For Nature Lovers: Pennsylvania’s Hopewell Big Woods

Northwestern Chester County and southwestern Berks County, Pennsylvania

The Hopewell Big Woods, a 100-square-mile expanse of woodlands and wetlands on rocky terrain, encompasses a state park beloved by boaters and hikers that surrounds an important historic site near the picturesque St. Peter’s Village. French Creek State Park has two lakes for boaters, fishers, and swimmers and close to 40 miles of forested hiking trails. It is also a magnet for orienteers—cross-country runners who race with the aid of a map and compass.

Hopewell Big Woods, Pennsylvania© 2009 Bedford County Conference and Visitors BureauThe metal-working shop at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site is one of many buildings dating from Industrial Revolution days.

Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site commemorates the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution at an "iron plantation" that grew on the banks of French Creek from 1771. Exhibits at the restored complex and worker’s village trace the process that turned out ton upon ton of iron, casting everything from cannons for the Continental Army to kettles for housewives.
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