Greenwood Furnace State Park is a 423 acre recreational paradise in the mountains of central Pennsylvania.
It includes a six-acre lake, remnants of a ghost town and iron furnaces, and is surrounded by an 80,000-acre block of the Rothrock State Forest.
Brief History of Greenwood Furnace
From 1834 to 1904, the furnaces of Greenwood produced charcoal-fired iron in great abundance, and a thriving company town that included nearly 130 buildings evolved around that industry.
As the wood used to make charcoal and the iron ore itself became depleted over the decades, operating the furnaces at Greenwood became cost-prohibitive.
Eventually the production of iron ceased, the citizens relocated, and Greenwood became a ghost town.
In 1906 the State of Pennsylvania purchased the now-barren land, embarked on a reforesting plan, and in 1925 Greenwood Furnace became a state park.
Visiting Greenwood Furnace State Park Today
Today visitors to Greenwood Furnace State Park in Huntingdon County have many recreational opportunities to choose from.
So what I’d like to present you with in this write-up is a list of some of the best things to see and do at Greenwood Furnace State Park.
Hiking at Greenwood Furnace State Park
Greenwood Furnace State Park is home to many miles of hiking trails, all of which are detailed on the FREE official Greenwood Furnace State Park map and recreational guide, which you can download here.
The Lakeview Trail is a favorite of many visitors, as it takes you on a relatively easy journey around Greenwood Lake.
Kids in particular will enjoy this trail as it gives them an opportunity to explore the lake up-close.
Fishing at Greenwood Furnace State Park
Greenwood Lake is stocked with trout, and in the winter months ice fishing is permitted as well.
Boating at Greenwood Furnace State Park
Non-motorized boats are permitted on the lake at Greenwood Furnace State Park.
Swimming at Greenwood Furnace State Park
A 300 foot-long sand beach is open to swimming at Greenwood Furnace State Park from late May to mid-September.
This is a non-guarded / swim-at-your-own-risk beach, and changing rooms and a snack bar are located adjacent to it.
Picnicking at Greenwood Furnace State Park
Greenwood Furnace State Park has 8 reservable picnic pavilions (which can be used on a first-come, first-served basis when not reserved) located at various spots around the lake.
Some of the pavillions offer a lake view, others are closer to the volleyball courts or softball field.
The Playground at Greenwood Furnace State Park
Located alongside the beach area, the playground is a great spot for younger children to enjoy an afternoon outside.
While not large or elaborate, it’s a scenic setting and a change of pace from “in-town” playgrounds.
Leaf Peeping at Greenwood Furnace State Park
October is an especially popular time to visit Greenwood Furnace State Park, as the fall foliage display is spectacular!
Adding to the beauty of the autumn spectacle are the shimmering red and gold reflections off of Greenwood Lake.
Winter at Greenwood Furnace State Park
Winter is a gorgeous time to visit Greenwood Furnace State Park, especially if you don’t like crowds!
The frozen lake is an impressive winter sight.
Even the snow-covered beach can be a fun place to play!
Flooding Rains at Greenwood Furnace State Park
If you’re curious what Greenwood Furnace State Park looks like under HIGH water conditions, here are a few images taken right after the remnants of Hurricane Ida moved through on September 1, 2021.
As you can see above, even under flooding conditions, the spillway at Greenwood Furnace State Park worked as intended, but the beach (below) was still partially underwater.
You can see more photos of the area flooding and a video of the spillway in action HERE.
The Church at Greenwood Furnace State Park
The Church at Greenwood Furnace State Park is one of the lasting remnants of the town of Greenwood.
Established in 1867, services are still held there on summer Sundays.
The Furnace at Greenwood Furnace State Park
In 1936, Furnace Stack Number 2 was rebuilt as a tribute to the area’s former residents and industrial legacy.
Today you can literally walk in the footsteps of those who for 70 years produced the iron that helped fuel the country’s westward expansion and industrial rise to global prominence.
Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center is a Penn State owned and operated wildlife center and aviary, located just 12 miles outside of State College in rural Huntingdon County.
Indian Lookout in the Rothrock State Forest is one of three scenic overlooks in close proximity to one another.
The 1000 Steps, part of the Standing Stone Trail, is one of the most popular hikes in all of Huntingdon County.
Trough Creek State Park is another fantastic Huntingdon County outdoors destination.
Raystown Lake is the largest lake entirely situated with the state of Pennsylvania, and is home to several incredible scenic overlooks as well.
The East Broad Top Railroad offers scenic train rides, shop tours, and visits to the “roundhouse” where their fleet of six historic steam engines live.
The 11 Best Things to Do in Huntingdon County PA will introduce you to even more exciting places to visit near Greenwood Furnace State Park.
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