The Appalachian Trail is the most famous hiking trail in the U.S., extending 2,189 miles from Georgia to Maine. 46 miles of the A.T. meander through Cumberland Valley, including a 13-mile section that is the longest, lowest and flattest section on the entire trail and one of the most accessible portions to park and take a short day trip.
Begin your journey at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy situated on beautiful Children's Lake in Boiling Springs. There you can pick up trail maps and learn more about A.T. hot spots in Cumberland Valley. Head across the parking lot to TCO Outdoors for your hiking and trail supply needs. After you pick up the essentials, walk around the lake to enjoy the scenery or feed the ducks. Stop by the Village Artisans Gallery to browse PA artisan crafts and hand-made items. If you visit on the right day you could see an artist-in-action!
After a morning in Boiling Springs head to Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Gardners for more A.T. fun. This state park is home to the Appalachian Trail Museum, the midway point of the A.T. and the famous Half Gallon Ice Cream Challenge. It’s common to see A.T. thru-hikers visiting the museum (the only hiking museum in the country) and in the Pine Grove General Store celebrating the half-way point by eating a half gallon of ice cream.
Enjoy the other amenities of Pine Grove Furnace State Park including camping, fishing, boating on Laurel Lake, relaxing lake beaches and swimming.
Make it a Weekend
Extend your trip and stay like an A.T. thru-hiker at the Ironmaster’s Mansion. This historic mansion is near the Appalachian Trail Museum and serves as a hostel for hikers and other guests. You can also enjoy a rustic weekend with camping at the Valley’s state parks, campgrounds and RV parks or head back to Boiling Springs for a luxurious and pampering stay at Allenberry Resort.