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Caledonia State Park



Appalachian Trail- The Pennsylvania Appalachian Trail segment touches nine public lands offering an opportunity for refreshment at campgrounds, restroom facilities, beaches and concessions. Many of the state parks and state forests along the route offer scenic overlooks, picnic grounds, fishing opportunities and fresh drinking water.
Gettysburg National Military Park- Gettysburg National Military Park commemorates the individuals involved in the battle of Gettysburg, a turning point in the U.S. Civil War.
Michaux State Forest- The Michaux State Forest encompasses about 85,000+ acres in the South Mountains, which is a narrow mountain range extending though Virginia, Maryland and about 40 miles into South central Pennsylvania, in a generally northeast to southwest direction.

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General Information

Caledonia State Park
Copyright: Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks
Caledonia State Park
Description - Caledonia is located on the northernmost section of the Blue Ridge Mountains known locally as South Mountain. It is mostly made of a hard rock called quartzite. The valleys on either side are underlined with limestone and shale. The soil is ideal for fruit production proven by the abundance of orchards in the surrounding area.

The history of the park is both colorful and varied. The park is named for Thaddeus Stevens' charcoal iron furnace which began operation in 1837. The Honorable Thaddeus Stevens was born in Caledonia County, Vermont and became a famous abolitionist, statesman and father of the public school system in Pennsylvania. During the Civil War, the area was visited by Confederate troops. Because of the conflict that was in progress between the North and South and in part due to Mr. Stevens' views on freeing those in slavery, Confederate Cavalrymen destroyed the furnace in June of 1863 under the command of General J. A. Early.

The park is one of the oldest Pennsylvania state parks and is also one of the most popular in the Commonwealth. It was first operated privately, then later by transportation companies that promoted it as an amusement park. Caledonia State Park is the state's most visited park. There are many reasons it attracts so many visitors each year. It is close to Gettysburg, making it a favorite for Civil War buffs who find it ideal for family outings. The Appalachian Trail travels through the park in addition to the other scenic, historic and nature trails. One of the park's most unique features is the 18-hole, par 68 public golf course which was built during the 1920's and is still functioning today. Camping is enjoyed during the warmer months offering 184 sites. There is also group camping available for up to 100 people. There are two cabins available for rental year round. The park offers a large swimming pool complete with concession. Also, during the warm summer months, the park offers campfire programs, guided hikes and environmental education programs. Picnicking and fishing are also favorite past-times.
Hunting is available on approximately 740 acres. Common game species are deer, pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, bear, turkey and waterfowl.

Since 1952, the Totem Pole Playhouse, a summer stock theater which offers daily performances during the summer months, has been located in the park

Attractions - Caledonia is located on the northernmost section of the Blue Ridge Mountains known locally as South Mountain. Blue Mountain, the easternmost ridge of the Allegheny Mountains, is located to the west and northwest of the park across a large low rolling fertile valley known as the Great Valley.

South Mountain is mostly made of a hard rock called quartzite. The valleys on either side are underlined with limestone and shale. The soil is ideal for fruit production proven by the abundance of orchards in the surrounding area.

The history of the park is both colorful and varied. The park is named for Thaddeus Stevens' charcoal iron furnace which began operation in 1837. The Honorable Thaddeus Stevens was born in Caledonia County, Vermont and became a famous abolitionist, statesman and father of the public school system in Pennsylvania. During the Civil War, the area was visited by Confederate troops. Because of the conflict that was in progress between the North and South and in part due to Mr. Stevens' views on freeing those in slavery, the furnace was destroyed in June of 1863 by Confederate Cavalrymen under the command of General J. A. Early. The scenic watercourse along PA Route 233 was once the millrace that operated the furnace waterwheel. Pastures were used as field hospitals for the wounded taken from the Gettysburg Battlefield. Today they are playfields for visiting children. In 1927, the Pennsylvania Alpine Club reconstructed the stack of the old furnace as a reduced scale monument. The reconstructed stack and blacksmith shop are the only visible reminders of the early iron works.

The park is one of the oldest Pennsylvania state parks and is also one of the most popular in the Commonwealth. The park was first operated privately, then later by transportation companies that promoted it as an amusement park. Years ago, the area was the scene of carnivals, balloon ascensions, family picnics and any other event that with fanfare and promotion served to attract large crowds.

Recreation - Caledonia State Park is the state's most visited parks. There are many reasons it attracts so many visitors each year. It is close to Gettysburg, making it a favorite for Civil War buffs who find it ideal for family outings. The Appalachian Trail travels through the park in addition to the other scenic, historic and nature trails. One of the park's most unique features is the 18-hole, par 68 public golf course which was built during the 1920's and is still functioning today. For more information contact Caledonia Golf Enterprises, Inc., P.O. Box 195, Fayetteville, PA 17222, telephone (717) 352-7271.

Camping is enjoyed during the warmer months offering 184 sites. There is also group camping available for up to 100 people.

There are two cabins available for rental year round. One cabin is a 1-story frame house with a modern kitchen, bathroom, dining room, living room, central heat and three bedrooms that sleep ten people. The second cabin is a 2-story frame house with a modern kitchen, closed-in porch, 1• baths, dining room, living room, central heat and three bedrooms that sleep ten people.

The park offers a large swimming pool complete with concession. Also, during the warm summer months, the park offers campfire programs, guided hikes and environmental education programs.

Picnicking and fishing are also favorite past-times.

Hunting is available on approximately 740 acres. It is open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, pheasant, rabbit, squirrel, bear, turkey and waterfowl. Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day to March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park manager for accessible hunting information.

Since 1952, the Totem Pole Playhouse, a summer stock theater which offers daily performances during the summer months, has been located in the park. A schedule of shows can be requested by contacting Totem Pole Playhouse, 9555 Golf Course Road, P.O. Box 603, Fayetteville, PA 17222, telephone (717) 352-2164.

Climate - Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Caledonia State Park area generally has fairly cold winter months. This lower central area has temperatures averaging above 28 degrees Fahrenheit (above -2 degrees Celsius). The region's average summer temperatures range 72 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 23 Celsius).

Location - The 1,125 acres of Caledonia State Park are located in Adams and Franklin counties midway between Chambersburg and Gettysburg on U.S. Route 30.


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More Information

Contact Information:
Caledonia State Park, 40 Rocky Mountain Road , Fayetteville, PA, 17222-9610, Phone: 717-352-2161
, caledonia@dcnr.state.pa.us

Additional Information:
Gettysburg National Military Park - Gettysburg National Military Park commemorates the individuals involved in the battle of Gettysburg, a turning point in the U.S. Civil War.
Hershey / Dutch Country Area - History and natural delights intermingle with the hand-plowed farm fields of the Amish and the scent of the Hershey Chocolate Factory.
Michaux State Forest - The Michaux State Forest encompasses about 85,000+ acres in the South Mountains, which is a narrow mountain range extending though Virginia, Maryland and about 40 miles into South central Pennsylvania, in a generally northeast to southwest direction.
Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests - Pennsylvania is known for producing some of the most valuable hardwood timber in the world. The 2.1 million acres of state forest land are protected from fire, destructive insects and diseases while offering a beautiful recreation environment for the visitor. Pennsylvania's State Park system offers visitors year-round recreational enjoyment as well. Amenities include: camping, picnicking, hiking, an assortment of winter sports and the viewing of the natural biological diversity and ecosystems found within the Commonwealth.

Links:
Pennsylvania State Parks - Official agency website

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