We first visited the park and mansion two years ago. This year (12/7/2014) we returned for the holiday open house at the mansion and it was well worth the visit.
First, the Kings Gap State Park. It's about 11,000 acres of great hiking trails. Very hilly so be prepared to get your exercise. Not for those who look for easy hiking trails.
Next, the Mansion. There is no admission charge. It is huge and sits on top of the mountain with a fantastic view of the valley (I think either Cumberland or Susquehanna - or maybe both), The Mansion was built in abt. 1900 and is entirely of local stone. It has 32 rooms including 15-18 guest bedrooms. Masons were imported from Italy to construct the Mansion. It is some 200' long and 2 stories. It was completely restored several years ago. The porch is practically the length of the structure.
The Mansion is used primarily for special events (i.e. weddings, retreats). The guest rooms are "period" rooms, many with two rooms sharing a connecting batch, one area's rooms share a single bath (I believe they were the original rooms for the servants), some with a private bath. The baths are period with real clawed feet bathtubs. No room phones. Great for a group to get-away-from-it-all for a couple of days. This would be a great setting for a wedding.
There is a modern commercial kitchen and a great dining room that was added a few years ago with a wonderful view.
The Mansion is open for self-touring on Sundays from Memorial Day thru October. The park is open year-round.
On the 1st and 2nd Sundays in December the Mansion is open and decorated for the Holiday Season. Well worth the visit! You can see all the rooms (normally the 2nd floor is closed) and volunteers are on-hand and will gladly give you the history of the Mansion. They serve cookies and cider during this time. There is a jar for donations but no admission charge.
It is "well off the beaten path". Off of PA Rt. 174 and you drive up a paved road to the top of the mountain and the Mansion. Plenty of parking and there's a park center. The Mansion is the attraction but there are a few other buildings to see: ice house, carriage house, caretakers house. Plus a walled garden.
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