Information on:

Big Spring State Forest Picnic Area

4455 Big Spring Road

In the mid-1800s to the early 1900s, logging companies lumbered the area. Trees were hauled from the stump to the mill on the Perry Lumber Railroad. This narrow gauge railroad had a terminus at the east end of the park. The trees were cut to supply tanneries, barrel manufacturers and charcoal furnaces. A tannery near the spring operated from early in the 1800s until 1860. In 1871, an axe handle factory was started in the old tannery.

The Newport and Shermans Valley Railroad laid tracks through the park to link to the Path Valley Railroad in Franklin County. Their tunnel through Conococheague Mountain failed and the Newport and Shermans Valley Railroad went out of business.

During the early 1900s, the area was a community picnic area accessible by road and railroad. The Commonwealth developed the current facility in 1936 with Civilian Conservation Corps Camp (CCC) S-111-PA.


Matthew W

Saturday, May 12, 2018
This is a nice little park with walking trails. Several pavillions with grills. One of the trails leads to an abandoned railroad tunnel that reaches about 100 feet into the mountain and is an interesting place to visit. Would recommend!

Travis Fuhrman

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017
I actually have hiked through this picnic area on Ironhorse loop. It appears to have numerous pavilions, all of which can be reserved, fire pits and fireplaces. Great place for kids to run and around and have fun in the woods. Bathroom accommodations. Excellent parking facilities and it appears the are redoing the entranceway and macadam to the driveway into facility. This picnic area is very remote and cozy..great for a family reunion or a summer picnic with family and friends.

Daniel E. Markle

Sunday, July 17, 2016
Wonderful trails and nice cool forest to hang out in the summer, but no water. Pretty clear this park is not getting much funding; however that does give it a certain charm.

tom downing

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Christina Warner

Friday, May 11, 2018

Big Spring State Forest Picnic Area is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media