Exploring the hidden gems is what we love to do best. We stumbled upon just that today while out exploring.
Welcome to a land of myth and mystery located right here in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Pennsylvania.
What is Columcille?
Columcille is a park rooted in Celtic spirituality and inspired by the Isle of Iona off the coast of Scotland. This is an outdoor sanctuary open to the public as a sacred space for quiet meditation. Our favorite part was the hike (more like a slow stroll) around the loop (probably about less than a mile total) enjoying the incredible scenery. It really does feel like you’ve walked into an episode of Outlander.
Located in Bangor, PA – 2155 Fox Gap Rd, Bangor, PA 18013
Columcille draws its inspiration from Iona – a tiny island of four-billion-year-old stone off Scotland’s West Coast. The island has been a source of spiritual guidance and awakening for centuries. Written accounts of Iona as a place of pilgrimage date back to the seventh century and oral histories and legends preserve traditions that stretch back to the earliest times.
But Iona has another, more ancient history as well. According to Hebridean legends and oral history, early Celts saw Iona as a place where one’s spirit could travel through the veils that separate the worlds. (again … has anyone seen Outlander?)
The Infinity Gate
This gate welcomes you when you first enter.
It stands opposite the massive stone archway of Thor’s Gate and suggests to all who enter that these are portals into a world of myth and mystery where the veil is thin between the worlds. To make the passage from one gateway to another is to embark on a journey into another kind of time — one that moves not from beginning to end, but beginning to beginning.
St. Oran Bell Tower
According to this very old island legend, Columba and his monks tried to build a chapel on Iona, but could not get the walls to stand. Frustrated, Columba turned to his friend Oran, who knew the old ways of the island. Oran suggested that he be thrown into the footers of the building to appease the ancient energies of the island. Columba did as he was told and the walls stood. But three days later, Columba had Oran dug out of the foundations. Very much alive, Oran said that he had traveled to the Other World and began to describe the many strange things he had seen. Oran ended his story with a bit of cautionary advice for his friend, Columba. Leaning over to him, Oran whispered …
“The way you think it is may not be the way it is at all.”
This is a free place to wander. But they do encourage donations. No drones and they do have a strict quiet policy. I love the sound of kids running around and playing loudly outside. But this is not that place. It’s also hard for kids to understand when there is what appears to be lots of amazing places for them to run and “rocks” to climb on. Please be mindful that this is really a place for quiet reflection.
If you visit Columcille, let us know how you liked it! We’d love to hear from you! We hope you found some value in our information and thank you for visiting our little corner of the internet. We appreciate each and every one of you!
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Some of the above information is copied directly from the Columcille.Org website.