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South Mountain Conservation Landscape

The South Mountain Conservation Landscape is a timeless treasure of natural, aesthetic, historic, cultural, community, agricultural, and recreational resources in southcentral Pennsylvania.

The large, linear corridor spans six to seven miles wide and extends about 40 miles in a northeast to southwest direction connecting Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties. Within the area are three cluster areas of special places:

  • Whiskey Springs
  • Antietam Creek Watershed
  • East Mountain Faces

The South Mountain Partnership convenes meetings, specific topical workshops and summits, and initiates strategic landscape-level projects to protect and promote the intrinsic geographic, geologic, biologic, natural, agricultural, and heritage resources and values in the region.

Goals of South Mountain Conservation Landscape

  • Conservation of Landscape Resources - conserving and stewarding the natural, cultural, recreational, and agricultural resources that makes the South Mountain landscape unique
  • Promotion of Landscape Resources - elevating public awareness of the natural, cultural, recreational, and agricultural resources
  • Connections Across the Landscape - creating a community of collaboration among a critical mass of public agencies, non-profit and community organizations, businesses, and citizens.

Areas of Interest

South Mountain contains unique historical, cultural, agricultural, and recreational resources including:

  • Gettysburg National Military Park
  • The 85,000-acre Michaux State Forest
  • Headwaters of high quality streams
  • Native American quarry sites
  • Some of the most productive agricultural soils in the entire state
  • The 20,000-acre South Mountain Fruit Belt
  • Three state parks
  • One state environmental education center

What makes this region so special are its:

Natural Resources

  • Mountains
  • Forests
  • Rivers and streams
  • Vernal ponds
  • Wildlife
  • Habitat corridors
  • Bird flyways

Cultural Resources

  • Gettysburg and Civil War history
  • Furnace stacks
  • Museums
  • Historic barns
  • The state’s first state forest and oldest state park

Agricultural Resources

  • Fertile soil
  • Rolling valleys
  • Hayfields and cornfields
  • Dairy cows
  • Fruit
  • Farm stands

Recreational Resources

  • The Appalachian Trail
  • World-class trout fishing
  • Country roads
  • Multiple state parks

More to Do in the Region

For more detailed information on planning an outing or an extended visit to the South Mountain landscape, check out the tourism partners throughout the region: