Urban Exploration, USA

Witch’s Hat Pavilion – Exploring Abandoned Places in PA

Nestled on top of Neversink Mountain in Reading, Pennsylvania lies the Witch’s Hat Pavilion. This abandoned building from another time period stands alone. This pavilion was once part of a hotel. A hotel, at the top of a mountain, which represented the wealthy and well to-do people of Reading.

The Neversink Mountain hotel was built on top of the mountain in 1891. It provided some of the best views which overlooked the Reading area. However, due to a tragic fire which occurred in 1905, the hotel was destroyed.

All that’s left today as a reminder of what was once a hotel is the pavilion. The pavilion sat at the end of the property back in it’s hay-day. Today, it’s known locally as, “The Witch’s Hat”. Whatever you want to call it, it still provides amazing views and a cool history of the area.

Neversink Mountain Hotel
Photo of The Neversink Mountain Hotel from Go Reading Berks

Finding This Hidden Gem

For the fall season, I wanted to find cool little hidden gems in Berks County, Pennsylvania. I figure since I live here, I’d like to do more urban exploration in the area I live in. Reading, PA if full of history. I knew it’d have some cool places I could explore.

After I took to Google, I discovered this abandoned placed called, “The Witch’s Hat”. It looked and sounded real cool and spooky, perfect for this time of year. Plus, it isn’t too far from where I live, so it was a no brainer for me.

Now that I had the name of this abandoned place, I needed an address.

  • The address for the pavilion is 1996 Neversink Mountain Rd, Reading, PA 19606
  • The parking lot I used to start the hike up to the pavilion via Upper Glen Trail is the Klapperthal Lot – 601 Klapperthal Rd. Reading, PA 19606 – Pennsylvania’s Americana Region

With this information on hand, I was ready to take on this hike to find the Witch’s Hat!

Upper Glen Trail on Neversink Mountain

Hiking The Upper Glen Trail

The Klapperthal parking lot has two options for trails. If you’re facing the barriers right as you exit the car, you’ll want to go to your right to start the Upper Glen Trail. I’m unsure about the other trail and where it goes. I’m sure it loops into either another trail or is a separate trail on its own.

The start to the trail was a bit of a struggle. Once you cross this little foot bridge, the incline increases. It’s not the steepest incline but it’s definitely not a gradual incline. For about 15 to 20 minutes, you’re climbing this incline. I had to stop a couple times because my calfs were burning from walking up the incline.

Once the trail sort of flattened out, the inclines got better. They became more gradual as opposed to steep inclines. And following the trail was real easy as well. Not only is the trail marked on AllTrails but the path is color coded on the trees. So, this made the hike a lot easier.

Walking through the quiet, wooded area was peaceful and fun. You don’t really see many people on the trail, so you can enjoy the peace while hiking. At one point, you do come out of the woods and have to walk along the side of the road. Do be careful when doing this portion, be aware of your surroundings.

Witch’s Hat Pavilion

After you make a right turn to continue the trail from the side of the road, you walk up an incline. Once you get to this field of grass and flowers, there will be another path you can take that’s off to your right. Follow that path for a couple minutes. Once you do so, you’ll see it.

Sitting there, this interesting looking structure with a top that looks like a witch’s hat. I guess that’s why they call it, “Witch’s Hat”. You’ll find graffiti on the outside of the pavilion, which is a shame. You can’t help but to stand there, on the outside, looking at this pavilion from long ago.

It looks small from the outside but there’s quite a bit of room on the inside. When I visited the pavilion, there was a hiking group of about 10 people inside. Plus myself and my two friends, this pavilion can fit a lot of people inside.

The Witch’s Hat Pavilion

The best part about the Witch’s Hat is the view. Once you go inside, off to your right side, you can see Mount Penn and the Reading Pagoda on the side of the mountain. The Pagoda is this historical structure which was built in 1908 that sits on the side of the mountain. You can see it from almost anywhere in Reading. It’s even more beautiful from atop of Neversink Mountain.

The views of the Pagoda, Mount Penn, and all of Reading was stunning. No wonder this pavilion was built at the top of this mountain. The views it provides is gorgeous, even more so during the fall season. You can eat a snack, relax, and stare out at the mountain views. You can just imagine being a wealthy person back in the early 1900s in Reading; sitting in this pavilion on the mountain, enjoying the views and life.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, the Witch’s Hat Pavilion is a cool little hidden gem in Reading, PA. You’d never think to find such a place in a little area of Pennsylvania, nestled on top of a mountain. It’s not a very popular or touristy place, so only locals to the area know about it.

It was so cool seeing this old pavilion on the mountain. The views it gave us was stunning! I love the fact that it’s still standing after all the years, after that fire that occurred during the early 20th century.

Neversink Mountain

Tips For Hiking Up To The Witch’s Hat Pavilion

If you’re thinking about hiking up to the Witch’s Hat, then here’s a few tips to help you with your hike!

  • Have a good and comfortable hiking backpack
  • Take a lot of water with you
  • Bring your inhaler (if you have or need one)
  • Carry a first aid kit
  • Carry a medicine kit
  • Wear a survival paracord bracelet
  • Keep bug spray on hand
  • Have some snacks
  • Wear comfy and waterproof hiking shoes
  • Wear comfortable and breathable clothing
  • Download the trail offline from AllTrails
  • Make a right turn once you’re by the field of flowers and grass – that will take you to the Witch’s Hat Pavilion

You’re all set and ready for your hike to this cool but spooky abandoned pavilion, enjoy!