Franklin County Visitors Bureau Invites Public to Take a Walk on the Out of the Ore: Birds & Blooms Trail

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The Franklin County Visitors Bureau, through a grant from the South Mountain Partnership, is launching the Out of the Ore: Birds & Blooms Trail, which is a walk through South Mountain nature, conservation, and history.

Restored furnace stack is part of the natural habitat of the Birds & Bloom Walking Trail.

The Franklin County Visitors Bureau is pleased to announce a new trail experience in Franklin County--Out of the Ore: Birds & Bloom Walking Trail. A ribbon cutting for the Out of the Ore: Birds & Blooms Walking Trail will be held on Thursday, August 27 at 1 PM. The event begins at the Trellis Terrace, adjacent to the Penn National Golf Course Clubhouse in Fayetteville and will culminate at the trail with a ribbon-cutting and inaugural walk. Out of the Ore: Birds & Bloom Trail is a walk through nature, conservation, and history of South Mountain. The trail begins, just off Orchard Drive along Route 997, where an iron ore stack—a remnant of the Mont Alto Ironworks—was restored. The walking trail is in the midst of a thriving habitat, which is home to hundreds of bird, wildlife, insect, tree, and plant species. The walking trail--in a very literal way--shows how life was reborn from the deforestation of the iron ore industry. Less than ½-mile away is the former Pennsylvania State Forestry School, now the Penn State Mont Alto campus, where Joseph Rothrock implemented a vision for Pennsylvania conservation and reforestation. Prior to the forestry school, the land was the Mont Alto Ironworks.

The Out of the Ore: Birds and Blooms project, included the restoration of an iron ore stack, establishing a wood-chipped walking trail, and the creation of printed and online information about the habitat, identifying more than 75 species of birds, wildlife, invertebrates, and amphibians. Funding for the project was a 2014 South Mountain Partnership mini-grant, awarded to the Franklin County Visitors Bureau (FCVB). The grant is from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, Environmental Stewardship Fund under the administration of the PA DCNR with management oversight by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. FCVB, working with Penn National Golf Course Community, the Conococheague Audubon Chapter, and the Franklin County Historical Society, created the Out of the Ore: Birds & Bloom project. With the conservation of the limestone furnace, environmental and habitat awareness, the story of conservation and iron ore history and the recreational value of birding and hiking, Out of the Ore: Birds & Blooms project encompasses multiple goals of the South Mountain Partnership.

The general public is invited to attend the ribbon-cutting and take part in a “first walk” on the Out of the Ore: Birds & Blooms Trail. A trail guidebook is available by contacting the Franklin County Visitors Bureau at 717.552.2977 or 866.646.8060. An overview of the birds, plants, animals and other species can be viewed online at

The Franklin County Visitors Bureau invites all to explore Franklin County PA and enjoy the trails of history, arts, recreation, natural beauty, fresh foods and the warm hospitality of communities like Fayetteville, Chambersburg, Greencastle, Mercersburg, Shippensburg, and Waynesboro. Franklin County PA is located just north of the Mason Dixon Line and is an easy drive to Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Discover more....plan a visit soon at or by contacting 866.646.8060.

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Janet Pollard

Lauren Cappuccio
Ben Franklin
since: 04/2013
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