Caledonia State Park
The 1,125-acre Caledonia State Park is in Adams and Franklin counties, midway between Chambersburg and Gettysburg on US 30. Caledonia is in the northernmost section of the Blue Ridge Mountains known locally as South Mountain. Blue Mountain, the easternmost ridge of the Allegheny Mountains, is to the west and northwest of the park across a large low, rolling, fertile valley known as the Great Valley. South Mountain is mostly composed of a hard rock called quartzite. The valleys on either side are underlined with limestone and shale. The soil is ideal for fruit production, proven by the abundance of orchards in the surrounding area.
Picnicking: More than 450 picnic tables are provided for year-round use. Two picnic pavilions may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis.
Make a reservation.
Swimming: The park features a large, ADA accessible swimming pool with a slide, and also a small snack bar. The pool is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends only beginning Memorial Day Weekend, and then will be open daily June 8 through Labor Day, unless posted otherwise.
Fishing: The East Branch Conococheague and Rocky Mountain creeks and Carbaugh Run flow through the park and the surrounding state forest lands, offering many exciting places for anglers. Brown trout, rainbow trout, native brook trout and some warm-water game fish can be found in these streams.
Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Hunting and Firearms: About 740 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, rabbit, squirrel and turkey. Hunting is permitted in the adjacent Michaux State Forest.
Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information.
Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner's car, trailer or leased campsite. The only exception is that law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms may carry said firearm concealed on their person while they are within the park.
Complete information on hunting rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission Web site.
Hiking: 10 miles of trails
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, which extends 2,000 miles from Springer Mountain in northern Georgia to Mount Katahdin in central Maine, traverses the central portion of Caledonia.
Golf: An 18-hole, par 68, public golf course is available. Constructed in the late 1920s, the course is the oldest and one of the most scenic courses in south central Pennsylvania. For more information contact Caledonia Golf Enterprises, Inc., P.O. Box 195, Fayetteville, PA 17222, 717-352-7271. www.caledoniagolfpa.net
Totem Pole Playhouse: Since 1950, Totem Pole Playhouse has provided professional summer theatre and is known nationally, for attracting high quality professional artists and for its wide variety of theatrical programming. For more information contact Totem Pole Playhouse PO Box 603 Fayetteville, PA 17222-0603. 717-352-2164 www.totempoleplayhouse.org
Camping: flush toilets, warm showers, electric hook-ups
Chinquapin Hill Campground is nestled on the side of a mountain with plenty of shade trees and is close to the swimming pool. Some sites have electrical hookups.
Hosack Run Campground is one mile from the main day use area. It has moderately level, open and shaded sites, and offers hot showers, flush toilets, electrical hookups, a dump station and small playground for children. Pets are permitted on designated sites. Two campsites are set aside for people with disabilities with a nearby family-assist restroom.
Explore the campground map.
Explore camping for more information.
Make a reservation.
Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 2 host positions
Unique House: One home is available for rent year-round.
Caledonia Lodge is a two-story frame house with a modern kitchen, closed-in porch, 1½ baths, dining room, living room, central heat and three bedrooms that sleep ten people.
Explore cabins for more information.
Make a reservation.
Organized Group Tenting: Organized adult and youth groups of up to 100 people can rent this modern area, which is open the day before trout season in March to the 4th Sunday in October. There are flush toilets, picnic tables and fire rings, but no showers. Advance reservations are required.
Explore organized group tenting for more information.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
A seasonal naturalist offers campfire programs, guided hikes and environmental education programs in the summer months.
Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of events from today forward.
Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.
Access for People with Disabilities
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.
Caledonia State Park has seen the worst and best of human nature.
Caledonia is the name invading Romans gave to northern Britain. It is also the name of the county in Vermont where Thaddeus Stevens was born, in 1792. Overcoming a childhood of prejudice and poverty, Stevens attended Dartmouth College. After graduation he moved to York, Pennsylvania, and taught school while getting a degree in law. He soon became a very successful lawyer. Stevens was elected to the Pa. House of Representatives in 1833, where he led the fight for public schools. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Stevens fought for equal rights for immigrants and women, then became an ardent abolitionist.
Stevens built a charcoal iron works in Franklin County, which opened in 1837. He named it Caledonia. A self-contained village, Caledonia had a charcoal iron furnace, forge, rolling mill, stables, warehouses, blacksmith shops, sawmill, and 60 tenement houses for the workers and their families. Furnace foreman William Hammett was a conductor for the Underground Railroad. It is unknown if the Railroad passed through Caledonia. The furnace employed some black workers.
During the Gettysburg Campaign of the American Civil War, the confederate cavalry of General J.A. Early raided throughout southern Pennsylvania but followed a policy to destroy no private property or industry. The cavalry burned and pillaged Caledonia. Gen. Early explained his actions, “Mr. Stevens is an enemy of the South. He is in favor of confiscating their property and arming the Negroes. His property must be destroyed.”
Furnace Manager John Sweeney rebuilt the iron furnace and a forge, which operated until 1870.
Stevens died in 1868, having seen his dream of a free south fulfilled.
The Dillers purchased Caledonia in 1887 and operated a quarry for ganister sand and other minerals. In 1903, the land was sold to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as part of the new Forest Reserve System, to be a future supply of timber and be “outings grounds for citizens.”
The Chambersburg and Gettysburg Electric Railway Company leased the park and made it a destination for their trolley line by building amusement rides and a dance pavilion. In the heyday of the Lincoln Highway (early 1900s) Caledonia became a featured stop. The Graeffenburg Inn was a great place to eat.
In 1922, Robert Miller built a nine-hole golf course, which later became 18 holes. In 1927, the Pa. Alpine Club reconstructed the old furnace stack as a reduced scale model. In 1933, during the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built a camp in Scotland, Pennsylvania. The young, unemployed men worked building roads and recreational facilities in and around Caledonia.
For more information on the CCC, explore the Civilian Conservation Corps Online Archive.
Pieces of Caledonia’s history remain. The furnace stack (although rebuilt), the blacksmith shop, millrace, furnace dam and scattered charcoal hearths remain from the charcoal era. The railroad bed once held trolley cars of tourists who mixed with visitors who drove on the first transcontinental highway, now US 30. Thanks to the work of the CCC boys, Caledonia has beautiful forests, trails, and pavilions. Caledonia State Park suffered through war, vengeance and industrial overuse to be restored by the early conservation movement. Let’s all work to insure that Caledonia State Park continues to see the best of human nature.
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Becoming a Conservation Volunteer is easy.
Scouts and organized groups can earn free camping by completing service projects.
Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation
Believing that each generation is responsible for leaving behind a better legacy of good conservation, the Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation (PPFF) was created in 1999 to give supporters and users of Pennsylvania's parks and forests a positive way to contribute to the conservation of our publicly-owned properties. The Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation welcomes the support of individuals and businesses who share a commitment to conserving, protecting, and enhancing the natural, scenic, and recreational areas of this commonwealth. www.paparksandforests.org
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We love when young people ask us how to get involved!
DiscoverE has programs for young people ages 4 to 17, provided by Pennsylvania State Park educators. By combining recreation and education, we hope to motivate children to learn more and return often, leading to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment and conservation leadership.
In Watershed Education, teachers and students assess water quality of a local stream on a quarterly basis and develop strategies to solve local water quality problems.
ECO Camp - Exploring Careers Outdoors - is a week-long residential camp for a cross-section of high school youth from across Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Participate in action-packed, hands on activities and recreational adventures in Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests that expose youth to conservation, recreation and careers in natural resources. Learn how people make a living working in the outdoors.
Explore education for more information on these and other programs.
Explore the Calendar of Events to find a program near you.
Do you take conservation personally? iConservePA is a Web site managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources whose vision is to inspire citizens to value their natural resources, engage in conservation practices and experience the outdoors. Take conservation personally.
Come Work with Us
Pennsylvania State Parks and the Department of Conservation and Natrual Resources offer a wide range of civil service and non-civil service jobs, from foresters, to rangers, to engineers, to educators, to botanists and so much more. Learn what is currently available.
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Caledonia State Park
Information on nearby attractions is available from the Fulton County Visitors Bureau. www.explorefranklincountypa.com
Michaux State Forest: This 83,949-acre forest features hunting, fishing and general outdoor recreation. 717-352-2211
Gettysburg National Military Park: This historic military site is operated by the National Park Service and preserves and explains the events that occurred on the Gettysburg Battlefield during the Civil War, 717-334-1124. www.nps.gov/gett
Maps and Downloadables
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Interactive GIS Map
The Interactive GIS Map uses Geographic Information Systems to create a map that does not need to be downloaded and features driving directions, searchable park amenities and customizable maps. Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
Caledonia is at the intersection of US 30 and PA 233.
Driving Directions: The Interactive GIS Map has turn-by-turn driving directions to the park office from the Park Information Window. Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
Caledonia State Park