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Caledonia State Park is a Pennsylvania state park in Greene Townshipmarker, Franklin Countymarker and Franklin Townshipmarker, Adams Countymarker in Pennsylvaniamarker in the United States. The park is named for an iron furnace, Caledonia Furnace, that was owned by Thaddeus Stevens beginning in 1837. Today the park is known for its Totem Pole Playhouse, a summer stock theatre. Caledonia State Park is between Chambersburgmarker and Gettysburgmarker at the intersection of U.S. Route 30 and Pennsylvania Route 233 in a valley between Blue Mountain and South Mountain.


Caledonia State Park was once the site of an iron furnace owned by Thaddeus Stevens, a native of Caledonia Countymarker, Vermontmarker. Stevens began operation on the furnace in 1837. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a noted abolitionist, and is known as the father of the public school system in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The iron furnace was destroyed during the American Civil War in July 1863 by the Confederate cavalry under the command of General Jubal Early. Some historians believe that the furnace was destroyed not just to slow the industrial power of the Union but also because of Stevens' views opposing slavery. The pastures surrounding the furnace were used as field hospitals during the Battle of Gettysburgmarker later in July 1863. The furnace was rebuilt following the war, but was closed by 1902 when the land was sold to the state. Caledonia State Park was opened in 1903.

The land was leased to the Chambersburg and Gettysburg Trolley Company for a number of years. It became a popular tourist destination for visitors to the Gettysburg Battlefieldmarker. The trolley company built various amusement rides at the park that have long since been removed. A nine hole golf course was opened in 1922 (it has since been expanded to 18 holes). The Pennsylvania Alpine Club paid for the reconstruction of the stack of the old furnace and built a monument. A blacksmith shop and the stack are the only visible reminders to the days of the iron furnace. Many of the roads and facilities used today at Caledonia State Park were built during the Great Depression by the young men of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Staying overnight

Caledonia State Park has a total of 184 tent and trailer campsites on two campgrounds. The grounds open in mid April for the first weekend of trout season and close in December at the conclusion of deer season . The camping area has hot showers, flush toilets and a sanitary dump station. A large area for organized group tenting accommodates up to 100 people. The large group camping area has flush toilets, picnic tables and fire rings.

Two cabins are available to rent year round. Both cabins can sleep up to 10 people. They have central heat, modern kitchens and bathrooms, three bedrooms and living rooms.

Recreation and entertainment

Caledonia State Park is open to hunting and fishing. There are of hiking trails, a swimming pool, golf course and even a summer stock theater to provide recreation and entertainment to visitors to the park.


There are about of woods open to hunting at Caledonia State Park. Hunters are expected to follow the rules and regulations of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The common game species are rabbits, squirrel, white-tailed deer, and turkeys. The hunting of groundhogs is prohibited. Hunters may access the adjoining Michaux State Forestmarker by using the parking lots at Caledonia State Park and hiking in on the trails.


A creek in Caledonia State Park
Fishing is a popular recreational activity at Caledonia State Park and the surrounding Michaux State Forest. Three streams, East Branch Conococheague Creek, Rocky Mountain Creek and Carbaugh Run, flow through the park and forest. The streams are home to some warm water fish was well as brown trout, native brook trout, and rainbow trout. The brown and rainbow trout are stocked by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.


The Appalachian Trail passes through Caledonia State Park as it traverses the Appalachian Mountainsmarker between Georgiamarker and Mainemarker. Ramble Trail ( ) is a trail that passes the old millrace left over from the days of the Caledonia Iron Furnace. There are ten other trails in the park that pass through a variety of habitats and historical sites.

Totem Pole Playhouse

Totem Pole Playhouse
Totem Pole Playhouse, a summer stock theatre at Caledonia State Park, is nationally known for attracting high quality actors and for having a wide variety of theatrical performances. The playhouse began operation in 1950 under the direction of Karl Genus. It began to come to national prominence under the direction of William H. Putch, the husband of actress Jean Stapleton. Putch directed the playhouse for 30 years and was responsible for the production of 270 plays. Famous actors and actresses such as John Ritter, Sandy Dennis, and Curtis Armstrong have worked with the resident company of performers over the years.

Nearby state parks

The following state parks are within of Caledonia State Park:


  1. Note: shows Caledonia State Park
  2. Note: shows Caledonia State Park

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