hot to trot hiking

Hiking is one thing that still feels “normal” these days. Trail usage across the US has increased 200 percent as people continue to seek respite in nature, according to the American Hiking Society. Even if you’re new to hiking, you don’t have to be an expert to traverse the trails.

Boiling Springs, PA is situated right at the halfway point on the famous Appalachian Trail which spans 2,193 miles up and down the East Coast of the US from Georgia to Maine. The trail was created in 1937 and has approximately 242,000 volunteers that maintain it to this day. AT Hikers reach the iconic halfway point destination at Pine Grove Furnace State Park where the Appalachian Trail Museum is located. It’s also home to the “half gallon challenge” where many thru-hikers try to eat that amount of ice cream from the camp store across the street.

The AT is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world! New to hiking? Not to worry. Some of the smoothest terrain on the entire Appalachian Trail is found in the Cumberland Valley section of the trail, despite Pennsylvania’s nickname, “Rocksylvania,” for its rocky ridges north of the Susquehanna River.

Keep in mind parts of the AT pass through game lands managed for hunting, so avoid those areas during fall. It’s always a safe bet to wear a fluorescent orange hat or material on chest and back. Tight socks that go up past your ankles as well as a head check after each hike are a good idea to protect against ticks that carry Lyme Disease.

top 5 fall adventures at allenberry resort

1. Hike the famous Appalachian Trail
While on the road, you can visit the Appalachian Trail Museum at Pine Grove Furnace State Park which also offers various trails along creeks, lakes, and biking paths. King’s Gap Environmental Education Center is a short drive away and offers a hike with amazing vista views, especially in autumn at peak foliage.

2. Fly-Fishing
One of the most notable outdoor activities at Allenberry Resort is the unique opportunity to go fly-fishing in the Yellow Breeches Creek. Experienced anglers travel near and far to cast a line here. The main lodge offers a fly making station and expert advice as well as guided trips.

3. Visit Boiling Springs
Bike through Boiling Springs, or take a short stroll around the scenic Children’s Lake. This historic tiny town founded in 1845 is full of charm. Boiling Springs was also an Underground Railroad site before the Civil War. Today, small shops, art galleries, cafes, and restaurants create a small town feel offering something extra to do in the area.

4. Go Sport Shooting
The Orvis Hill Country Shooting Grounds, recently opened in 2019, provides guests with a comprehensive sport-shooting trip. The 500-acre property offers a range of premier sporting clays courses, upland hunting opportunities, and shooting instructions. Located a short shuttle ride away in Blue Ridge Summit, the historic property also houses an Orvis Pro Shop.

5. The Playhouse at Allenberry
Theater buffs, add this one to the bucket list. The Playhouse at Allenberry has been a local hidden gem for more than 70 years. In fact, almost 50 years ago, John Travolta did a summer program there. Today, the theater operates in partnership with Keystone Theatrics, providing a wide range of shows for audiences of all ages from children’s musicals to classic plays. The current 2020 season is on pause due to current safety issues, but small outdoor cabarets may be an option to watch for. The Family Series productions of “The Rainbow Fish” and others will be rescheduled for spring 2021 or later. Other shows to watch for in 2021 include “Frost Nixon,” “The Producers,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and “Pippin.”

experiential eats

From the claim-to-fame breakfast item, to dinner with a view, the culinary experiences at Allenberry are alone worth the drive (but we recommend a relaxing stay too).

The Allenberry’s famous sticky buns have been a longstanding tradition for locals and travelers alike. (Plan to take some to go to enjoy a sweet memory of your visit or share with loved ones). But we wouldn't fault you if you snuck off with a hot mug of coffee and saved one all for yourself. These are the best buttery buns you’ll ever taste, with just the right amount of cinnamon to signal fall has arrived and create a cozy taste of winter warmth melting in your mouth. A new collaboration with Harrisburg’s Urban Churn is also bringing a new sticky bun ice cream to the menu at The Barn onsite restaurant.

During dinner service, the sun sets on the mountains in the distance through the row of restaurant windows overlooking the Yellow Breeches Creek down below. Brown leather tufted booths encircle guests like a cozy cocoon up in the trees colorful fall foliage. Outdoor seating brings you one step closer to nature.

The Barn’s fall menu features all the flavors of the season, including wild foraged foods. Regulars will be happy to know the fried Brussels sprouts are returning to the appetizer menu as well as the crab cake making a gluten-free debut, and the chef’s daily changing seafood special will return, according to what local fishmongers have available. The bottom line is the emphasis on local.

a secluded stay

Built in the early 1800s, the signature colonial mansion on the property serves as a backdrop and lodging for wedding parties, family vacations, and corporate retreats. You can also stay in the historic stone Still House right along the Yellow Breeches or the newer Creek House. All are appointed in a modern farmhouse style and the resort’s signature blue hues that evoke water and relaxation. The fresh new look was part of an overhaul when the new owners, The Kennedy family of Mechanicsburg, bought the resort in 2017.

Six cottages are available to families looking for more private lodging. Four contemporary lodges date back to 1944. Some rooms are pet friendly for an added fee. The Stone Lodge offers spacious yet cozy suites, some with a fireplace, and bucolic views all around. The Pine Lodge has 10 suites situated in a grove of pine trees. The Meadow Lodge has 32 rooms with sweeping views of the property, but it is currently closed.