The Cumberland Valley Photo Trail is a fun way to explore Cumberland Valley and fully experience locations that make this region of south-central Pennsylvania a unique area to live, work, and play. As you embark on your journey, share your images using #FoundItinCV. We love to see how you capture the spirit of Cumberland Valley and look forward to seeing what other happy surprises you find along the way!
Covered Bridges – Newburg and Mechanicsburg
Cumberland Valley has two covered bridges. Ramp’s Covered Bridge was built in 1882 and is still in its original location on a scenic country road two miles southeast of Newburg. It carries traffic across the Conodoguinet Creek. The second covered bridge is a familiar landmark on the Messiah University campus and crosses the Yellow Breeches Creek. Bowmansdale Covered Bridge was built in 1867. It was moved to the campus and rebuilt by students in the early 1970s. It takes about 45 minutes by car to travel from one covered bridge to the other.
Laughlin Mill – Newville
From the covered bridge in Newburg, Laughlin Mill is a 15-minute scenic drive through farmland to the outskirts of downtown Newville. The three-story log structure was built in 1763 and used as a water-powered gristmill until 1896. The 6-1/2-foot dam generated water power equal to that of 15 horses. It is one of the most photographed sites in Cumberland Valley and represents a time when milling was a major industry in Pennsylvania.
Army Heritage Trail @ The U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center – Carlisle
You can get up close to an M-16 tank destroyer or a Huey helicopter during a casual walk along this one-mile outdoor Army Heritage Trail. The trail is designed to interpret U.S. Army history and features other exhibits from the French & Indian War through current operations.
Molly Pitcher Grave & Statue – Carlisle
Renowned for her bravery during the Revolutionary War, Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley (aka “Molly Pitcher”) is buried in Carlisle’s Old Public Graveyard. A statue was erected in 1916. Her 1876 grave marker is behind the monument.
Molly Pitcher Mural – Carlisle
A short walk from her grave, you will find a large black-and-white mural featuring Molly Pitcher. The mural overlooks the parking lot and courtyard of the Cumberland County Historical Society campus. It was commissioned in 2001 for the 250th anniversary of the founding of Carlisle. Other images in the mural depict the Old County Courthouse, Jim Thorpe, the LeTort Spring Run, the Two Mile House, and the view from Flat Rock Trail in Colonel Denning State Park. (Image: Jason Malmont, The Sentinel)
Hot-Chee Dog Marker @ The Hamilton Restaurant – Carlisle
Just a few steps from the Molly Pitcher mural, you’ll find The Hamilton, Carlisle's oldest, continuously operating restaurant, serving the community for more than 80 years and was the winner of Cumberland Valley's Meal Madness campaign in 2023. While they served Hot-Chee dogs (hot dogs with cheese, chili, and onions) right from the start in 1938, it wasn't until their 25th anniversary in 1963 that this signature dish was officially named by creator Charlie Kollas. The current owner, Tommy Mazias, came here from Greece as an 11-year-old in 1952, began washing dishes at the restaurant, purchased it with his father-in-law in 1965, and took over full ownership in 1975. Beloved by local residents for generations, the Hot-Chee Dog and the Hamilton Restaurant have become intricately linked to Carlisle’s identity as a community over the past eight decades. Thanks to the efforts of Destination Carlisle, the installation of a Legends & Lore historical marker recognizes the importance of the restaurant and the contribution of Greek immigrants and their families to our local food culture. Grab a Hot-Chee dog to go and take a picture outside by the marker. (Photo credit: Jen Oswald, Destination Carlisle)
Statue of Benjamin Rush – Carlisle
Walk to the Dickinson College campus just a few blocks from The Hamilton and stop for a photo op by the statute of Benjamin Rush, founder of the college and signer of the Declaration of Independence (photo credit: Joe O'Neill/Dickinson College). There are plenty of other Instagram-worthy opportunities on the tree-lined campus, including the steps of Old West (built in 1803).
Painted Traffic Signal Boxes – Carlisle
A community art project spearheaded by Color Carlisle created “pops” of color throughout downtown. Local artists designed and painted six traffic signal boxes with playful and colorful images that celebrate unique aspects of Carlisle. Find your favorite and snap a picture. The boxes are located at West High and North College Streets, West High and North West Streets, West High and North Pitt Streets, High and Hanover Streets, North Hanover and Louther Streets, and South Hanover and Pomfret Streets. (TIP: Check out the mural installed on the northern wall of Stock Hall at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church at the corner of West Louther and North West streets. It features images of landmarks like the Carlisle Theatre and the Old Courthouse, as well as images symbolic of the area’s agricultural heritage and the iconic red Adirondack chairs at Dickinson College.)
Paulus Farm Market – Mechanicsburg
Who can resist a photo with cute farm animals? At Paulus Farm Market, for a small admission price, you will get up close to a princess donkey, a regal Scottish Highland cattle, playful Pygmy goats, adorable Holstein calves, fluffy rabbits, terrific turkeys, chipper chickens, daring ducks, and portly pigs. As an added bonus, from early July through September, don’t overlook the stunning U-pick flower fields with zinnias, snapdragons, sunflowers, and more.
Meadowbrooke Gourds – Carlisle
If you love beautiful flower fields, head to Meadowbrooke Gourds in September and October (check their website for optimal blooming time). You’ll find acres of beautiful sunflowers available for u-pick. The scene is even more stunning, with bright blue skies and mountains in the background.
Negley Park – Lemoyne
Cumberland Valley has plenty of scenic vistas and overlooks. One that stands out is Negley Park in Lemoyne. Perched high on a hill, this picturesque spot offers stunning views of the Susquehanna River and the Harrisburg skyline. It’s the perfect place for a picnic.
Neato Burrito Mural – New Cumberland
You can’t miss the colorful and whimsical mural at Neato Burrito in New Cumberland. Local artist Stephen Michael Hass spent approximately a month transforming the entire side of the building with this eye-catching street art that provides the ideal backdrop for the perfect Instagram image.
Train Car at Adams-Ricci Park – Enola
A lovely 1943 vintage red caboose at Adams-Ricci Park recognizes the importance of the railroads to this region – particularly the nearby Enola Freight Yard. The caboose was dedicated in 2005 in conjunction with the freight yard’s 100th-anniversary celebration.
Cumberland Valley Railroad Museum and the Conrail Museum– Shippensburg
Continuing with the railroad theme, take a leisurely drive across Cumberland Valley from Enola to Shippensburg, where you can visit the Cumberland Valley Railroad Museum and the Conrail Museum, both located inside renovated boxcars. The exhibits and artifacts depict how the local railroads affected the region. The museums are located at one of the trailheads to the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail, a 13-mile walking/hiking/biking trail that follows the abandoned Cumberland Valley Railroad corridor from Shippensburg to Newville. (TIP: Railroad aficionados should also visit the Stationmaster’s House at the Mechanicsburg Museum. The house was built in 1866 by the Cumberland Valley Railroad for the stationmaster and is furnished to represent the time he spent there with his family in the 1860s. And, in 2023, The Cumberland County Historical Society pays homage to the importance of railroads to Cumberland County's history with its newest exhibit, Railroading in the Valley: A Collaborative Exhibit Looking at the History of Railroads in the Cumberland Valley.)
Iron Furnace – Boiling Springs
Your first question might be, “What is an iron furnace?” The short answer: they were used to convert iron ore to pig iron. The Carlisle Iron Works Furnace Stack in Boiling Springs was built in 1760 and is a well-preserved survivor of the early American iron industry. Stop by and snap a picture of yourself with this piece of history. (TIP: If you are not in the Boiling Springs area, another well-preserved iron furnace can be found at Pine Grove Furnace State Park.)
Appalachian Trail Halfway Marker – Pine Grove Furnace State Park
If you visit the Iron Furnace at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, take time for a hike along the Appalachian Trail. Follow the white blazes south for about a mile or two until you see the prominent marker showing the midway point of this iconic footpath. (NOTE: The actual spot changes a bit each year due to trail relocations.) Take a picture to mark this site, and then head back to the Pine Grove General Store, where you can celebrate like an actual thru-hiker by participating in the Half-Gallon Challenge (attempting to eat a half-gallon of ice cream to celebrate reaching the midway point of the trail).