When visitors first experience Greenwood Furnace State Park's breathtaking beauty -- from views of the placid lake to the peaks of Pennsylvania's Seven Mountains -- they may find it hard to believe this area was once a booming mining community. Until the early 20th century, this vibrant green space was home to smokestacks which sent embers raining down on the surrounding village, covering the area in soot and dust.
With the help of the state of Pennsylvania, nature has reclaimed this former industrial site, restoring its native flora and fauna. The wide variety of outdoor activities available here in all seasons, coupled with the park's cultural and historic attractions, have made Greenwood Furnace State Park one of the top vacation destinations in the state for day-use visitors and RV campers alike.
Whether you're looking to enjoy some fishing, boating, and hiking, or you prefer to take your time and peruse the historic remains of the ghost town of Greenwood, this state park has an adventure to suit every explorer. Once you've experienced everything the park has to offer and you're ready to pack up the rig and hit the road, don't forget to stop by the gift shop to grab a souvenir! Craving more time in the great outdoors? The park is located near the 80,000-acre Rothrock State Forest, offering endless opportunities for adventure!
Greenwood Furnace State Park is not far from 322, just a half hour from both State College and Lewistown. The entrance to Greenwood Furnace State Park is just off Highway 305, which leads into the town of Belleville, where campers can refuel their motorhomes, pick up some supplies, or indulge in a little antique shopping.
The roads through the campground are paved, one-way, and easy to navigate. Turkey Hill Road, just outside the campground, is unpaved and winds through wooded terrain, so take care if you're navigating this route in a big rig. While most of the park's roads are paved, some are not, including the route through the picnic areas as well as Broad Road, near the Chestnut Spring Trailhead.
Several parking lots are located throughout Greenwood Furnace State Park. The main lot by the visitor's center at the park entrance is mostly paved and ADA accessible. Two unpaved lots can be found by the park's Spruce, Hemlock, and Monsell picnic shelters. Another unpaved lot is located near the Monsell Trailhead. Day-use visitors looking to visit the historic Ironmaster's Mansion Carriage House will find a paved lot in front of the building. Two other small parking lots accommodate visitors at the park's ball field and Founders picnic shelter. Three unpaved parking areas are also located just outside the main campground loop.
Almost all of Greenwood Furnace State Park's 49 tent and RV sites offer hookups to 30 or 50 amp electricity. Only the host site offers full hookups to water, sewer, and electricity.
Vehicles between 40 and 92 feet long are well accommodated here with a variety of amenities. The restroom and shower facilities are centrally located in the middle of the loop. The campground's ADA accessible sites are closest to the bathhouses, making access easy for campers with disabilities.
The campground offers everything campers may need (or want), from a dump station and trash disposal to a playground and an amphitheater. Campers can also purchase firewood and ice right on-site.
Reservations are recommended. Note that not all sites are pet-friendly; canine campers are welcome only at designated sites.
Pennsylvania state parks don't require advance reservations, so if you're taking a spontaneous camping trip, you're welcome to park the rig and head out for an outdoor adventure. However, campers who plan to arrive after noon are advised to contact park staff for instructions on inhabiting their site.
Don't judge this park's lake by its small size -- those six water acres are well-stocked with trout that keep biting all year long! While ice fishing is permitted when weather conditions are just right, note that park staff do not monitor the ice levels in the lake. Winter anglers are advised to test ice thickness using an auger.
Step out of the motorhome and stretch your legs on one of Greenwood Furnace State Park's many trails. The Dogtown Trailhead can be found just outside the campground and makes for a quick, easy walk. Most of the trails at the park are considered difficult, so bring suitable footwear. Noteworthy trails include the Tramway Trail, a former mule-drawn railway that transported iron ore from the mines to the furnace, and Viantown Trail, an old wagon path that connected the village of Greenwood with Viantown.
Canoers and kayakers will find a serene adventure on the calm waters of Greenwood Lake. Non-motorized boating is allowed, though a few restrictions apply. Paddlers must obtain launching or mooring permits from the park office before setting out. All private watercraft must also be registered. Note that boating is prohibited during the first week of trout fishing season.
At Greenwood Furnace State Park, the outdoor adventures don't end when the snow starts falling -- they're only just beginning! A few of the park's main hiking paths double as cross-country ski routes in the winter. These include Tramway Trail, Dogtown Trail, and Viantown Trail. Looking to up the ante? Connect to the Brush Ridge Trail system, which leads from the state park into the adjacent Rothrock State Forest.
Snowmobilers, start your engines! Greenwood Furnace State Park offers multiple snowmobiling routes -- just look out for the orange blazes. Most of the trails connect to the 200-mile trail network in Rothrock State Forest, allowing snowmobilers to extend their adventure. Note that snowmobiling is allowed after deer season has ended in December.
Those who favor historic attractions over outdoor adventures will find plenty of educational opportunities at Greenwood State Park. From guided walking tours and the park's blacksmith shop to annual educational events like Old Home Days and living history programs, the park offers a variety of ways to indulge your inner history buff. Prefer to explore the ghost town of Greenwood on your own? Be sure to include the park's cemetery, furnace ruins, and historic homes in your itinerary.