Mont Alto State Park
This quiet park features a unique pavilion, picnicking and trout fishing. Mont Alto is the oldest park still in the Pennsylvania state park system.
Seasons and Hours: The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk. Contact the Caledonia State Park office for facility seasons and hours.
Picnicking: Two picnic areas contain tables and two picnic pavilions. The ADA accessible Old Carousel Pavilion can be reserved.
Fishing: The West Branch of Antietam Creek flows through the park and offers excellent trout fishing.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Hunting and Firearms: Mont Alto provides access to hunting on Michaux State Forest.
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 vehicle or enclosed trailer. Exceptions include: law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms are authorized to carry a firearm concealed on their person while they are within a state park.
Hiking: Local mountain roads offer interesting short hikes and a flora that attracts a diversity of wildlife, especially woodland birds.
Trash Disposal and Recycling: Mont Alto State Park participates in a carry-in/carry-out trash disposal program for small parks. There are no collection or recycling facilities. Visitors are asked to limit the amount of disposable items brought to the park and to take all trash, garbage and recyclables home with them.
Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.
Snowmobiling: The park has restrooms, parking, loading/unloading ramp and access to the public snowmobile trails of the Michaux State Forest. Snowmobile trails open after the close of deer season in late December.
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.
The Mont Alto Charcoal Iron Furnace was built in 1807 by Colonel Daniel Hughes and his son Samuel on land granted to Daniel’s father by Lord Baltimore.
In 1864 the Hughes family sold the iron works to a partnership headed by Colonel George Wiestling. To facilitate getting the iron to market, the Mont Alto Railroad Company was incorporated in 1872. A park with a swimming pool, hiking trails and a carousel (housed under the round pavilion) was built and became a popular mountain retreat. The Mont Alto Iron Works closed in 1893.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased the park and furnace lands, which became Pennsylvania’s first state forest park in 1902. The next year the Commonwealth’s first professional forester began training foresters at the Mont Alto Forestry Academy, which became today’s Mont Alto Campus of the Pennsylvania State University.
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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.
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Pennsylvania State Parks and the Department of Conservation and Natural 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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Mont Alto State Park
Information on nearby attractions is available from the Fulton County Visitors Bureau. www.explorefranklincountypa.com
Adjacent to the park is the Mont Alto Campus of Pennsylvania State University. Local legend holds that famed abolitionist John Brown taught Sunday school at the campus chapel while living in Chambersburg and planning his raid on the Harpers Ferry Arsenal.
Michaux State Forest: This 84,000-acre forest features hunting, fishing and general outdoor recreation. The 611-acre Meeting of the Pines State Forest Natural Area is adjacent to the park in Michaux State Forest. Northern and southern species of pine grow in this area, including table mountain pine, pitch pine, short-leaf pine, white pine and Virginia pine. 717-352-2211
Maps and Downloadables
Below are many of the maps and publications for this park. You can read them or download them and might need special software (all free) to view the publications.
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Alternate versions of the text of the brochures are in rich text and text formats. Click on the files to view them. To download (.rtf) files:
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.
Mont Alto State Park, in southeastern Franklin County, contains 24 acres of land. It can be reached from Caledonia State Park on US 30, the Lincoln Highway, by traveling seven miles south on PA 233 or by traveling north on PA 233, one mile from the town of Mont Alto.
GPS DD: Lat. 39.83897 Long. -77.53735
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.
Mont Alto State Park