On the Trail with Darcy and Lizzy: Pine Grove Furnace and Caledonia State Parks

Continuing on the Appalachian Trail south from Boiling Springs, Darcy and Elizabeth leave the farmland behind when they enter Michaux State Forest. This is the geographical halfway point of the Appalachian Trail, equidistant between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine.

Midpoint of the Appalachian Trail
Marker for the midpoint of the Appalachian Trail, Pennsylvania
photo by L Gude

Contained within Michaux State Forest are two Pennsylvania State Parks: Pine Grove Furnace and Caledonia. Both are named for iron furnaces left over from the booming iron industry of the 18th and 19th centuries.

In Boots & Backpacks, Elizabeth’s college buddy Richard Fitzwilliam works as a Pennsylvania Park Ranger at Pine Grove Furnace State Park. He takes Darcy and Elizabeth to Pole Steeple, followed by a picnic at Laurel Lake.

An impressive stone furnace stands at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pennsylvania.
The stone furnace at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pennsylvania
photo by Pennsylvania State Parks
Pole Steeple
View of Laurel Lake and surrounding forest from the Pole Steeple Overlook
photo by cthoyes
A Lake Aflame
Autumn on Laurel Lake, Pine Grove Furnace State Park
photo by matthew_culbertson

Rich may be a good host, but Darcy and Elizabeth don’t stay long. They continue south to Caledonia State Park, which is the site of an iron furnace once owned by famed US Representative and abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens.

Thaddeus Stevens marker
Historical marker about Thaddeus Stevens
photo by Msanders55
Caledonia State Park
Creeks in Caledonia State Park
photo by Patti Kinlock
Caledonia State Park
Waterfalls in Caledonia State Park
photo by Adam Petty

Taking advantage of the proximity, Darcy and Elizabeth take an off-trail excursion to Gettysburg National Battlefield, before continuing south.

The Angle, Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg, PA
Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg, PA
photo by Pat Henson

Up next on the Trail: Maryland’s South Mountain.

Previous On the Trail with D&E posts:

Delaware Water Gap Part 1

Delaware Water Gap Part 2

Eastern Pennsylvania

Hawk Mountain and the Pinnacle

The Schuykill to the Susquehanna

Duncannon to Boiling Springs

The Boots & Backpacks Map

2 Responses

  1. James

    Just read Boots and Backpacks again. Still the best modern adaptation of p&p. Great writing and great photographs of the route. I’m going to have to hike some of these sections. These posts really add to the enjoyment of the book.

    • kckahler

      Thanks, James!

      I’m really only scratching the surface as far as sights along the trail, but I like highlighting specific scenes in B&B. So glad you enjoy these posts!