August 30th, 2011

Outdoor enthusiasts will have the opportunity to bike, hike and travel back in time this Labor Day weekend. A full slate of events is being offered as part of the first “South Mountain Outdoors” celebration, scheduled for Saturday, September 3 – Monday, September 5.

Caledonia State Park and The Franklin County Visitors Bureau are teaming together to educate visitors about the important role South Mountain played in The Underground Railroad. Guests can explore the park in a horse drawn wagon, learn about abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens while viewing an active blacksmith shop at the Caledonia Ironworks and watch “Road to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Through South Mountain.”

The 15-minute video tells the story of escaped slaves and the African-American community. It was created by the FCVB and the South Mountain Partnership last year and will be on display throughout the weekend at Caledonia’s ranger station.

Pine Grove Furnace State Park will host a number of athletes during the three-day event. “Bikes and Bagels” will provide participants with coffee, juice and a light breakfast beginning at 8:00 on Saturday morning. They’ll then hop on their bicycles to start a historical tour of the area.

“Free Kayaking for Beginners” is being offered on Laurel Lake at the park on Saturday afternoon while anyone interested in casting a line can take part in “Fish for Free Day” at Fuller Lake on Monday. Anyone without a fishing license is permitted to fish in Pennsylvania on Memorial Day and Labor Day.

The Mansion, Garden and Education Building at Kings Gap Environmental Education Center will be open on Sunday and Monday, featuring a demonstration honey bee hive and an exhibit on minimizing recreational impacts while enjoying the outdoors. Hikers can travel through Michaux State Forest at the Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve on Sunday.

Visitors can also spend the weekend enjoying everything South Mountain has to offer on a regular basis, including the Appalachian Trail and a variety of picnicking areas.


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