The Appalachian Trail Museum in Pine Grove Furnace State Park -- on Pennsylvania's scenic Route 233 in Cumberland County, with easy access from I-81 -- is a happy place.
Sure, the old mill building is cool. The museum rests at the halfway point on the Appalachian Trail.
A hike of a few hundred feet brings you to the General Store where you can earn a wooden spoon that proves you downed a jug of ice cream in one sitting.
You can catch a glimpse and/or a whiff of honest-to-goodness thru-hikers.
There's room for kids to play and couples to get all romantic and stuff. You can hike, swim, picnic or just sit around and tell lies.
Then ... there is the museum. Treasures. Artifacts. One-of-a-kind stuff that is not sold in stores.
Grab a fedora and a bomber jacket. Put on your best Indiana Jones smirk and visit the AT Museum in May and June for special programs on Sunday afternoons.
They're free and open to folks just like us ... and your in-laws. (Sorry.)
Here's the latest line-up for the 2 PM presentations:
"The rugged Beauty of the South" - the second in a series of programs reviewing the Trail in each of the 14 states that it crosses, this program will focus on the Appalachian Trail through Tennessee and North Carolina. Lorrie Preston, Appalachian Trail section-hiker with Trail name 'Shutterbug' will share her spectacular photography of these tow southern states and explain how to section-hike the Appalachian Trail carrying just a day pack. Program will be given at the Ironmaster's Mansion.
"Lighten Your Load"- Keith Kimball, an accomplished long-distance backpacker who has completed 5 hikes of the Appalachian Trail, 3 hikes of the Pacific Crest Trail, 5 hikes of the Long Trail, and 4 hikes of the John Muir Trail, will offer a program recounting his real-life experiences and how to backpack lightweight and safely, carrying the minimal amount of supplies and equipment.
"A Photo Journey along the Appalachian Trail"- Join long-distance hiker Nancy Robinson as she presents a pictorial essay of the Appalachian Trail as it passes through 14 states from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin in Maine, recounts her hiking experiences, and offers historical anecdotes on how the Trail was first conceived, built, and continues today.
Family Concert - Join traditional folk musician Tom Jolin for an entertaining afternoon of songs featuring a variety of folk instruments, sing-a-longs, and child-participation in his 'foot-stomping band.'
"A Reunion of the 'Mountain Comets'" - Over many years, as Jay and Katey Sexton lead youths on backpacking trips, these youths adopted the name, "Mountain Comets.' Today they join with their leaders to reminisce about their hiking experiences and how their shared joys and hardships came to affect their adult lives.
"Trail Art & Trail Talk" - Meet Appalachian Trail section-hiker and artist Nancy Stawitz Barnhart as she exhibits her Trail artwork and discusses the inspirations of hiking the A.T. that are so beautifully reflected in her art.
"Hikers Half-way Picnic" - As Appalachian Trail thru-hikers reach Pine Grove Furnace State Park, they celebrate the halfway mark in their 2,000+mile journey. The public is invited to contribute to the Half-way Picnic to be held at 12 Noon on the museum grounds and to listen to the hikers' stories as they recount their adventures along the Trail at the 2 PM program. Contact the museum by June 24 to make a contribution toward the picnic.
The Appalachian Trail Museum Society, a 501-C-3 not-for-profit organization formed in 2002, organizes programs, exhibits, volunteers and fundraising nationwide for the Appalachian Trail Museum. The museum opened on June 5, 2010, as a tribute to the thousands of men, women and families who have hiked and maintained the 2,184 mile long hiking trail that passes through 14 states from Maine to Georgia. Located in the Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Gardners, Pennsylvania, the museum is conveniently near Carlisle, Gettysburg and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
Tags: Events, Tourism, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking Gear, News, Festivals, and Appalachian Trail Museum
When you attend the Appalachian Trail Museum Festival, be sure to save time for the Half-Gallon Challenge at the General Store.
Published Dec 10, 2013.
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Published Nov 6, 2014. Since opening in 2010, the Appalachian Trail Museum has displayed precious artifacts from the builders of the Trail. The AT Museum is an AT treasure house.