Appalachian Trail Museum – Gardners, Pennsylvania

Appalachian Trail Museum – Gardners, Pennsylvania

When you are visiting Pennsylvania’s Pine Grove Furnace State Park you will want to visit the Appalachian Trail Museum which is located about two miles from the midpoint of the Appalachian Trail, halfway between Maine and Georgia.

So where do you house a museum to the history of the Appalachians?  In a historic building of course.  The one chosen for the honor is a grist mill that was built more than two hundred years ago.  It is located across the road from the Pine Grove general store, it is a place of hiker lore since it is here that thru-hikers traditional stop to celebrate reaching the midpoint in their journey.

Included in the displays there is a trail shelter that was built many years ago and has been replaced with a more modern one.  Volunteers painstakingly disassembled the old shelter which had been located on Peters Mountain in Pennsylvania and reassembled it in the new Museum.  There are also artifacts that belonged to other hiking pioneers such as Grandma Gatewood, Gene Espy, and Ed Garvey.  Grandma Gatewood, real name of Emma Rowena Gatewood, was the first woman to hike the 2,168 mile Appalachian Trail from Mount Oglethorpe in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Main, alone and in one season!!  Gene Espy was the second thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail.  He too did it solo.  He was honored as one of the first six inductees into the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame in June of 2011.  Ed Garvey hiked the trail at the age of 55, following his retirement and wrote about the things needed for the hike for others that would follow in his footsteps.

In the Museum computers display the more than 12,000 photos that have been taken of thru-hikers as they reached Harpers Ferry on their journeys either north or south. There is also a children’s discovery area and hiker welcoming areas both inside and outside.

The Museum opened in 2010 and is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, every day, from noon to 4 PM.  In the spring and fall it is open during the same hours but only on weekends.

Admission is free.

1120 Pine Grove Road
Gardners, PA 17324

Phone 717-486-8126.