Self-Guided Historical Tours in Cumberland Valley

If you travel to experience a taste of the past, you'll find architectural and historical gems in our towns and villages, and impressive barns and mills along our country roads. Cumberland Valley PA's historic churches, schools, taverns, cemeteries and downtowns await you and your travelers! 

Featured Experience

Explore historic downtown Carlisle as you take a self-guided walking tour or more than 30 wayside markers. Highlights include the Old Graveyard, the Art Deco Carlisle Theatre, First Presbyterian Church, and Lincoln Cemetery.

18th Century Architecture of Carlisle

Founded in 1751 as the county seat, Carlisle was the largest and wealthiest town in Cumberland County. There are numerous descriptions of 18th Carlisle because it was located on the Great Road to the west, and many of the travelers who passed through town wrote about it in their journals. Seventeen... Read More 

A Walk Around Boiling Springs

Boiling Springs is a unique 18th century iron industry settlement that became a 19th century village and recreational area. Its lake, shade trees, and 19th century homes, in a variety of architectural styles, attest to the village’s charm and historic significance. Boiling Springs was placed on the... Read More 

Army Heritage Trail at USAHEC

The one-mile Army Heritage Trail is a self-guided, outdoor interactive trail loop, highlighted by a Huey helicopter and M-18 Tank Destroyer (nicknamed the "Hellcat") perched alongside Interstate 81. Walk along the trail, which interprets the history of the U.S. Army and discover full-scale exhibits... Read More 

Camp Michaux Walking Tour

Nestled in the ridges of South Mountain, two miles northwest of Pine Grove Furnace State Park along Michaux Road, lies Camp Michaux. This site has an unusual history that is linked to the iron industry in the late 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries when the area was a working farm known as Bunker... Read More 

Carlisle Barracks

Established in 1757, Carlisle Barracks is the second oldest Army post in the United States, with a Hessian Powder Magazine, built in 1777, still on site. The historical barracks has an interesting past. Most notably, the site was burned by the Confederate Army in 1863 and later was the home of the... Read More 

The Civil War on the West Shore

The Cumberland Valley played a significant role in America’s Civil War. When the war began, local residents rushed to join the Union army. Area families made deep sacrifices for the war effort culminating with the Confederate invasion of PA in summer 1863. Southern troops passed through the valley,... Read More 

The Civil War Visits Carlisle

The spearhead of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia reached Carlisle on Saturday, June 27, 1863. The force, led by General Richard Ewell, included a vanguard of about 1,200 cavalrymen and 8,000 infantrymen. The Confederate troops occupied and controlled the town for three days. They... Read More 

Dickinson and Slavery: Historic Walking Tour

Follow this self-guided walking tour around the Dickinson College campus to learn how the college's history intertwines with slavery. Wayside markers were installed around campus to recognize and acknowledge this important part of the college's history, which was uncovered by Dickinson's House... Read More 

Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station

TICKET TO THE PAST–UNFORGETTABLE JOURNEYS A Virtual Reality Experience at the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station™ Step inside the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station™ where U.S. history was made. Journey back to 1863 in this new immersive virtual reality experience. On July 1, 1863, the... Read More 

Locust Grove Cemetery

The Locust Grove Cemetery in Shippensburg is a historic African-American cemetery. The cemetery is the burial location for 47 African American veterans from every major American conflict from the Civil War to Vietnam. There are 26 known Civil War veterans buried. These veterans served in the United... Read More 

Old Public Graveyard

The Old Public Graveyard in Carlisle is home to 750 veterans from the Revolutionary War through the Korean War. The graveyard is the burial ground for 550 Civil War veterans including the drummer boy for the 1st U.S. Calvary, Charles Seebold. This is also the burial site for Mary Hays McCauly who is... Read More 

A Walking Tour of Historic Downtown New Cumberland

Delve into New Cumberland Borough history and support the New Cumberland Public Library when you purchase a copy of “A Walking Tour of Historic Downtown New Cumberland." The pamphlet lists 48 places, all within the original 1831 Borough limits, and includes a numbered map in the center. It was... Read More 

Perry County Heritage Trail

Located directly north of Cumberland Valley, Perry County features small towns and farms in the valleys surrounded by woodlands in the higher hills and mountains. The county offers miles of scenic byways and beautiful vistas. The Heritage Trail Map is designed to help visitors explore and discover... Read More 

Perry County's Covered Bridges

Perry County is one of Cumberland Valley's scenic neighbors. Spend a day meandering through winding back roads to the 15 beautiful covered bridges this county has to offer. In the 19th-century, villages began popping up around streams due to the rise of water-powered mills and other industries. In... Read More 

Pine Grove Furnace Iron Works Historic Walking Tour

Abundant resources like trees, iron and water brought men to live and work near Pine Grove Furnace State Park. After the iron industry went bankrupt in the late 1800s, the area was left as an unattractive industrial wasteland. Now, parts of the iron industry are preserved to tell an important story... Read More 

Quilt Mural Trail

The Perry County Council of the Arts Quilt Mural Trail is a loop of 29 8' x 8' painted quilts that are mounted on barns and other buildings along Perry, Juniata, and Mifflin County roadways. Students from each of these counties participated in this arts-residency program that combined history,... Read More 

Shippensburg in the Civil War

When war broke out in 1861, Shippensburg was an ordinary small town in Pennsylvania. By the war’s end, its residents had witnessed some of the most extraordinary events of the Civil War. The Shippensburg Civil War Trail brings you face to face with a community experiencing a monumental moment in... Read More 

Walking Tour of Carlisle Wayside Markers

The town of Carlisle is rich in history dating back to the 1700s. Discover this charming town's history by browsing the historic markers throughout the walkable downtown. Highlights include the Old County Prison, the Carlisle Theatre and the Old Public Graveyard. Download the Walking Tour of... Read More 

Must-See in Cumberland Valley

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