Adventure PA: Caledonia State Park

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) – Like many state parks, Caledonia has an interesting history.

“The park wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Thaddeus Stevens,” park manager Phillip Schmidt said. “He was a legislator during the Civil War era and he ran the iron furnace but really didn’t make any money off of it. We know that it was a location for the Underground Railroad as well, so the theory is he only kept the iron furnace going because of the Underground Railroad.”

The park offers several hiking trails.

“There are some good hikes in this general area and we tend to send them through the Appalachian Trail to get that experience. Some people just want to step foot on the Appalachian Trail,” Schmidt said.

The park also features a large swimming pool with a slide, diving board, and a snack bar. The pool is typically open seven days a week from mid-June to mid-August.

Visitors can tour the Thaddeus Stevens blacksmith shop. On weekends, you may catch a guest blacksmith hammering out iron products and talking about the history of the trade.

Caledonia is one of two state parks where you can play a round of golf. Caledonia Golf Club is one of the oldest golf courses in Franklin County. Established in the late 1920’s, it started off as a nine-hole course and was later expanded to 18 holes.

The park also features the historic Totem Pole Playhouse which is famous for its summer stock theater. Some big names have graced the stage. A recent production of “Driving Miss Daisy” featured four-time Emmy Award-winning actress Michael Learned of “The Waltons”.

The playhouse has four to five shows each summer. Right now, you can catch “The Drowsy Chaperone”, winner of five Tony awards including best original score.

Adventure PA Checklist:

Location: Caledonia State Park is in Adams and Franklin counties between Chambersburg and Gettysburg and along Route 30. It’s a little over an hour drive from Harrisburg. Cell service can be spotty.

Accommodations: The park features two campgrounds, Chinquapin Hill and Hosack Run. Hosack Run is pet-friendly. Electric sites are available. There are no full hook-up sites. Modern bathhouses.

Cost: All day-use areas are free. Camping rates are reasonable. Admission to the pool is $6 per person, and kids under 42 inches are free.

An 18-hole round of golf will cost you between 13 or 31 dollars, depending if you are walking or riding. Kids under 12 are free.

Totem Pole Playhouse ticket prices vary. Discounts are available for group tickets.

Best time to visit: Spring, summer and fall

For more information: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/caledonia/

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