Big Spring State Park is a great location for a family gathering or picnic. The park sits on 45 acres of wooded land in central Pennsylvania. The park is located on the side of the Conococheague Mountain, a 2000 foot mountain in the Tuscarora State Forest. Just under six miles south of New Germantown and conveniently situated on Highway 274, this small park is well-suited for a short getaway into the Pennsylvania wilderness.
Things to Do in the Park
As a small state park, the area is ideal for day use. During the summer months, visitors can enjoy picnicking or taking a short hike. There are several picnic tables and pavilions scattered throughout the park. The site is a popular destination for family reunions, graduation parties, church meetings, and other large gatherings. Pavilions can be reserved in advance for large parties by calling the park. The park has several restroom facilities for visitor use.
Additionally, the park connects to the very popular Iron Horse Trail in the Tuscarora State Forest, making it a convenient trailhead for longer hikes or a camping trip in the state forest. Big Spring State Park also has a small trail system, with a short, looped one mile trail. The trail travels by the historic, unfinished railroad tunnel that attempts to cut underneath the Conococheague Mountain. Sherman’s Creek also runs through the park; though fishing is not allowed, the area is very scenic to explore.
The railroad tunnel is a remnant of the very prosperous logging industry that existed in the area in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The logging industry relied upon the Newport and Sherman’s Valley Railroad to transport materials and workers, and it was this company that attempted to build the tunnel under Conococheague Mountain. However, the tunnel was not completed due to technical failures. Today, there is a historic interpretation center in Big Spring State Park that provides information about the railroad, the logging industry, and the history of the area.
Additional Information about the Park
Though the park is small, it can be a great stop for families looking for a picnic location or simply to rest for a few hours in the woods. Big Spring’s ideal location next to the very large Tuscarora State Forest makes it a great park for a short stop or day adventure in the Pennsylvania woodlands. The Tuscarora State Forest has over 90,000 acres of land and has opportunities for hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, skiing, and hiking. However, Big Spring State Park is worth a visit in and of itself. The park can be contacted by phone at 717-536-3191, or you can write to the park with the following address:
Big Spring State Park
RR 1, Box 486
Blain, Pennsylvania 17006