Steeped in natural and historical features, the 696-acre Pine Grove Furnace State Park is on beautiful South Mountain in southern Cumberland County. Surrounded by Michaux State Forest, Pine Grove Furnace features two lakes, 25-acre Laurel Lake and 1.7-acre Fuller Lake, a historic area and the Appalachian Trail.
The Pine Grove Furnace Office and Visitor Center is open 8AM to 6PM daily during the summer season and on weekdays from 8AM to 4PM the rest of the year. Loaner kits are available for use from the park office during open office hours.
Fishing Tackle Loaner Kits include a fishing rod and tackle box. Bait is not included.
Family Activity Backpacks include a backpack, workbook, and additional, topic-specific materials to enhance learning while exploring the park. Varied topics are available.
1100 Pine Grove Road, Gardners, PA 17324
My first, first day hike. I loved having a guided hike. It wasn't too long and had a variety of terrain/scenery.
We attended this activity because we recently needed to use a map and compass in the woods, and we found out the hard way we didn't really know how.
The ranger who led the class made sure everyone had a suitable compass and a map. Using a large mock compass as a teaching aid, she gave very clear, easy-to-understand instructions, step by step, she checked with each person to make sure we understood each step. After getting us familiar with the compass and the map, she showed us how to use them together. Then we did a few practice drills. Our mistakes could have been very frustrating, but the ranger taught with a smile, and her sense of humor lightened the load of learning a series of detailed steps that must be followed correctly. After the practice drills, she sent us out in teams to complete the park's orienteering course. It wasn't an actual competition, but the setup was like the one orienteering teams use in competitions. At 59 minutes for a 35 minute course, my husband and I wouldn't have taken home any medals, but we found all the points, and I will feel much more confident if I need to use a map and compass on a future hike.
We also learned a fun competitive sport that requires more mental skill than physical prowess (at least on this course). As we move into our later years, we will welcome this activity to replace our rigorous mountain hikes that are not well suited for "active seniors."
The ranger mentioned that King's Gap, 6 miles away, has 6 courses at various levels of challenge. I'm excited about going there and honing my new skills.
It was great
Mrs. Lea Smith is amazing! My kids love her program, it is educational and fun!!!
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