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Susquehanna Life

Caledonia State Park

Oct 07, 2014 12:50AM ● By Erica Shames

Do your thoughts begin to turn to the fall harvest season as soon as the leaves begin to change color? Are apples foremost in your mind? That usually means that it's time to pay Adams County a visit! As the largest apple-producing county in Pennsylvania (and the 4th largest in the country), there's always something apple-y happening when October rolls around.

Luckily, as you approach Apple Capital USA, you'll happen upon Caledonia State Park right along US Route 30 smack dab between Chambersburg and Gettysburg. Caledonia's the perfect place to learn about the area, from the Pennsylvania Forest Fire Museum to the Thaddeus Stevens Blacksmith Shop to the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Recreation abounds from the newest waterslide in the state park system (see August 2013 Explore - it was our trivia question) to several hiking trails (choose easy and family-friendly or huffin' and puffin' climbs to meet the Appalachian Trail).

Caledonia boasts several superlatives apart from the "newest waterslide:" how about a 32-year old arts and crafts festival? Or maybe the Totem Pole Playhouse, hosting summer stock theater since 1952? Or the oldest golf course in southcentral Pennsylvania (created in the 1920s)?

Finally, there's Caledonia's Cathedral in the Pines non-denominational Sunday school services hosted in the park since 1917. A grant obtained by Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation from the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor this past summer brought much-needed accessibility and comfort upgrades to the park's amphitheater so this tradition may continue for years to come. You'll find yourself making a mental note to come back to Caledonia again and again.

Photograph: Stay Awhile, courtesy of Elizabeth Weller of Amazing Heart Farm in Orrtanna. 

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