This week we are heading about 30 minutes away to Greenwood Furnace State Park to do the Greenwood Furnace Loop. This area is a hidden gem with a lovely lake and an opportunity to learn more about the historical mining industry in our area.
Week 11 Hike: Greenwood Furnace State Park Loop https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/pennsylvania/greenwood-furnace-state-park-loop
Distance: 4.5 mile loop, 971 foot elevation change
Directions: Take PA 26 South like you were headed toward Whipple Dam area and continue past Whipple Dam. You will pass the Stone Creek Valley Fire Co on your right and then reach an intersection in a little town. Turn Left onto 305 East. Continue on 305 East for about 4.5 miles and Greenwood Furnace State Park will be on your left-hand side. There are several different parking areas so refer to the attached map to determine where the best place to park is.
Bonus: When you are done with your hike, stay and hang out by the lake or grab an orienteering map and see if you can find the checkpoints! There is a lot to do at this park to include getting up close and personal with a furnace and walking through it. We have attached a copy of the full park map for you to review. If you don’t have time or don’t want to do the above hike, there are several smaller hikes you can choose from as well.
Additional Trail Information:
Greenwood Furnace History: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/GreenwoodFurnaceStatePark/Pages/History.aspx
The land of Greenwood Furnace State Park was once the home of the People of the Standing Stone. The name comes from a tall stone obelisk that once stood in Huntingdon. By the time of William Penn, the Iroquois Confederation claimed the Juniata Valley and allowed groups of Shawnee and Tuscarora Indians to resettle there. During the late 1700s, the area was settled by many groups, including Scotts-Irish and the German speaking Amish and Mennonite. Most of the early settlers were farmers. by the 1820s, there was a traveler’s Inn and sawmill, and several families living in the area of the present park.
After purchasing the Freedom Iron Works in nearby Burnham in 1833, Norris, Rawle and Company needed a steady supply of iron. A suitable location with iron ore, limestone, water, and trees was found here so they built Greenwood Furnace, which went into blast on June 5, 1834. The charcoal-fueled furnace produced about four tons of pig iron ingots per day with an annual output of around 1,200 tons. The iron was hauled by wagons over Stone Mountain to Freedom Iron Works to be turned into wrought iron. Keep reading at the park website to see what else happened at this incredible park!