleased with them all. As we had hoped, the small size of this winery led to good quality that we think either rivals or surpasses wines of much larger establishments. After the tasting, we sat outside with cheese and crackers and had a conversation with Ken and Donna as they tended to their gardens. If you’re looking for quality wines in an intimate setting, this is your place.
We headed to south 196 to begin our way home knowing we’d return some day. From there we hopped on route 940 in Mt Pocono and then to 191 to bring us back in town. I caught a little footage of the old abandoned Penn Hills honeymoon resort near the end of our ride. A scene all too common throughout this region as many of these resorts have fallen into the abyss of times gone by.
We hope this video encourages those close enough to take the time to ride the region of Lake Wallenpaupack. It is abundant in scenic travelling.