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Pine Grove Furnace State Park

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Title: Pine Grove Furnace State Park  
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Subject: Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center, Michaux State Forest, Little Buffalo State Park, Protected areas established in 1931, Pennsylvania Route 233
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Pine Grove Furnace State Park

Pine Grove Furnace State Park
Pennsylvania State Park
Pine Grove Furnace Stack
Name origin: Pine Grove Furnace
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Cumberland
Townships Cooke, Dickinson
Mountain Creek valley
South Mountain
Location Pine Grove Furnace Stack [1]
 - coordinates
Area 696 acres (282 ha)
Length 3.5 mi (6 km),
dogleg northward then eastward
(along Bendersville Rd & SR3008)
Width 0.31 mi (0 km)
(average along length)
Highest point southern tip of park
 - elevation 1,125 ft (343 m)
Lowest point Mountain Creek at bridge
 - location downstream of Laurel Dam
 - elevation 725 ft (221 m)
Founded c. 1930
Managed by Bureau of State Parks
GNIS ID 1196534 [1]
The furnace stack is ¾ mile N of the Co. line.
The furnace stack is ¾ mile N of the Co. line.
Website : Pine Grove Furnace State Park

Pine Grove Furnace State Park is a Pine Grove Park (1880s), and a brick plant (1892). The Park is 8 miles (13 km) from exit 37 of Interstate 81 on Pennsylvania Route 233.

Stone barn ruins


The state park's historic place on the national register is the Pine Grove Iron Works of about 176 acres (0.71 km2) with structures associated with the 1764 Pine Grove Furnace, which ended production in 1895.[2] The 1870 South Mountain RR and the subsequent 1891 Hunter's Run and Slate Belt Railroad provided the railway lines to the industrial areas of the state park.

Laurel Forge

Laurel Forge manufactured wrought iron from Pine Grove Furnace Gettysburg and Harrisburg Railroad. Laurel Dam was breached by flooding in 1889 [1] & 1919 (downwash from both breached the Mount Holly Springs dam downstream),[3] and the lake is 25 acres (0.10 km2) of the state park.

Fuller Brick and Slate Company

The Fuller Brick and Slate Company's operations that began in 1892 were developed by J. W. Ivery at the "Pine Grove works"[2] using clay exposed in the region's quarries. Slate was quarried 3 mi (4.8 km) southwest of the works, the Laurel Station, three miles away" (the Pine Grove kiln held 12,000 bricks).[5] The soapstone was used for washing the clay (Ivery patent in 1901)[3] and the clay was formed, dried, and kilned south of the iron works at the brick plant in front of cemetery hill[6] until c. 1913.[7]

State forest and park

The Pine Grove Division of the state's South Mountain Forest began with the South Mountain Mining & Iron Company's sale of 6,993 acres (28.30 km2) acres to the Adams County.[8] By 1921,[4] "Pine Grove" was one of Pennsylvania's 7 "forest parks",[5] within which the smaller Pine Grove Furnace State Park was established by 1931 [6] under the 1929 Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks[7] (the remaining state forest was named the Michaux State Forest.)

Many of the facilities at the park were built during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The young men of the CCC Camp S-51-PA constructed roads throughout the state forests, constructed bridges on the state roads, planted trees for reforestation, and cleaned streams.[9] The 1912 Reading railroad tracks have been removed, and from mid-September 2006 through July 2007, Laurel Lake and its dam were reconditioned.[10] Park lifeguards were eliminated for the 2008 season[11] but were restored to Fuller Lake in 2009[12] after a July 2008 Fuller Lake drowning, the 1st at a state park beach since 1999.[13]

Appalachian Trail[14] @ Pine Grove Furnace SP (west-to-east)
Intersection Coordinates[15]
W park border (pt on PA 233) [8]
& former "Laurel Road"[16]
T339 & Biker/Hiker Trail
Mountain Cr bridge @ Fuller Lake [9]
E park border (Old RR Bed Rd)


Fuller Lake is 1.7 acres (0.69 ha) in area and is a filled, abandoned quarry of the Pine Grove Iron Works. Boating is not permitted. Laurel Lake is a 25 acres (10 ha) body of water that was created to supply water power for Laurel Forge. Boaters are limited to using electric powered and non-powered watercraft and gas powered boats are not permitted. All boats must have a valid registration from any state.

In-season archery hunting is permitted in most of the state park, while small areas for seasonal firearms hunting are on the west and south[14] (groundhog hunting is prohibited). The beaches and swimming at Fuller and Laurel Lakes are open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

A former grist mill is now used as the Appalachian Trail Museum and a former inn is now the park office.

There are many picnic tables throughout the Park and two pavilions are available for rent.[17]


The Park has 1.4 miles (2.3 km) of the Appalachian Trail over the Cumberland County Biker/Hiker Trail (rail trail) and, on the west, along 0.4 miles (0.64 km) of roadways.[14] The marker for the Appalachian Trail midpoint is east of the state park (),[10] and thru-hikers completing the store's half-gallon ice cream challenge receive a commemorative wooden spoon.[18] The trails are open to cross-country skiing and some trails and roads are open to snowmobiling during the winter months.[19]

  • Creek Trail is a 0.5-mile (0.80 km) trail that begins at the park amphitheater and follows Mountain Creek as it passes vernal pools and a stand of white pine trees.[19]
  • Mountain Creek Trail is a 1.4-mile (2.3 km) trail that passes through wetlands and forests as it follows Mountain Creek. Hikers may get the opportunity to see white-tail deer, heron, beavers and waterfowl.[19]
  • Koppenhaver Trail is 1.0-mile (1.6 km) in length and passes through a stand of mature hemlock and white pine.[19]
  • Swamp Trail is 0.25-mile (0.40 km) in length and, quite naturally, passes through a swamp.[19]

Camping and lodging

Charcoal Hearth Campground along Bendersville Rd is 0.25 mi (0.40 km) south of the park's store and has 71 sites for [14] The Paymasters Cabin has central heating and is available for rent. The Ironmaster's Mansion is a youth hostel commonly used by Appalachian Trail thru-hikers.[17]

Geography and ecology

The park's portions of the Mountain Creek valley[20]:14 and the neighboring mountain slopes (Piney Mountain, Pole Steeple, & South Mountain) are part of the Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests ecoregion and have few areas that are not wooded. In addition to the typical mammals, birds, and other fauna of the northeastern US ecoregion, the park's Laurel Lake attracts migratory waterfowl of the Atlantic Flyway (butterflies reach their peak in the summer months.) The lakes have pickerel, trout and perch; while Mountain Creek has brook, brown and rainbow trout.[17]

External images
1872 "Pine Grove" map w/ "South Mountain RR"

Nearby state parks

The following state parks are within 30 miles (48 km) of Pine Grove Furnace State Park:[21][22][23]


  1. ^ a b "Pine Grove Furnace], [ State Park,] [ Furnace Stack".  
  2. ^ Birkinbine, John. "Experiments With Charcoal, Coke And Antracite In The Pine Grove Furnace, Pa." (Google Books). Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers Volume 8. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
  3. ^ "Country Flooded When Dam Broke" (Google News Archive). Gettysburg Times. July 23, 1919. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  4. ^ Ege, Rev. Thompson P.-D. D. (1911). History and Genealogy Of The Ege Family In The United States, 1738-1911 ( text). The Star Printing Company. Retrieved 2011-05-21. December 3, 1783, Jacob Simon conveyed Pine Grove Furnace and land, together with another tract of 100 acres, to Michael Ege, Sr., Thomas and Joseph Thornburg, sons of Eobert Thorn- burg — Michael Ege one-half and the Thornburg brothers one- fourth each. … they re- sumed business, extended the railroad from a junction at Hunters Eun to Gettysburg, laid out a very beautiful excursion park near the furnace in a grove of magnificent trees, which for many years was well patronized. 
  5. ^ Rothwell, Richard P., ed. (1902). "The Mineral Industry … to the end of 1898" (Google Books) VII. The Engineering and Mining Journal Co. (Inc.). Retrieved 2011-05-17. At Henry Clay Station, on the Hunter's Run & Slate Belt Railway, … The slate is brought to the works by railway from the slate quarry, about 3 miles southwest of the works; the soapstone is hauled by wagon from the quarry, a quarter of a mile from the works, and the clay is brought by rail from Laurel Station, 3 miles away. … about 3 miles below Laurel … At Crane's Siding, on the same railway, one mile above Hunter's Run Station, is a clay refining plant which has been in operation three years … The clay is obtained at the long-since abandoned Crane iron ore mine … obtained its clay from Upper Mill Station, on the Gettysburg & Harrisburg Railway  (similarly-worded Franklin Institute journal of 1899)
  6. ^ Keefer, Horace Andrew (written after January 29, 1927 -- published October 1934). Recollections, Historical and Otherwise, Relating To Old Pine Grove Furnace (Report). Potomac Appalachian Trail Club Bulletin. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  7. ^ "Pine Grove Furnace Collection".  
  8. ^ a b ...Department of Forestry...Years 1912-1913 (Report). Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters. 1915. Retrieved 2011-05-22. "With the final purchase of the lands in Cumberland county at Pine Grove Furnace from the South Mountain Mining & Iron Company, which was consummated by deed bearing date the 12th day of September, 1913"
  9. ^ "Pennsylvania State Parks: The CCC Years".  
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Pa. state parks going without life guards at beaches in 2008".  
  12. ^ DCNR Resource, Feb. 25, 2009 Retrieved on July 13, 2009.
  13. ^ "Teen's drowning revives debate over state park lifeguards". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  14. ^ a b c d Pine Grove Furnace State Park (Map). Retrieved 2011-05-13.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Beers, F. W (1972). Pine Grove, Penn Township (sic) (Map). Retrieved 2011-05-16.
  17. ^ a b c "Pine Grove Furnace State Park". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2006-11-28. 
  18. ^ Chris A. Courogen. "AT hikers look forward to the ice cream challenge". Retrieved 2008-07-05. 
  19. ^ a b c d e "Pine Grove Furnace State Park: Hiking". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  20. ^ Way, John H (1986). "Your Guide to the Geology of the Kings Gap Area …" ("booklet") (Environmental Geology Report 8). Pennsylvania Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-05-20. At full capacity, an average furnace used 800 bushels of charcoal every 24 hours … 240 or more acres of woodland  per year.
    p. 12: Invilliers, Edward V. d'[11] (1886). Figure 6-2 (Map). (also published: report on the iron ore mines and limestone quarries of the Cumberland-Lebanon Valley,[12] … in the "An. Rept. Geol. Surv. of Pennsylvania," 1886)
    p. 14: Lehman, Ambrose E. (1889). Figure 7-1 (Map).
  21. ^ "Find a Park by Region (interactive map)".  
  22. ^ Michels, Chris (1997). ""Latitude/Longitude Distance Calculation"".  
  23. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Planning and Research, Geographic Information Division. "2007 General Highway Map Cumberland County Pennsylvania" (Map). 1:65,000. Retrieved 2007-07-27. Note: shows Pine Grove Furnace State Park
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