Newlin Grist Mill
GOOD FOR: Ages 5-8

Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:219 South Cheyney Road, Glen Mills, PA
Hours:Grounds open 8 a.m. to dusk daily; office open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; trout-fishing pond open weekends, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fee: Trails, free; fee for fishing, $5 per person and $4 per fish; mill tours, $5 per person
Contact:, 610-459-2359

Bathrooms: In the office (when open)
Water/Snacks: Water fountain in the office (when open)

Get started fishing in made-for-kids ponds at a water-powered operating gristmill.

Newlin Grist Mill
Photo by: Smallbones

Newlin Grist Mill is a fun family outing along the West Branch of the Chester Creek. It’s a privately owned, 150-acre park known both for its historical working gristmill and its kids’ trout-pond fishing; less well known are its extensive grounds, with 8 miles of hiking trails through woods and fields.

For young kids, fishing in the stocked trout ponds may “hook” them on fishing for a lifetime. Open during trout season (weekends only), the small ponds are typically lined with kids trying out their angling skills, guided by a parent, grandparent, older sibling, or adult mentor. There’s a fee to fish, and a fee for every fish caught (and you must keep the fish), but the park lends cane fishing poles if you don’t have your own. Bait is available for sale. Once the kids gain confidence in their fishing, the ponds may seem a little tame, but for generations these ponds have been a place to get started.

A network of 8 miles of trails winds through the natural areas of the park. Gain access to the trails by walking along the mill race past the log cabin. These pedestrian-only paths lead uphill, through woods to open fields. A trail map is not yet available, but the trails are not difficult to follow.

The historical 1704 gristmill continues to operate as it has for over 300 years: Powered by the flowing creek, a waterwheel turns a series of gears that spin a millstone, which grinds corn into cornmeal. Kids will be fascinated to watch the moving machinery powered only by running water. Cornmeal from the mill can be purchased in the park store. Past the historical complex, by the mill race, are several pleasant picnic areas and a playground.

The mill complex also includes other restored or re-created historical buildings, including a blacksmith shop where you can see demonstrations of the traditional techniques to forge implements using the anvil. The park conducts children’s workshops during summer for kids to get hands-on ;experience with everyday Colonial activities such as cooking, soap making, and games.

Remember: Dogs are welcome on the trails but must be leashed. No wading in the pond, mill race, or creek. Fishing in the creek is permitted only to members of the Newlin Grist Mill Fly-Fishing Club; inquire at the office about membership.

Plan B:

At Ridley Creek State Park, you’ll find plenty of fishing access on Ridley Creek, as well as hike and bike trails.

Where to Eat Nearby:

South on US 1 is Concordville, a commercial area.


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