Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center, Carlisle

Categories: Nature & Parks, Visitor Centers, Traveler Resources
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 45 reviews on the web
Kings Gap Environmental Education Center is a 1454acre Pennsylvania state park in Cooke, Dickinson and Penn Townships, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania in the United States. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania acquired the land in 1973, from the C. H. Masland and Son Carpet Company. Kings Gap State Park is from Pennsylvania Route 233 on South Mountain.HistoryHuman influence on South Mountain, 1750-1900The origin of the name "Kings Gap" is not known, although it is believed to date back to early settlers in this region. The forests of Kings Gap reflect the influence of the charcoaling industry that began in the 1700s and persisted through the late 1800s. Before the discovery of coal, charcoal fueled the iron furnaces located nearby. Some furnaces were as close as Huntsdale, one mile to the southwest of the entrance to Kings Gap. Iron furnaces required tremendous amounts of charcoal as fuel. In 1786, an average furnace consumed in one day the charcoal produced from one acre of forest. The forests of South Mountain were clearcut on a 20 - 25 year cycle to satisfy the unquenchable thirst for charcoal by nine iron furnaces located in the Kings Gap area. A relatively young forest now exists as a result of these repeated cuttings.
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  • Check out the lovely native gardens at the King's Gap Mansion - the view of the Cumberland Valley is gorgeous, and you are likely to have it all to yourself. The Environmental Education Center has exh...  read more »
  • We take the family regularly to King's Gap for hiking and picnics. There are enough challenging trails for trips with the older children and some easy trails for the whole family including our little ...  read more »
  • The education center was closed, but it was nice to have a modern clean bathroom available at the park, in the ed building. The mansion and grounds are beautiful, actually gorgeous at sunset with a we...  read more »
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