BY EMILY GRAHAM
POTTSVILLE — Explore Schuylkill launched a Passport to Adventure initiative in partnership with 14 local tourism sites.
The passport lists each of the participating locations with a description, operating hours and admission fees, along with a spot to get it stamped after visiting.
Gina Gargano, executive director of Explore Schuylkill, said the passport covers a diverse range of places for people to explore in the county.
“The purpose is to get people out and about planning their own adventure in Schuylkill County,” Gargano said. “We tried to build it for all different types of interests, outdoor recreation, history, art, food, some indoor fun, some outdoor fun, a little bit of everything.”
The locations are:
- The Arts Barn in Schuylkill Haven
- The Art of Escape in Pine Grove
- Fighter’s Heaven in Deer Lake
- Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton
- Heisler’s Mini Golf & Dairy Bar in Tamaqua
- Hometown Farmers Market
- Jerry’s Classic Cars & Collectibles Museum in Pottsville
- Pioneer Tunnel & Coal Mine in Ashland
- Schuylkill County Historical Society
- Sweet Arrow Lake County Park
- Tamaqua Community Arts Center
- WK&S Railroad in Kempton
- Walk In Art Center in Schuylkill Haven
- Yuengling Brewery Museum & Gift Shop in Pottsville
Gargano said the initiative is meant for both Schuylkill County visitors and residents, and anyone looking to go out after spending time inside during the pandemic.
“Hopefully we’ll get a lot of folks from surrounding areas that will see the passport online and want to come plan an adventure, as well as residents,” Gargano said. “A lot of times, we find that residents haven’t explored their environment as thoroughly as you might think.”
The program is also an opportunity to attract customers to the locations, Gargano said.
“It’s been a very tough year for our member organizations,” Gargano said. “They have had a lot of restrictions put on them. It’s tough for staffing, for resources, for money, the whole nine yards.”
Passports can be picked up at Explore Schuylkill’s Welcome Center in Union Station in Pottsville; the Holiday Inn Express in Frackville; the Red Lion Café in Pine Grove; Tamaqua Station Restaurant; and any of the 14 passport locations. Gargano said the passport is also downloadable at schuylkill.org.
When participants collect 10 stamps, they can send their passport to the Schuylkill Welcome Center and enter for a chance to win a GoPro Hero9 4K Waterproof Action Camera bundle.
Runner-up prizes include gift cards to O’Neal’s Pub, Yuengling Brewery gift shop, Majestic Theater, Tamaqua Community Art Center, Kowalonek’s Kielbasy Shop, Mountain Valley Golf Course, Famous Reading Outdoors, WK&S Railroad and Vito’s Coal Fired Pizza and Restaurant, as well as passes to Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Heisler’s Dairy Bar and Jerry’s Classic Cars & Collectibles Museum.
The program will run through Oct. 31, which, Gargano said, will give people time to visit every location.
“There’s a lot to be explored and enjoyed at different times of the year,” Gargano said. “We want people to have a good experience in our community.”