Tresspassing at the Penn Warner Club

Tresspassing at the Penn Warner Club, originally uploaded by Davepix.

Somewhere down the Delaware River in a sleepy, little (not so little) town north of Philly sits a really big landfill owned by Waste Management Corporation. The story here isn’t necessarily about them, but rather, the club.

When I was a kid, we occasionally trespassed there, swam in the coves, fished the waters, biked and made a ruckus. Why would anyone care?  It now sits next to one of the largest landfills in the region. It’s like a little campground next to a mountain of trash. Actually, it is a little private park next to a mountain of trash. Yep, private. Recently a few buddies and I rode our bikes from NYC towards Philly, and en route, detoured through a bit of the grounds on a cold winter day. A security detail ran us down and threatened us a bit to chase us off the grounds.  When I asked where we could get a day pass, he said we couldn’t as if we were hoodlums cycling from NYC in full Lycra to terrorize the grounds which were shut down for winter.

When I was a kid, before the mountain of trash came, when it was all woods between the Delaware and Tullytown, I wanted my parents to get a membership there.  It was prestigious, so I thought. My dad replied, “Why would we ever rent a seasonal campsite a mile from our house when we could go to Vermont or Canada?”

I didn’t see it. Now I do. Silly place that Penn Warner Park.




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Author: David

I'm a photographer! I take pictures, duh.

16 thoughts on “Tresspassing at the Penn Warner Club”

  1. We have a camping lot at the PWC and live about 30 minutes away. It’s a convenient place to entertain friends who like watersports. Where else can you wakeboard, swim, tube, and kayak on an empty lake? It’s so close to home, one can go for a few hours after work. Local friends can drop in for a day of watersports followed by smores and drinks around a roaring campfire. It’s a quiet, simple place for kids to enjoy the outdoors on hot summer days doing “old fashioned” things like fishing, swimming, and riding bikes. The landfill is a bummer but everything has trade offs.

  2. We had a membership and lot for about 20 years or so. We lived in Philly and it was a short ride for a whole lot of reward. We made a bunch of friends, did a lot of fishing and, had too many parties to remember, we actually miss it. I live in the Pocono Mountains now, It is not what it is made out to be, It’s full of drugs, phony rich, poor food that’s way over priced and left over in the stores from less than stellar weekend crowds. The only decent fishing and hunting are in private clubs full of snobs, and the influx of people from Philly and New York City. If you live here the taxes are a killer and doctors appointments are a month away, and about 50 miles round trip. The traffic is no better than shore traffic and the people are just as drunk and ignorant. Crime is catching up with the cities, but surprises you because you are not expecting it. Be careful what you wish for you may just get it.

  3. Nice to have feedback from members/former members… growing up just minutes away and not having access left a question mark filled only as of late by the unfriendly security guard. Maybe one day I’ll go back… love to get in there with a camera for a few days to photograph families!

  4. Yeah….. YOUR FATHER WAS RIGHT WHY INDEED. ……????? STINK’S TO HIGH HEAVEN 5 MILES AWAY….GUARDS GIVE everyone a hard time like they are protecting a Diamond Mine instead of a DUMP.

  5. Hilarious, nice commentary Jim. Good place to go look at seagulls on the weekend if you’re into birds. Go in winter, the trash is frozen.

  6. Ignorance is Bliss!!! You are dead wrong about the place and that guard may have saved your ignorant life!! They Skeet shoot on Sundays down thee and hunt pheasant in the fall and winter. You being a trespasser on private property where you don’t belong could get your self in trouble!! And as for the “seagull comment” again you truly show your ignorance and lack of knowledge of the wild life in south east pa! Do your self a favor and get a friend that has paid a member ship to take you to explore rather than illegally trespass on someone’s property as if your entitled!! Then maybe you can open your eyes to the abundance of Cormorant, Ducks, Swans, the bald eagle and the great blue hereon that use the lake for their own personal eatery. Just cause Daddy wouldn’t let you enjoy the oasis in your own back yard is no reason to condemn it!!!

  7. For someone that calls themselves a photographer next time you may want to try an additional source of lighting so you actually have some contrast to the picture!! The picture is flooded with back light drowning out the color of the pic its a total white wash with no richness, you may want to invest in a light meter!!!! A 5 year old with an I phone could take a better picture than the one you used for this article!!!!

  8. Yes, this area of Bucks County is highly protected through private guards, local police and lots of cameras. Why? First, I would like to think of this place as a true hidden gem. History of The United States was made right here, so there’s plenty to protect. Otherwise, there are plenty of places to get into trouble…hunters with guns, drownings, industrial site incidents, etc.

    Just next door to Penn Warner, Falls Township has established Quaker Penn Park. It has a boat launch area, superb baseball field, pavilion, picnic areas and they are in the process of establishing trails – all on the banks of The Delaware River.

  9. dude, it’s a shit hole in the shadow of a landfill. Travel outside your bubble one day, you’ll be amazed what you can see when you leave your back yard.

  10. Yes, I’m sorry I didn’t make it back to the historic areas before clearing out my parents’ house. I often forgot about Penn Manor tucked away by the river. Last time I was there was in the 70’s. It’s hard to see the history of the place growing up in Levittown even though there are colonial era homes just a few miles away. I did make it to the new park once with my parents and the Audubon club. Perfect view of the landfill, yet amazing, true there was a variety of birds to see.

  11. 50 years ago my uncle and aunt had a cabin on an island at Penn Manor. We enjoyed many family get togethers and fishing trips there.

  12. I have lived levittown for 20 years and I have driven by this place a couple times but never really stopped. Today I was with my son he’s 11 years old. And decided to pull over – it was actually very pleasant. I wouldn’t mine being a member but $900 is a little step for me to only use a couple times a year. I really think is a nice preserved place. Just too much to join. What a shame. Kudos to WM for maintaining this nice place.

  13. I want to get my first membership this coming season. Membership with 1 free guest. I’ve been there before with friends that had memberships. Great Private place to go fishing and spend the day. Yes it’s costly but I believe totally worth it. Clean and friendly place. I honestly believe best in Bucks County. My only question is if I wanted to bring additional friends how do I go about that without getting in trouble. Also I drive a car. Not a truck. Alot of spot are hard to get to without a truck. Does my membership have to be linked to my vehicle. Thanks. Hopefully someone can answer my questions.

  14. Fred, I still know a few townies and am going to pass on your email to someone who might be able to answer your questions. From what I recall (a decade ago) there were dirt roads and it’s pretty flat. I doubt you’ll need a special vehicle to access most of the place unless it’s been raining for a week.

  15. will go a times when little plubisant life was always fishy fishing for fish. fun times fer all and then some. my cousins would go ice fishing in the winters and flys fising in the fall all the times very wonderful fer all.

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