Pine Grove Nature Conservation Reserve
Pine Grove, Australia
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Pine Grove Furnace State Park is a 696-acre (282 ha) Pennsylvania state park with two lakes in Cooke and Dickinson Townships, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania in the United States. The park is the location of the former Pine Grove Furnace, an iron furnace that operated for 131 years on South Mountain. Pine Grove Furnace State park is 8 miles (13 km) from exit 37 of Interstate 81 on Pennsylvania Route 233.
The first iron furnace at Pine Grove Furnace was built in 1764. The early furnace manufactured products made of cast iron like fireplace backs, iron kettles and ten plate stoves. Laurel Forge was built in 1830. This forge hammered and reheated the cast iron to make wrought iron. Wrought iron is a product that can be easily bent into many different shapes. The furnaces at Pine Grove burned only charcoal for the first 112 years. The demand for charcoal was great. One iron furnace could consume one acre (0.004 km²) of forest in one day. Massive charcoal furnaces were built at Kings Gap, just a few miles from Pine Grove Furnace, to meet these needs. The charcoal was created by stacking timber around large hearths. The hearths were fired by a collier, who tended the hearths for 10 to 14 days until the charcoal was ready. The charcoal was then sent to the waiting iron furnaces at Pine Grove Furnace. It gradually became more difficult to acquire the needed volume of charcoal as the surrounded mountains were stripped of their timber. The furnaces were updated so that coke and coal could be burned to keep the fires of the furnaces burning. The maximum output of iron at the furnaces was 6,000 short tons (5,400 t) (net) in 1883. This was not enough to keep up with the competition that was able to produce iron at a higher capacity. Pine Grove Furnace was closed to iron production in 1895.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania bought the iron works and surrounding lands, all 17,000 acres (6,900 ha), in 1913. Most of the acquired lands became part of Michaux State Forest. But 696 acres (282 ha) was set aside for the establishment of Pine Grove Furnace State Park. Some reminders of the iron industry days still stand at the park. The iron master's mansion is now a youth hostel (closed for 2010), while the furnace, clerks office and stable provide a historical reference. The grist mill is being used as the visitor center and the former inn is now the park office. Several residences, traces of the mill races and charcoal hearths can be seen today. Many of the facilities at the park were built during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The young men of the CCC Camp S-51-PA constructed roads throughout the state forests, constructed bridges on the state roads, planted trees for reforestation, and cleaned streams.
Fuller Lake is a 1.7 acres (0.69 ha) lake that has filled an abandoned quarry left over from the days of the iron industry at Pine Grove Furnace State Park. The common game fish in Fuller Lake are pickerel, trout and perch. Boating is not permitted on Fuller Lake. Laurel Lake is a 25 acres (10 ha) that was created to supply water power for Laurel Forge. The common game fish in Laurel Lake are also pickerel, trout and perch. Boaters are limited to using electric powered and non-powered watercraft on Laurel Lake. Gas powered boats are not permitted. All boats must have a valid registration from any state. Mountain Creek is a trout fishery with brook, brown and rainbow trout.
Hunting is permitted in Pine Grove Furnace State Park. The most common game species are rabbits, squirrels, turkey and white-tailed deer. The hunting of groundhogs is prohibited. Hunters are expected to follow the rules and regulations of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Swimming is permitted in Fuller and Laurel lakes. The beaches open Memorial Day weekend and close Labor Day weekend. Since 2008, lifeguards have not been posted at the beach.
The decision to remove lifeguards at most Pennsylvania state parks came under fire in the summer of 2008. A 17-year-old youth from suburban Philadelphia drowned in Fuller Lake at Pine Grove Furnace State Park in July, 2008. The youth was noted as missing from his youth group. Leaders reported this to the park rangers. The drowning happened on a Tuesday and the youth's body was found the following day. It is impossible to determine if a lifeguard at Fuller Lake could have prevented the drowning. This incident was the first drowning at a regulated beach in a Pennsylvania state park since 1999. In 2009, the lifeguard service was restored to Fuller Lake.
There are many picnic tables spread throughout the park. In addition to the tables, two pavilions are available for rent at Pine Grove Furnace State Park.
The nation's first museum to hiking opened at Pine Grove Furnace State Park in 2010. The museum portrays the experience of hiking the Appalachian Trail and "celebrate the culture of hiking". The museum tells the story of the founding and construction of the trail and has been placed in a refurbished mill building that is part of the Pine Grove Iron Works National Historic District within the park.
Pine Grove Furnace State Park has 3 miles (4.8 km) of hiking trails within its boundaries, the most well-known of which is the Appalachian Trail. The general store at the park is the unofficial halfway point on the Appalachian Trail. A tradition among thru-hikers is to eat a half-gallon of ice cream at the halfway point; hikers that complete the entire half-gallon are given commemorative wooden spoons and may sign the "half-gallon challenge" book in the store. The trails are open to cross-country skiing and some trails and roads are open to snowmobiling during the winter months.
Pine Grove Furnace State Park is home to a variety of habitats. It provides an example of how nature has reclaimed the land that was once heavily used by man. The areas surrounding the former iron furnaces have created a variety of habitats of open areas, forests, and wetlands. The park is a rest stop for migrating birds during the spring and autumn months. Vireo, thrush and warblers stop over on their migration path. Migrating waterfowl like Canada geese, merganser, loon, mallard and both species of teal stop for rest and food at Laurel Lake. At least six species of woodpeckers can be seen in the woods of Pine Grove Furnace State Park. Butterflies reach their peak in the summer months when the woods are filled with a wide variety of songbirds. Common woodland creatures like white tail deer, squirrels and chipmunks are plentiful. Black bears and beaver also make their home in Pine Grove Furnace State Park.
Pine Grove Furnace State Park has several options for visitors interested in spending the night or camping at the park. There is a 71tsite campground that is open to tents and campers. The campground has drinking water, flush toilets, and a sanitary dump station. A camp store is 0.25 mile (0.4 km) from the campground. There is a large area for organized group camping which is wooded and surrounds an open playing field.
Pines Cabin is a two story wood frame house that is available to rent year round. It has a modern kitchen, dining room, living room, bathroom and three bedrooms that can sleep up to eight people. The Paymasters Cabin is a remnant of the days of the iron furnace, with a modern kitchen, dining room, living room, bathroom and two bedrooms that can sleep up to six people. Both cabins have a central heating system. The Ironmaster's Mansion is a youth hostel. It is commonly used by hikers who are traversing the Appalachian Trail.
The following state parks are within 30 miles (48 km) of Pine Grove Furnace State Park.
Allegheny Islands • Archbald Pothole • Bald Eagle • Beltzville • Bendigo • Benjamin Rush • Big Pocono • Big Spring • Black Moshannon • Blue Knob • Boyd Big Tree • Buchanan's Birthplace • Bucktail • Caledonia • Canoe Creek • Chapman • Cherry Springs • Clear Creek • Codorus • Colonel Denning • Colton Point • Cook Forest • Cowans Gap • Delaware Canal • Denton Hill • Elk • Erie Bluffs • Evansburg • Fort Washington • Fowlers Hollow • Frances Slocum • French Creek • Gifford Pinchot • Gouldsboro • Greenwood Furnace • Hickory Run • Hillman • Hills Creek • Hyner Run • Hyner View • Jacobsburg • Jennings • Joseph E. Ibberson • Kettle Creek • Keystone • Kings Gap • Kinzua Bridge • Kooser • Lackawanna • Laurel Hill • Laurel Mountain • Laurel Ridge • Laurel Summit • Lehigh Gorge • Leonard Harrison • Linn Run • Little Buffalo • Little Pine • Locust Lake • Lyman Run • Marsh Creek • Maurice K. Goddard • McCalls Dam • McConnells Mill • Memorial Lake • Milton • Mont Alto • Moraine • Mt. Pisgah • Nescopeck • Neshaminy • Nockamixon • Nolde Forest • Norristown Farm • Ohiopyle • Oil Creek • Ole Bull • Parker Dam • Patterson • Penn-Roosevelt • Pine Grove Furnace • Poe Paddy • Poe Valley • Point • Presque Isle • Prince Gallitzin • Promised Land • Prompton • Prouty Place • Pymatuning • R. B. Winter • Raccoon Creek • Ralph Stover • Ravensburg • Reeds Gap • Ricketts Glen • Ridley Creek • Ryerson Station • S. B. Elliott • Salt Springs • Samuel S. Lewis • Sand Bridge • Shawnee • Shikellamy • Sinnemahoning • Sizerville • Susquehanna • Susquehannock • Swatara • Tobyhanna • Trough Creek • Tuscarora • Tyler • Upper Pine Bottom • Varden • Warriors Path • Whipple Dam • White Clay Creek • Worlds End • Yellow Creek
Bald Eagle • Buchanan • Clear Creek • Cornplanter • Delaware • Elk • Forbes • Gallitzin • Lackawanna • Loyalsock • Michaux • Moshannon • Rothrock • Sproul • Susquehannock • Tiadaghton • Tioga • Tuscarora • Weiser • William Penn • (Wild areas)
Bear Run • French Creek • Lehigh River • LeTort Spring Run • Lick Run • Lower Brandywine • Octoraro Creek • Pine Creek • Schuylkill River • Stony Creek • Tucquan Creek • Tulpehocken Creek • Yellow Breeches Creek
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