Begin your journey to discover this world-renowned, 2,180 mile-long trail at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in Boiling Springs. This picturesque town was the first designated Appalachian Trail Community in PA due to its commitment to preserving the trail and welcoming A.T. hikers. While in town relax around Children’s Lake, fed by a natural spring, this lake literally bubbles. You can feed the ducks, boat or simply walk around and enjoy the scenery. Boiling Springs is also home to award-winning wildlife artist, Gerald Putt. Stop by his studio or visit 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 PA 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.
Cumberland Valley’s portion of the Appalachian Trail is the flattest, easiest portion of the entire trail. You can experience easy day hikes with scenic terrain and conveniently located parking lots.
Make it a Weekend
Extend your trip and stay like an A.T. thru-hiker at the Ironmaster’s Mansion. This historic mansion is across the street from the Appalachian Trail Museum and has been a hiker hostel over the years and also serves as a unique special event and wedding location. You and the family can also enjoy a rustic weekend with camping at the Valley’s state parks, campgrounds and RV parks.
Grab a bite to eat at the Boiling Springs Tavern or the Holly Inn Restaurant. Boiling Springs Tavern serves classic, upscale meals and offers candlelit dinners with a view of Children’s Lake. The Holly Inn is a historic tavern that welcomes you to a cozy atmosphere, offers delicious comfort food and hosts live entertainment and special events.