The Appalachian Trail Museum lies (lays?) within Pennsylvania's Michaux State Forest in Pine Grove Furnace State Park (PGFSP).
Pine Grove Furnace State Park celebrates its 100th anniversary on Saturday, June 8, 2013, from noon until 5 PM. Our stalwart friends at the AT Museum considered that momentous occasion and -- after much contemplation, counsel and consideration -- arrived at the most wise course of action. PARTY!!!
Therefore, June 8th will provide a double-dose of fun at PFPGS with the Appalachian Trail Museum Festival (almost) on the museum's third anniversary.
PSGFP is easily reached and conveniently accessed from I-81. Visitors should take Exit 37 to PA 233 south, then peacefully drive eight pleasant miles.
There is another way to reach PPGFS, but you don't want to take it. I did. Yes, I used a GPS. That was the day I first learned to abhor the "shortest route" option. In 1975, I drove the entire length of the Alaska-Canadian Highway: roughly 1.84633 gazillion dusty miles through British Columbia and the Yukon Territory over a multitude of hitherto unknown mountain ranges. The back road to PSFPG was scarier and longer.
PGPSF is comprised of 696 wildlife-oozing acres of piney pulchritude. The back road to the park repeatedly loops you through them all. If this still sounds like fun (after you take your meds), please ignore the voice(s) in your head urging you to bravely go the back way. You won't make it. Even if you don't run out of gas -- which you probably will.
The Appalachian Trail Museum is located in a very cool old mill inside PFSGP. There are beaucoup exhibits and interesting displays inside the relatively small first floor.
(Please Note: On hot summer days, kindly bring your own air conditioner. Thank you.)
The museum's collection of photographs from the AT is fabulous. If you love the AT, you'll enjoy seeing Grandma Gatewood's old sneakers and Myron Avery's measuring wheel.
Other artifacts honor the pioneers who blazed the trail more than 75 years ago, along with memorabilia from those who have trod the path since, including: Earl Shaffer, Grandma Gatewood, Gene Espy and Ed Garvey.
Interestingly, less than a mile and a half of the AT traverses PGFSP, but that's not why the park and the AT are intertwined. The museum is very near the midpoint of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail which travels a 14-state route from Georgia to Maine.
The AT Museum isn't merely the halfway point for thru-hikers or a point "of no return." It's more like an "Oh, what the heck. We've gone this far. How hard can the rest of the way be?" milestone.
Traditionally, thru-hikers gobble down a half-gallon of ice cream from the Pine Grove Furnace General Store to celebrate. Traditionally, most of them also contract a serious case of brain freeze.
There is no charge to browse around the museum. Parking nearby is also free.
The Museum is closed from November 1st through March 31st, but it is open on weekends from noon until 4 PM during the spring and fall. Memorial Day until Labor Day the museum is in full swing and is open seven days a week from noon until 4 PM.
Donations are welcomed and worthy.
We hope you'll join us for the Appalachian Trail Museum Festival on June 8, 2013.
Address: 1120 Pine Grove Road, Gardners, PA 17324
Tags: Events, Tourism, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Hiking Gear, Festivals, Appalachian Trail Museum, and Robert Sutherland Travel Writer
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