Pine Grove Furnace/Pole Steeple Vista Hike – 3/23/2012


Photos of the Event

Video and Animated Fly-over

Hike Statistics

Hike Description

Scouts hiked 7.3 miles from the Pine Grove Furnace Group Camping Area to the summit of Pole Steeple overlook and back. At 10:15 AM the hike began. It was about 58 degrees and a light rain and drizzle fell. The group was led by one of the scouts practicing his map and compass skills. He was assisted by one of the older scouts. On the way they saw a snapping turtle along the Brickyard trail.

They hiked along the beach of Fuller Lake and one scout spotted a Palomino Trout. Pennsylvania and other states hybridized the pure strain of West Virginia golden trout with normal rainbows and produced palomino trout, which were true genetic palominos. Palomino trout were first stocked in Pennsylvania in 1967.

The hikers picked up the Appalachian Trail and headed north to the Pole Steeple Trail. On a clear day, the entire park can be viewed from the Pole Steeple Overlook, which is a quartzite rock outcropping. Today, clouds surrounded the summit as the scouts stopped for lunch. Rains subsided during the break. At one point, Laurel Lake was partially visible through the fog.

Scouts descended to the base of Laurel Lake and took the railroad bed for a short section. Trees and flowers bloomed about 3 weeks ahead of schedule and the yellow blooms of forsythia lined the pathway. A scheduled stop by a nearby spring allowed hikers to fill up their water bottles.

Scouts then crossed Mountain Creek and took the Mountain Creek Trail. One scout stopped and stood at the base of a tree that appeared to have been struck by lightning.

A mile along the Mountain Creek Trail they had to cross the creek again without a bridge. One scout decided to try to ford the creek on foot but found it too deep to cross. Others took note and used their balancing skills as they walked across a fallen tree to get across the creek.

A woodpecker was spotted just before reaching the bubbling swamp area. Upon return to the camp at 4PM, scouts got a fire started and prepared dinner. A 23 pound chicken was not the choice, but rather classic hamburgers. Cobbler made in a well seasoned iron crock simmered on the fire and was served for dessert.


Fri., 3/23/12:

5:00 pm: Drop Off at St. Joseph Church [Bring a Sack Dinner or eat first];
Drive to Pine Grove Furnace State Park (Gardners, PA);
Camping in Iron Workers Organized Group Tent Site B

Sat., 3/24/12:

Morning: Breakfast, Pack a Lunch – Lunch on the Trail
Appalachian Trail Hiking Options:

  1. Tom’s Run, Camp Michaux, Little Rocky Ridge & Sunset Rocks.
    See the remnants of Camp Michaux, 1 of 3 secret World War II camps for interrogating enemy German and Japanese Prisoners of War (POWs).
    Additional information is available at
    [7 miles round trip].
  2. Pole Steeple.
    Hike to Fuller Lake and along the AT, ascend Pole Steeple, take in the view, descend to Laurel Lake and pass the Mountain Creek on your way back to camp.
    [6.5 miles round trip].
    Evening: Dinner at Campsite; Sleep

Sun., 3/25/12:

Morning: Breakfast. 10:15 a.m. Mass at St. Joseph Church in Hanover.

Area Map

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