Founded in 1751 as the county seat, Carlisle was the largest and wealthiest town in Cumberland County. There are numerous descriptions of 18th Carlisle because it was located on the Great Road to the west, and many of the travelers who passed through town wrote about it in their journals. Seventeen buildings are included in this tour. You may start your tour at any point. Please note that this tour includes sidewalk views only.
The Appalachian Trail Museum Society serves the Appalachian Trail community by telling the stories of the founding, construction, preservation, maintenance, protection, and enjoyment of the Trail since its creation. The Museum will collect, preserve, and interpret materials relevant to these subjects in an effort to portray not only the history of the Trail, but also the essence of the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual human experience of the Appalachian environment and the culture of hiking.
Carlisle Sports Emporium is Central Pennsylvania’s year-round indoor and outdoor mega entertainment complex with over 75,000 sq. ft. of indoor and acres of outdoor fun. Our interactive fun features “BRAND NEW” batting cages of varying heights and speeds, indoor and outdoor go-kart tracks, two 18-hole Castle and Western themed miniature golf courses, a brand new 7500 sq. ft. 2-tier LASERTRON laser tag arena, a roller skating rink, Victory Lane Café, and the largest arcade in the area with an indoor rock climbing wall.
Cave Hill Nature Center is an historic 20-acre, Borough-owned park located immediately north of Carlisle, along the Conodoguinet Creek. Fishing, Caving, Kayaking, Rope swing, Swimming, Picnicking.
Climbnasium Inc. is a premier indoor rock climbing facility. With extensive bouldering areas and toprope climbs to 40 feet in height, climbers of all abilities are sure to be challenged. Climbnasium offers first time instruction, birthday parties, group climbing and a youth climbing team. Come on in and get climbing!
Colonel Denning State Park, in north central Cumberland County, is in Doubling Gap, so named by the “S” turn where Blue Mountain doubles back on itself. This feature may be seen from the Doubling Gap Vista in adjacent Tuscarora State Forest. The park has 273 acres of woodland and a 3.5-acre lake.
The Conodoguinet Creek is approximately 90 miles long and weaves through agricultural lands, villages and small towns. You can enjoy a leisurely float, fishing, bird watching and even turtle hunting (view our turtle hunting video) on this Class 1 stream. The trail begins near Carlisle at North Middleton Park. Its series of elaborate bends and loops meander through Cumberland Valley and end at “The Point” in West Fairview, where the creek flows into the Susquehanna River. “Conodoguinet” comes from an Indian word meaning “a long way with many bends.”
There are two covered bridges in Cumberland County, PA: Bowmansdale bridge, connecting Cumberland and York counties is located on the Messiah College campus; Crossing the Conodoguinet creek two miles southeast of Newburg, the 130 span of Ramp bridge was built in 1870 and is owned and maintained by the county.
The Cumberland County Historical Society is composed of the main CCHS building housing the research library and museum. We also have a gift shop, History On High, located at 33 W. High Street. The store highlights arts and crafts from Cumberland County artisans. The shop is also home to the Cumberland Valley Visitors Center.
Trail enthusiasts can enjoy walking, jogging, bicycling, horseback riding and other non-motorized recreational uses. The trail, which is wheelchair-accessible, has a crushed limestone surface except for the last 1/2 mile at the Newville trail head which is paved. All of the road crossings between these two points have been graded to meet ADA specification and paved if it is a long grade. Their are two missing bridges that limit access to 1 mile of trail at the Shippensburg end and 1/2 mile at the Newville end.
Trail users will appreciate a variety of settings as the trail traverses wooded areas and farmland between the historic towns of Shippensburg and Newville. A shaded picnic area in the village of Oakville provides a pleasant rest stop along the way.
Kings Gap Environmental Education Center is state park specifically dedicated to provide environmental education programs for children, teachers and the general public that increase knowledge and awareness of the values and function of our natural resources. Kings Gap consists of 2,531 acres of forest on South Mountain, with more than 18 miles of hiking trails, a permanent orienteering course, picnicking, hunting and other recreational and educational opportunities. The mansion provides facilities for meals and overnight lodging, and may be reserved for meetings, weddings, receptions and similar functions.
The Mechanicsburg Museum Association owns and preserves four Mechanicsburg buildings built by the Cumberland Valley Railroad: The 1866 Stationmaster’s House, The 1886 Freight Station, The 1867 Passenger Station and the 1899 Washington Street Station. The buildings are open to the public during regular museum hours, special events and other community celebrations. The 1801 Frankenberger Tavern, Mechanicsburg’s oldest known building, is open seasonally and for special events. Admission is free to all normal exhibits.
The Oakes Museum of Natural History is a unique museum experience for the family, classroom, or group featuring more than 40,000 specimens. The 10,000-square foot museum is home to a collection of Smithsonian quality African and North American mammals, birds, eggs, fish, seashells, minerals, insects, and fossils.
Steeped in natural and historical features, the 696-acre Pine Grove Furnace State Park is at the northern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in an area known as South Mountain. Visitors can enjoy many recreational opportunities, including two mountain lakes, Laurel Lake and Fuller Lake, hiking the Appalachian Trail, biking the rail trail, visiting the Appalachian Trail Museum and imagining when the park was a charcoal-fired iron furnace community. The park is surrounded by Michaux State Forest, which provides opportunities for exploring extensive public lands around South Mountain.
The Two Mile House was built in 1820 and served as a tavern. This wonderful limestone house hosts various events like the annual McLain Festival. This property is also available to rent for parties and weddings. The property is located at 1189 Walnut Bottom Road Carlisle.
serves as the USAHEC’s outdoor museum. It encompasses the grounds of the USAHEC, covering about one mile and highlights nearly every era of Army history with different exhibits and large artifacts. Designed to provide an immersion experience that allows the visitor to walk into each period represented The Army Heritage Trail features 14 individual exhibits including full scale reconstructions of a French and Indian War way station, Redoubt Number 10 from the Revolutionary War siege of Yorktown, a section of the Antietam battlefield, a Civil War winter encampment with cabins, a WWI trench system, a WWII company area, a replicated Normandy Bocage scene from World War II, a Current Operations HESCO Bastion barrier checkpoint, and an interpretation of the Vietnam helicopter air assault at Ia Drang that includes a period Fire Support Base. Additionally, there are numerous smaller exhibits featuring armor, aircraft, and artillery from several different eras of U.S. Army history.
In 2001, 20 acres of land encompassing the hawk watch was deeded to Pennsylvania Audubon for the purpose of preserving the site as a hawk watch. That fall a parking lot was built on the north side of the ridge and trails were built from the lot to the hawk watch.
Wishing Well Equestrian Center offers one hour or two hour guided trail rides through the woods and over rolling hills. On a clear day guests may take in the beautiful (approx) 40 mile views over the valley to see our neighboring south mountain range and everything in between.