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Unwinding Outdoors -- Nittany Lions in NEPA image
April 26, 2024
Unwinding Outdoors -- Nittany Lions in NEPA

We’ve partnered with Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Penn State Hazleton and Penn State Scranton to offer fresh, student perspectives on all the awesome things to do, sights to see, places to eat and more throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Keep an eye on this space every month for new ideas on where to go and what to see from our proud Nittany Lions in NEPA.

Finding Peace in NEPA with a Little Golf and Fishing

Photo courtesy of Justin Dorneman.


As the days get longer and the temperature gets warmer, I find myself exiting my “winter hibernation,” and return to my preferred outdoorsman ways. While I might not be the world’s biggest or greatest outdoorsman, I will never turn down a day out on the golf course with the sound of 70’s “yacht rock,” and birds chirping amongst the dew-soaked trees and grass carrying me through the front nine, or a day fishing with my friends. Having played golf during my four years at West Scranton High School (where I am still proud to say we won the 2018 Pine Cup), I had the privilege of playing some of the best golf courses in NEPA.


Pine Hills Country Club, Taylor, PA.


My go-to course is one that will always have a special place in my heart — Pine Hills Country Club. The beautiful, 18-hole course is situated right in the heart of Taylor and offers some of the most enjoyable golfing at a public course in the area. Beautiful scenery and incredible pine trees and greenery sit nestled amongst the par-71 course. Additionally, the venue boasts a 9-hole, par 3 “pitch and putt” course.  It’s been incredibly helpful with my short game over the years.

Out of all the courses I have found myself playing over the years, there are none that have seen me score more birdies (and triple-bogeys) than Pine Hills. It was our home course in high school. Four years of practices and matches on these gorgeous greens and fairways had spawned a lifelong passion for the sport and memories that will last me a lifetime.


Sand Springs Golf Course, Drums, PA.


When I’m not hitting the links at Pine Hills, another one of my personal favorite courses to play is Sand Springs Golf Course in Drums. I’ve been playing at this beautiful, 18-hole, par 72 as long as I’ve been playing at Pine Hills. The course has its fair share of trees and hills, with a few dog legs and water hazards to challenge you on both the front and back nine. I personally love the scenery and experience of courses just as much as the sport itself, which is what keeps me coming back to Sand Springs time and time again. I also love simply walking through the course, and taking in the nature and immersing myself in the moment and enjoying this beautiful planet that we are all lucky to call home.


Lackawanna State Park, North Abington Twp., PA


Now, when I’m not on the golf course, I like to honor my late grandfather by putting on his royal-blue “Bass Masters” hat and going fishing. While I might not be as good a fisherman as my grandfather was, I will never turn down the opportunity to head out on the lake for a nice relaxing day with friends and family. When I was a kid, my mom and I frequented the pond at McDade Park in Scranton.

I still remember one of the first times I fished at the pond, way back at the park’s 2007 fishing derby. Proud as ever, I took a seat on one of the many rocks lining the pond, Lightning McQueen tackle box and rod by my side, and caught my first two fish. I named them “Harry” and “Marv,” after characters in the first two Home Alone films.


Lackawanna State Park, North Abington Twp., PA


In the years since, I have swapped out my Lightning McQueen gear for more neutral and professional tackle. I also have migrated to the lake at Lackawanna State Park and Ford’s Pond. Both places are open and free to the public and offer beautiful scenery and a plentiful number of fish for one to catch. To me, there are few things in life more relaxing than a day out amongst some beautiful landscapes, unwinding and trying to reel in “the big one.” While I might not be the bass master that my grandfather was, a day out on the water will always be one of my favorite outdoor activities.

Whether it is a day out on the course or near the water trying to catch the biggest bass in the lake, I will never turn down a day out amongst the beautiful scenery that mother nature and Northeastern Pennsylvania have to offer.