Continuing on the Appalachian Trail south from Boiling Springs, Darcy and Elizabeth leave the farmland behind when they enter Michaux State Forest. This is the geographical halfway point of the Appalachian Trail, equidistant between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine.
Contained within Michaux State Forest are two Pennsylvania State Parks: Pine Grove Furnace and Caledonia. Both are named for iron furnaces left over from the booming iron industry of the 18th and 19th centuries.
In Boots & Backpacks, Elizabeth’s college buddy Richard Fitzwilliam works as a Pennsylvania Park Ranger at Pine Grove Furnace State Park. He takes Darcy and Elizabeth to Pole Steeple, followed by a picnic at Laurel Lake.
Rich may be a good host, but Darcy and Elizabeth don’t stay long. They continue south to Caledonia State Park, which is the site of an iron furnace once owned by famed US Representative and abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens.
Taking advantage of the proximity, Darcy and Elizabeth take an off-trail excursion to Gettysburg National Battlefield, before continuing south.
Up next on the Trail: Maryland’s South Mountain.
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