Appalachian Trail Museum aims to expand displays

Joe Harold may have just begun serving as director of the Appalachian Trail Museum, but he’s already leading plans to triple its size. The museum, which opened in 2010 in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pennsylvania just off of the trail, is perhaps best described as quaint — big on ambiance from wooden paneling, a new grass-covered wheelchair ramp, and scenic views, but short on space.

“We want to keep showing the history of the trail any way we can, and we just need the space,” Harold said. “There’s not a whole lot of room left to do anything new.”

The Appalachian Trail Museum Society plans to expand the museum from one story to three, maintaining the current historical exhibit on the main floor and adding a basement exhibit for children and an upstairs dedicated to current events, including tributes to the people maintaining the trail and those setting speed records, he said. The attic of the building will become a reference library for people researching the trail.

Ultimately, they would like to expand to new locations, creating satellite museums throughout the trail, he said.

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