Editor’s note: This story is part of the Eat, Play, Live special section.
The grounds on which the community pool lies in the borough of Snow Shoe weren’t always home to the swimming facility.
Nearly 70 years ago, before Interstate 80 was constructed, part of a 3/8-mile paved raceway took a path on the Snow Shoe Park Corp. grounds and through state routes 53 and 144.
“This track was said to be one of the first and the longest in the early days,” Mountain Top Area Pool Association President Jenn Nastase said.
That plot of land was originally owned by Clair and Marie Agnes Hall, who purchased the 23-acre parcel of property for $1,700 on Aug. 27, 1948, according to county records.
That land, now known as the Snow Shoe Park Corp., was then donated for community use. It houses the Mountain Top Area Pool, which primarily serves people in Burnside and Snow Shoe townships and Snow Shoe borough.
Nastase said the idea to bring a pool to the area came from George Basalla, a member of the Snow Shoe Lions Club.
Pool in Snow Shoe first opened in the summer of ’69
With a $125,000 loan from SEDA-Council of Governments, construction began in 1968, and the pool opened in the summer of 1969, Nastase said.
It wasn’t until 2013 that the pool underwent about $130,000 of renovations, which included seam replacement, a new deck and the addition of a Baker drain that was placed in the pool.
It reopened about two years later.
Nastase said money was raised through donations and fundraising efforts that totaled more than $158,000.
This would have never been possible without the help from the community
Jenn Nastase, Mountain Top Area Pool Association president
“This would have never been possible without the help from the community, local businesses (and) HRI construction,” Nastase said.
The pool opens each year by the first week of June and stays open through Labor Day, or as the weather permits.
This year, the facility’s newest feature includes a pavilion donated by Fred Thomas and built by volunteers. The pavilion can be rented ahead of time for events. There is also a new slide for the pool, Nastase said.
Annual pool budge is about $30,000
Nastase said it takes about $30,000 per year to maintain the pool located on East Park Avenue, and is managed by a committee of about five active members. Revenue is generated through donations, gate fees and fundraisers.
And while it’s a nonprofit, lifeguards are hired.
“If not a throwback in history, it’s a great stop in Pennsylvania, whether to camp right next door to the campground, or on your way to visit the elk in nearby Benezette, or go for a ride on Rails-to-Trails,” Nastase said.
The pool also annually teams up with the Bald Eagle Area School District for a bus program that transports students from the Mountaintop Region to and from the pool twice a week during the summer.
“It’s been a great program the last two years,” Nastase said. “It gets the kids out to spend time with each other and helps provide them with physical fitness activities.”
The pool grounds are also the host of a Fall Festival every September.
Mountain Top Area Swimming Pool
Where: 9 E. Park Ave., Snow Shoe