CALEDONIA STATE PARK
The 1,125-acre Caledonia State Park is in Adams and Franklin counties, midway between Chambersburg and Gettysburg on US 30. Caledonia is in the northernmost section of the Blue Ridge Mountains known locally as South Mountain. Blue Mountain, the easternmost ridge of the Allegheny Mountains, is to the west and northwest of the park across a large low, rolling, fertile valley known as the Great Valley. South Mountain is mostly composed of a hard rock called quartzite. The valleys on either side are underlined with limestone and shale. The soil is ideal for fruit production, proven by the abundance of orchards in the surrounding area.
The park is named for Thaddeus Stevens? charcoal iron furnace, named Caledonia, which began operation in 1837. The scenic watercourse along PA 233 was once the millrace that operated the furnace waterwheel.
The Honorable Thaddeus Stevens was born in Caledonia County, Vermont. Caledonia is the name given to ancient Scotland by the invading Romans. Thaddeus Stevens became a famous abolitionist, statesman and father of the public school system in Pennsylvania.
In June of 1863, Confederate cavalry under the command of General J. A. Early destroyed the iron furnace. Historians theorize that the furnace was destroyed not just to slow the industrial power of the northern states, but also because of Stevens? views opposing slavery.
Pastures were used as field hospitals for the wounded taken from the Gettysburg Battlefield. Today they are playfields for visiting children.
The iron furnace changed hands numerous times after Stevens? death. In 1902, the land was sold to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Chambersburg and Gettysburg Trolley Company leased the park and built a trolley through what is now the day-use area. The company built various amusements in the park. In 1922, Robert Miller built a nine-hole golf course. This popular, challenging course now has 18 holes.
In 1927, the Pennsylvania Alpine Club reconstructed the stack of the old furnace as a reduced scale monument. The reconstructed stack and blacksmith shop are the only visible reminders of the early iron works.
In 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built a camp in Scotland, PA, and worked building roads and recreational facilities.
An 18 hole, par 68, public golf course is available. Constructed in the late 1920s, the course is the oldest and one of the most scenic courses in south central Pennsylvania. For more information contact Caledonia Golf Enterprises, Inc., P.O. Box 195, Fayetteville, PA 17222, 717-352-7271.
Two homes are available for rental year-round. One cabin is a 1?-story frame house with a modern kitchen, bathroom, dining room, living room, central heat and three bedrooms that sleep ten people. The second cabin is a two-story frame house with a modern kitchen, closed-in porch, 1? baths, dining room, living room, central heat and three bedrooms that sleep ten people.
A total of 184 tent and trailer sites are available in two campgrounds. The camping season opens the second Friday in April and ends after deer season in December. The campground has flush toilets, hot showers and a sanitary dump station. The Hosack Run Campground has sites with electricity and accessible campsites.
Organized Group Tenting:
Organized adult and youth groups of up to 100 people can rent this modern area, which is open is open from the 2nd Friday in April to the 3rd Sunday in October. There are flush toilets, picnic tables and fire rings. Advance reservations are required.
BBs / Inns
Gracious accommodations and in-town convenience are the perfect combination for your stay in Gettysbug. 1898 brick Victorian in historic district. Walk to battlefield, restaurants, shops.
14.7 miles from park*
The park features a large, ADA accessible swimming pool with a small snack bar. The pool is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, unless posted otherwise. Fee charged for pool use.