South Mountain is a rolling mountain that stretches 70 miles from the Potomac River near Knoxville, Maryland in the south to Dillsburg, Pennsylvania in the north. The mountain is an extension of the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountain Range.
The region was originally inhabited by the Susquehannock people, and archaeological evidence suggests that they had been living there since around 1550 AD. When European settlers started arriving, the Susquehannock people used the South Mountain as a boundary line between their territory to the east and the land that was being colonized in Maryland to the west. By the mid-1700s, Maryland received land grants to settle west of the mountain. South Mountain gaps, such as Fox’s Gap and Orr’s Gap, were passes used for American migration and settlement. Several Civil War battles were also fought on the mountain and in nearby areas, not least of all being the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863.
Today, South Mountain and the surrounding region is home to eight state parks, numerous historical sites and monuments, and small towns bursting with character. Gettysburg, PA is one such town where history, music, art, theater, food, drink, and opportunities for exploration abound! No matter where you travel in this area, you are sure to discover something delightfully new.