Lying within the shadows of the jaw-dropping Blue Ridge Mountains, the Pine Grove Furnace State Park offers a spectacular destination for your next nature getaway.
Easily reached from the likes of Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia, it is the perfect place to visit when the pace of city life gets too much for you.
Incorporating a landscape that includes dense forest and thick woodlands, as well as open fields, the beautiful Laurel Lake, and plenty of other streams and waterways, it is a haven for those who love to spend quality time in the great outdoors.
Fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, birding and picnicking are all popular activities here. While for those who want to stay for a few nights, there is an excellent campground on site for RVs and tent sites too.
One of the great things about this PA state park is that it provides guests with countless opportunities to enjoy the beauty of its nature.
Here is a small selection of some of the many things you can see and do during your visit there.
Water Activities at Pine Grove Furnace State Park
Although 25-acre Laurel Lake is small in comparison to the bodies of water you might find in other state parks, it still enables you to enjoy plenty of recreational activities.
The likes of canoeing, kayaking, SUP and boating are regularly practiced by many, while fishing for perch, bass, trout and pickerel can be caught in abundance too.
For those who want to swim, there is a designated area and associated beach, which will enable you to do that.
Trails at Pine Grove Furnace State Park
Like most public recreational spaces, Pine Grove Furnace State Park is best explored via its trails.
Throughout the park there are plenty of them you can tackle either on foot or by bike, all of which showcase its stunning topography.
Much of the hiking activities in the park center around the sections of it that run through the magnificent 2186-mile Appalachian Trail.
These trails vary in length and degrees of difficulty. Some of them essentially take place on flat ground, while others involve steep and rocky climbs to look out points that showcase incredible views.
In terms of biking trails, one of the most popular is the three-mile Cumberland County Biker and Hiker Trail, that takes you on a winding course past both Laurel and Fuller Lake beaches.
Some of the bitumen roads around the park also make terrific biking paths as well.
Birding at Pine Grove Furnace State Park
As the park is home to a diverse range of species, bird spotting is a very popular activity here.
Throughout the year many different breeds can be seen within its spectacular landscape of woodland, forest, wetlands, hillsides, rocky outcrops, ponds and lakes.
This includes the likes of vireos, warblers, thrushes, woodpeckers, woodcocks, wild turkey, mergansers, Canada goose, mallards and various types of ducks. So be sure to bring your binoculars with you.
Picnicking at Pine Grove Furnace State Park
The park is a popular spot for families to enjoy an al fresco meal together.
As well as at all campsites, you will also find a selection of other picnic tables dotted around the park. Many of these are situated around the lake or by its historic structures.
These sites have charcoal grills and also offer drinking water. You’ll also find restrooms located close to them too.
If you plan to eat as part of a larger group, three picnic pavilions that can seat between 80 to 140 people are available to reserve up to 11 months in advance. If they are not reserved on any given day, they are available to use on a first come, first served basis.
Winter Activities at Pine Grove Furnace State Park
Pennsylvania gets very cold when the winter comes. But don’t let this spoil your enjoyment of the park, as the snow enables you to enjoy a fantastic range of outdoor activities.
This includes the likes of cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and ice skating.
All of which provides different ways for you to enjoy the landscape of this fabulous public recreational space.
Pets at Pine Grove Furnace State Park
Pets are allowed within the park, although some restrictions do apply.
To find out what these are it is worth contacting the park’s main office for further clarification.
Camping at Pine Grove Furnace State Park
Enjoying a beautiful setting within the verdant forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Pine Grove Furnace State Park Campground is an excellent place to stay during your visit to the park.
Open from mid-May to mid-December, it offers 70 RV and tent campsites, many of which come with 30 to 50 amp electric hookups.
All of these sites are located less than 500 feet from flush toilets, hot shower houses and drinking water spigots. They also have fire rings and a picnic table for you to use, while a dump station is also available nearby too.
If you need to top up on supplies, a seasonal camp is located just a quarter of a mile from the campground. This sells food and other basic camping provisions you may need.
As well as these RV and tent sites, there are also six campsites set aside for organized group camping.
These group tent sites are located in a wooded area that surrounds an open playing field.
Between them, they can accommodate between 20 to 40 people and also come with picnic tables, campfires and grills.
Pine Grove Furnace State Park
1100 Pine Grove Rd
Gardners, PA 17324
Here is a YouTube video giving a tour of Pine Grove Furnace State Park: