[Photo Story] A morning of water and wildlife at Stoever’s Dam

4 min read947 views and 102 shares Posted October 21, 2020

Just northeast of the City of Lebanon proper lies 153 acres of water and woodland in the form of Stoever’s Dam Park. Here’s what LebTown saw on a recent excursion to the park, located at 946 Miller Street.

All photos by Will Trostel.

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A dock near the parking lot accessible from Miller Street.

The park’s most obvious feature is the 23.5-acre lake created by the dam. A 1.5-mile trail winds around the banks of the lake and crosses over the dam itself, located at the southern end of the V-shaped body of water. The park is home to a few woodland animals, waterfowl, and fish, most famously the trout that draw hundreds of fishers in springtime. The Nature Barn, located at the park entrance on Miller Street, is the perfect place to learn more about the park’s wildlife.

Canada geese and mallard ducks are some of the common bird species that visit the lake.
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This heron was accidentally startled into flight from its spot among the bank, but it nevertheless provided a great photo opportunity.
The trail around the lake weaves in and out of the surrounding woods.

Boating and fishing on the lake are permitted and the loop trail is multi-use for walkers, runners, and cyclists. Friendly dogs are also welcome, provided that owners clean up after their pets. The City of Lebanon has also allowed camping on the grounds of the park, which is especially popular in the springtime during trout season.

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Canoeing and kayaking are popular on the lake in the warmer months.
The benches around the lake make for great spots to do a bit of thinking.
As long as the weather’s fair, the grounds of the park make for a perfect picnic spot.
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Visitors can find the Lebanon Community Theatre at the northern end of the park, inside the refurbished Willman barn. The park also contains softball fields and a pavilion.

The Lebanon Community Theatre, housed inside the Willman family barn.

Stoever’s Dam — the dam itself — was built in the 1820s as part of the elaborate Union Canal waterway system. Water from the lake was used to continuously maintain the water level during operation. John Stoever, the man who lends his name to the park, bought the land from the Light family in 1821. The City of Lebanon began purchasing parcels of the land starting in 1966 from its owner at the time, the Bethlehem Steel Corporation.

The dam, constructed in the 1820s by the Union Canal, was rededicated in the 1980s after an effort to fix structural issues.
The park is enclosed by fields like this one to the west and north.
The 1.5-mile trail is used by walkers and cyclists alike, and pets are welcome (just be sure to clean up after them).

With its fish populations, fields and trails, and all-around natural beauty, Stoever’s Dam Park is one of the City of Lebanon’s greatest recreational assets and an excellent spot for any local who wants to see a bit of nature right in their backyard.


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