Hiking – one of the most liberating and exhilarating recreational activities in which someone can take part. It adds a source of stress relief and the ability to isolate yourself in pure serenity. It can also help with building a sense of self-discipline as well as organization!
Did you know that this county contains a plethora of different parks and trails? Franklin County is a perfect place to be one with nature and explore. From Caledonia and Michaux State, to Cowans Gap State Park, to Mont Alto State Park, there are more than enough choices for a fantastic hiking experience.
When hiking, it is always important to be safe and build a checklist of essentials. Following are considerations for a short or longer hike.
- Navigation Tools (Trail Maps/Compass)
- First Aid Kit
- Hydration Source (32 oz Water/Electrolyte Fluid)
- Trail Food (Nutritional bars, jerky, nuts/grains, something carbohydrate dense/super foods)
- Hiking Shoes/Boots or durable sneakers
- Sun Protection
- Utility pack for carrying essentials
- All Items listed above
- Fire Starting Source (Emergency Use)
- Signaling Device
- Light Source (Headlamp, Flashlight)
- Repair Kit (Duct Tape, Paracord, Plastic bags, Etc.)
- Increased hydration carrying capacity (64+ oz)
- Increased trail food content
Here’s hoping everyone can soon be back to taking a hike in Franklin County. Now is a good time to be thinking about the gear you need and looking forward to traveling the trails of Franklin County.
Hiking Word Find
Girl Hiker Coloring Page
Story contributed by Evan Crider
Franklin County Visitors Bureau announces the release of its newest publication On the Move in Franklin County, featuring year-long recreation for the whole family.
The guide, available in print and in the publications sections of the website, features year-long fun including skydiving, golfing, visiting the local environmental centers, fly-fishing, tennis, yoga, hydrotherapy floats, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, swimming and much more!
Situated in the heart of the beautiful Cumberland Valley, Franklin County compliments four-seasons of outdoor enjoyment. It is home to two national trails— the Appalachian Trail and the Tuscarora Trail, four PA State Parks and the lands of two state forests. Topping off the plentiful state and national trail options are more than three dozen municipal and local recreation areas throughout Franklin County. Whether seeking a family-friendly day of connecting with nature, taking to a quiet trail or meeting an intense outdoor challenge, Franklin County is the spot.
The guide’s release, in late November, is done in perfect time to highlight some of the winter highlights of the region during the colder months, including the beautiful hiking trails.
Franklin County contains all or part of four state parks, including Mont Alto State Park and Caledonia State Park, which are the oldest existing parks in the state. These parks are at the heart of the Pennsylvania conservation efforts and the forest lands are tied to Joseph Trimble Rothrock, the first Pennsylvania Forestry Commissioner, who was an advocate for conservation and helped found the Mont Alto Forestry School, now Penn State Mont Alto.
Other local parks and forests that have beautiful views for hiking includes Buchanan Birthplace State Park, where a large monument for Mercersburg-native and former President James Buchanan stands as well as nearly 19 acres of forest. Enjoy ice-skating, ice fishing and cross-country skiing on the lake at Cowans Gap State Park in the snowy months.
Michaux State Forest in the east, Buchanan State Forest in the west and Tuscarora State Forest in central Franklin County, all have a wide variety of beautiful trees to see while hiking and enjoying nature in all seasons.
Winter is a great time to hit the trails of Whitetail Resort on skis, snowboards or even by snow tube! The resort, located in Two Top Mountain in the Tuscarora Mountains in Mercersburg, has 23 different trails from beginner hills to more advanced trails. Whitetail has gone through several renovations over the years, including longer trails, lighting on terrain for night skiing, halfpipe, a terrain park and snow tubing park with 10 lanes.
On the Move joins the seven yearly specialty publications that the Franklin County Visitors Bureau produces in their mission to promote the county, including the Franklin County Visitors Guide, Military Trail of History Guide, Fresh Food & Dining Guide, Franklin County Wedding & Event Planner and more!