“The Museum is working in partnership with CPC to maintain current operations mostly as is”, according to Museum President Larry Luxenberg. CPC’s President, Ken Waidelich, adds: “We entered our tenure at the Ironmaster’s Mansion in the spirit of partnership, and we are thrilled to pass along operations to a very capable partner organization with an on-site presence at Pine Grove Furnace State Park and who is committed to the facility’s stewardship and use as a hiker’s hostel.” CPC completely renovated the dilapidated facility in 2010 with the help of local trail clubs, volunteers, local funders, and CPC membership contributions. It hosted a youth conservation leadership camp there for 6 years (Goddard Leadership Legacy Institute), the annual Ironmaster’s Challenge trail running event, and opened it up to outside groups for events such as school, scout and church youth retreats, family reunions, weddings, showers, and environmental and community programming. A private guest suite was added in 2017, supported with a grant from Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau, and other improvements and necessary maintenance was made along the way.”
“We thank our hard-working, on-site innkeepers over the years, who cared for the historic building and ran the day-to-day operations of the hostel”, said CPC’s Waidelich. “While CPC is turning to focus on its growing land conservation projects in the region, it’s proud to have played a role in sustaining the facility and its viability as one of the few remaining hiker’s hostels on the A.T. in Pennsylvania. The partnership with the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace, PA DCNR, Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau, and other local groups is critical to its continued success. The A.T. Museum already has strong ties with these entities and has a good strategy in place to achieve its organizational goals while continuing similar uses.”
The Museum plans to expand the hostel’s current hours and programming. In the future, the Museum will install exhibits at the facility as well as utilize it for storing items from the Museum collection and housing Museum volunteers. Specific plans will be announced during the 4th quarter of 2019, including days and hours of operation and rates. These details will be announced via press releases and on the Museum’s website: www.atmuseum.org The hostel will remain open to the public for overnight stays as well as for groups and events. While many of the visitors are hiking the Appalachian Trail, the hostel welcomes any visitor.
Located 20 miles from Gettysburg, the hostel is in the beautiful South Mountain area of Cumberland County in the midst of many tourist attractions. Surrounded by the Michaux State Forest and also near Caledonia State Park, the area has abundant outdoor recreation opportunities as well as historic sites, festivals and other attractions.