Pennsylvania is a place scattered with hidden gems, and I love it for that. Midway through my near hibernation state this winter, I found myself dreaming up a grand list of places around this Keystone State of mine that I wanted to explore. Because you guys already know that I’m all about Local Adventure! Luckily for me, this little gem popped up. Pennsylvania’s Stonehenge, also known as the Columcille Megalith Park, is tucked away in a valley of the Blue Mountains. Sort of secretive, sort of creepy, sort of peaceful and definitely impressive in it’s collection of rock formations.
So, you’re probably thinking, “Okay what exactly is a columcille/megalith?” Well, basically it’s a collection of rocks. Big, big, big rocks. Crazy big rocks… in an interlocking formation. The most famous megalith, of course, is in Bath, England. It’s circular formation of incredibly tall and heavy boulders defies imagination and has sparked a lot of believers into buying into the whole ancient aliens thing. However, the United Kingdom is not the only place to find megaliths. These stone stacks are scattered all around the world, even as far as Germany, Israel and Korea. Some claim higher powers organized these formations (aliens/gods), some believe that religious cults created them to aspire to a higher level of being and others claim that these megaliths are man-made to amplify the natural beauty of the surrounding area. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which avenue to believe in! The whole history around megaliths is shrouded in mystery.
However, I will tell you that the creation of Pennsylvania’s Stonehenge isn’t quite as mysterious as you’d think. Turns out, two offbeat dreamers from the area planned this little retreat to resemble a columcille on the Isle of Iona in Scotland in the 1970s… or at least that’s what they say! The stones themselves weigh up to 45 tons and are set in the circular formation represent the Celtic primal energies, providing room for them to dance and explore. Now, the space is a park many locals walk their dogs in while enjoy the surrounding nature. Others (like me) flock there to take in the whole experience.
Pennsylvania’s Stonehenge is tucked away in a cranny of the Blue Mountains in the north eastern corner of the state. It’s well hidden off of a tiny road masked by the rows upon rows of forest. I won’t lie to you… the drive is spectacular around golden hour, but mad creepy at dusk. We happened to enter the park just before the sun was sinking behind the mountain tops and there was a sense of an eeriness to the whole place. In no way did I actually feel “in danger,” but the absolute stillness of the forest in addition to the impending nightfall had me a liiiiittle on edge. It’s kind of nuts how the much the light changed the whole experience. I’d imagine the park would be an absolutely incredible peaceful place to find solace mid afternoon on a spring day. However, the stretching shadows of the bare trees and the darkening sky increased the park’s mysticism.
The boulder formations are incredible. Hands down. They elevate the beauty of this space tenfold. And the bell tower, dauntingly standing over the circular stone formation is the stuff of your childhood princess dreams. Where was my Rapunzel hair when I needed it?
The thing that really blows my mind about Pennsylvania’s Stonehenge is that I hadn’t heard a peep about it until it popped up as a suggested attraction nearby online. Even after living in Pennsylvania for over twenty years, there’s still so much more of my own home state that I haven’t explored… let alone heard about. Think about that for a second! I’ve lived in the Keystone State my whole life (more or less). I’ve even felt jaded by my familiarity of the area. As a travel blogger, my job is to research sights and attractions to explore. And even I’ve overlooked an incredible sight within a few hours of my own location! I guess what I’m saying is this… there’s no possible way you’ve seen it all. No matter where you’re located, no matter how long you’ve been there… there’s almost more to explore.
So get out there. Ask your friends for their secret spots, Google “weird spots around ____,” spend some time a few hours from your hometown. I promise you’ll find something you’ve never imagined before.
What do you think about Pennsylvania’s Stonehenge? Peaceful retreat like or mystical place? I lean towards the latter, but hey! I’m interested in hearing your opinions! Does your location have any hidden gems worth exploring?