Experience the Trails of Pennsylvania

Dog Town Trail at Greenwood Furnace State Park

The Greenwood Furnace State Park is located within Rothrock State Forest. Located at this state park are the remnants of the "Age of Iron" with the iron smelting furnace and various other buildings needed to support such an endeavor. Also at the park is a small lake for fishing and swimming and of course a number of hiking trails. On this particular outing I guided a group of teenagers that were part of the Mifflin County Envirothon group, which happened to include my son. I was happy to take him and his friends on a hike into the woods to not only enjoy nature but give them the opportunity to brush up on their floral and fauna identification skills.

Trailhead:  N 40° 39.01'
W 77° 45.31'
Total Elevation:  563'
Trail Length:  2.8 miles
Hike Time:  1.5 hours
Hike Type:  Loop
Difficulty Rating:  39
Near:  Greenwood Furnace State Park

The trailhead for this hike is located at the parking area near the park office. The easiest way to get to the trailhead is to come from either Huntingdon or State College. If you are coming from Huntingdon, you'll want to head north on route PA26. If coming from State College, you'll want to head south on route PA26. Coming from either direction, you will want to turn off of route PA26 onto route PA305 once you enter the town of McAlevys Fort. You'll head east on route PA305 towards Greenwood Furnace State Park. Once you travel for approximately 4.7 miles you'll find yourself within the park as the road passes just south of the dam and the Greenwood Furnace lake. Travel another quarter of a mile and turn left, parking in the lot near the park office.

As I mentioned, I lead this hike accompanied by my son and some of his fellow classmates. They were members of the Mifflin County Enirothon team and wanted an opportunity to brush up on their skills in identifying trees and plants in the woods. We had a small picnic at the park and after cleaning up we headed out on this short circuit hike.

Leaving the parking lot at the park office, we headed down a paved path that skirted the right side of the park office. In about a tenth of a mile we crossed the East Branch of the Standing Stone Creek. This is the stream the feeds the small lake located in the park. Shortly after crossing the stream the paved path ended and we followed the paved Broad Mountain Road for another tenth of a mile.

At about a quarter of mile into the hike we beared right off the road and started hiking on the single track Chestnut Spring Trail. The trail had a bit of a climb to it but we only ascended 150 feet over the next two tenths of a mile.

At 0.6 miles the Chestnut Spring Trail crossed Broad Mountain Road. Shortly after the crossing we came upon an intersection, with Chestnut Spring Trail continuing off to our left. The trail to the right, the one we followed, was either Dog Town Trail, Brush Ridge Trail, or just an un-named connecting trail, I am not certain. Regardless, we went right at the intersection, ascending a bit, and then coming upon a gated, dirt road after about 1000 feet of trail.

We turned left on the road and passed the gate on what was now Dog Town Trail. Dog Town Trail is a multi-use trail, usable for hiking, biking, and equestrian, including snow mobiles in the winter months. At 0.7 miles there was another intersection with a clearing straight ahead but with the Dog Town Trail turning to the right. We skirted around the edge of the clearing and then turned left at another intersection at 0.8 miles. Continuing straight was Brush Ridge Trail.

After the left turn we reached the highest part of the hike, positioned above the clearing that we saw earlier. This afforded us a nice view across the valley towards Stone Mountain in the distance. We paused here a bit to enjoy the view before continuing on with our hike.

The trail descended steeply along the edge of the clearing an reentered the woods. At a bit past 0.9 miles the trail turned to the right and leveled out. We now had an easy hike as we walked through the woods on the Dog Town Trail. To our left was a grove of pine trees with the ridge and broad leafed trees on our right. After a half mile the trail made a turn to the left and began a descent towards route PA305.

We reached route PA305 1.5 miles into the hike. Crossing the road we continued our descent towards the East Branch of Standing Stone Creek. At 1.6 miles we crossed the creek on a very sturdy foot bridge. Another 0.1 miles had us entering the back side of the camping area at Greenwood Furnace State Park.

We walked along the paved road through the camping area and turned left on Turkey Hill Road at 2.1 miles into the hike. We continued on Turkey Hill Road as it headed towards route PA305. Prior to reach that intersection we took a moment to explore the old cemetery here. Many of the graves here date back to the mid to late 1800s. After paying our respects, we crossed route PA305, two and quarter miles into the hike.

We followed the pave walkways through the park along the east side of lake. We crossed a small bridge at 2.4 miles and then continued on across the picnic area until we reached Broad Mountain Road. Turning right here we followed the previously hiked paved path back towards the park office and our waiting cars.

This short circuit hike is a great way to explore the forest near Greenwood Furnace State Park. If you have are having a picnic at the park or camping here, consider this hike as a way to enjoy the woods and see what all Greenwood Furnace State Park has to offer.

{vsig_c}0|dtt1_01.jpg|Looking upstream as we cross the East Branch of Standing Stone Creek.{/vsig_c} {vsig_c}0|dtt1_02.jpg|The start of the Chestnut Spring Trail.{/vsig_c} {vsig_c}0|dtt1_03.jpg|The only vista that we had on this hike.{/vsig_c} {vsig_c}0|dtt1_04.jpg|Hiking down Dog Town Trail.{/vsig_c} {vsig_c}0|dtt1_05.jpg|Approaching the bridge over the East Branch of Standing Stone Creek near the camping area.{/vsig_c} {vsig_c}0|dtt1_06.jpg|A view across the lake at Greenwood Furnace S.P..{/vsig_c} {vsig_c}0|dtt1_07.jpg|The namesake of the park: Greenwood Furnace.{/vsig_c}

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