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Greenwood Furnace State Park



Rothrock State Forest- The Rothrock State Forest is made up of a number of separate areas of State Forest land. The bulk of the area, comprising about 79,468 acres, is situated in northern Huntington, western Mifflin and southern Centre Counties. An area of 10,910 acres lying in southwestern Huntington County is located in the Great Trough Creek region. The remaining acreage is made up of smaller separate tracts of land.

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General Information

Greenwood Furnace State Park
Copyright: Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks
Greenwood Furnace State Park
Description - A walk through historic Greenwood Furnace creates images of the community that flourished here from 1834 to 1904. Greenwood Furnace was a busy industrial complex, with all the noise and dirt of a 19th century iron making community.

Former residents began to return to the now public land to recreate. By 1921, they organized an annual reunion, which became "Old Home Day." Four years later, this reunion was a factor in the creation of the Greenwood Public Camp, forerunner of the park. During the Great Depression of the 1930's, the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed facilities and improvements in the park and surrounding state forest. Furnace Stack # 2 was restored as a monument to the charcoal iron era.

Six original buildings and the cemetery remain, including the mansion, church, and blacksmith / wagon shop. In 1976, archeological work began to uncover the hidden remains of the community. In 1989, the National Park Service established the Greenwood Furnace Historic District due to the historical and archeological significance of the former ironworks community. In 1995, Greenwood Furnace was designated a Historic Landmark by ASM International (formerly the American Society for Metal).

Wildlife is abundant in the area. The alert observer may see white-tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, ruffed grouse and many species of small game. Ducks, great blue herons, ospreys and Canada geese visit the lake. During early evening hours in late May and June, whippoorwills can be heard singing in the park. Today, Greenwood Furnace offers a wonderful place to recreate and visit historic sites. Folks visit the park year-round for camping, fishing, swimming, hiking, picnicking and a variety of winter sporting opportunities. A food and refreshment concession near the beach serves visitors in the summer and furnishes a limited number of camping supplies.

Because Greenwood Furnace State Park is relatively small, most of the park is closed to hunting. A portion of the park and most of the adjacent Rothrock State Forest lands are open to hunting during Pennsylvania Game Commission seasons.

Attractions - A walk through historic Greenwood Furnace creates images of the community that flourished here from 1834 to 1904. Greenwood Furnace was a busy industrial complex, with all the noise and dirt of a 19th century iron making community. The village throbbed with life: the roaring of furnace stacks, the shouts of the workmen, the hissing of the steam engine, the creaking of wagons loaded with charcoal, and the cast house whistle signaling another pour of molten iron. The furnaces were hot (3,000 degrees Fahrenheit) and cast clouds of smoke and cinders into the air, which rained down indiscriminately on grass, people, livestock and buildings, rendering everything sooty and gray.

The furnace was not forgotten. Former residents began to return to the now public land to recreate. By 1921, they organized an annual reunion, which became "Old Home Day." Four years later, this reunion was a factor in the creation of the Greenwood Public Camp, forerunner of the park. During the Great Depression of the 1930's, the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed facilities and improvements in the park and surrounding state forest. Furnace Stack # 2 was restored as a monument to the charcoal iron era.

Six original buildings and the cemetery remain, including the mansion, church, and blacksmith / wagon shop. In 1976, archeological work began to uncover the hidden remains of the community. In 1989, the National Park Service established the Greenwood Furnace Historic District due to the historical and archeological significance of the former ironworks community. In 1995, Greenwood Furnace was designated a Historic Landmark by ASM International (formerly the American Society for Metal).

Wildlife is abundant in the area. White-tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, ruffed grouse and many species of small game may be seen by the alert observer. Ducks, great blue herons, ospreys and Canada geese visit the lake. During early evening hours in late May and June, whippoorwills can be heard singing in the park.

Recreation - Today, Greenwood Furnace offers a wonderful place to recreate and visit historic sites. Folks visit the park year-round for camping, fishing, swimming, hiking, picnicking and a variety of winter sporting opportunities. A food and refreshment concession near the beach serves visitors in the summer and furnishes a limited number of camping supplies.

Because Greenwood Furnace State Park is relatively small, most of the park is closed to hunting. A portion of the park and most of the adjacent Rothrock State Forest lands are open to hunting during Pennsylvania Game Commission seasons. Special state park hunting regulations and Pennsylvania Game Commission laws apply. Contact the park manager for accessible hunting information.

Horseback riding is offered on adjacent state forest land. Many old logging and charcoal roads leading off Broad Mountain Road make excellent riding trails. Parking is available across the road from the start of the Griffith Trail.

Two other state parks are located in the area. Whipple Dam (11 miles) is a day use facility that has swimming, boating and fishing. Penn Roosevelt (12 miles) has a small lake, picnicking and a primitive camping area.

A very large block of Rothrock State Forest surrounds the park. The three state parks can serve as bases for exploring the state forest's system of roads and trails. There are five natural areas in the state forest that contain natural wonders like old growth forest, thick stands of mountain laurel, unique plants and boreal bogs.

Climate - Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Greenwood Furnace State Park area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging around 22 to 24 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 to -4 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 Celsius).

Location - Nestled in the mountains of northeastern Huntingdon County, historic Greenwood Furnace State Park is located on PA Route 305, a 15-minute drive west of Belleville or a 35-minute drive southeast of State College.


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Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This was my first trip to Greenwood Furnace, and I found it to be a very pleasant experience. Being there had a calming effect and was very relaxing. In an otherwise hectic world this is one place you can go to find some quiet time. I hope others will take advantage of going to visit for a day or so, and I hope they will find the same quiet and relaxing atmosphere I did.


More Information

Contact Information:
Greenwood Furnace State Park, RR 2, Box 118 , Huntingdon, PA, 16652-9006, Phone: 814-667-1800
, greenwood@dcnr.state.pa.us

Additional Information:
Laurel Highlands / Southern Alleghenies Area - This area's mountains, valleys, rivers, meadows and woodlands make it irresistible for relaxation and recreation. It also has Mt. Davis, the highest point in Pennsylvania.
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.
Rothrock State Forest - The Rothrock State Forest is made up of a number of separate areas of State Forest land. The bulk of the area, comprising about 79,468 acres, is situated in northern Huntington, western Mifflin and southern Centre Counties. An area of 10,910 acres lying in southwestern Huntington County is located in the Great Trough Creek region. The remaining acreage is made up of smaller separate tracts of land.

Links:
Pennsylvania State Parks - Official agency website

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