Saturday I attended a trail ceremony at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. This weekend was the 76th anniversary of Hopewell becoming a National Park Service property, and in addition a segment of the 148 mile long Horse-Shoe Trail received recognition as a National Recreation Trail. Horse-Shoe Trail volunteers, both pedestrian and equestrian, turned out in force for the event.
The Horse-Shoe Trail runs from Valley Forge National Historic Park, starting at the peak of Mount Misery, and ends northeast of Harrisburg, connecting to the Appalachian Trail. The 17 miles of trail with the new designation run through Warwick County Park, Hopewell, French Creek State Park, the Crow’s Nest Nature Preserve, State game lands near St. Peter’s, and some privately held land. I’ve hiked sections of the trail in Valley Forge, French Creek State Park, Hopewell, St. Peter’s, and Warwick County Park, and its a pretty trail, although the surface can be rocky. The trail is flat and well pounded in Hopewell, and passes through the Connecting Shed where the ceremony was held.
There was a further ceremony at the newly restored Collier’s Hut, about a hundred feet away from the scene above. The new hut was constructed by a Boy Scout as a Merit Badge project. He’s the fellow in the back with the sash full of badges and the full mane. Hopewell Superintendent Edie Shean-Hammond is speaking; the older man in the background is State Representative Tim Hennessey
After the ceremonies ended at noon, I spent some time walking around Hopewell. My last visit was during a snowstorm, and the little iron village looks considerably different in summer. I unfortunately missed the group hike on the Horse-Shoe led by trail volunteers, but I had a good time looking around the restored village.
I put about two miles under my shoes, on both the Horseshoe Trail and a connecting trail on the edge of Hopewell Lake in French Creek State Park. The walking was easy, largely because I eschewed the Horse-Shoe Trail once it turned off of Hopewell land. I’ll take on its rockiness another day.