Etched into the natural landscape of portions of Pennsylvania’s Chester, Berks, Montgomery and Lancaster Counties are the sites that celebrate the iron and steel industries which literally forged our nation. Starting in the early 1700’s, immigrants came seeking a better life. Using the area’s natural resources, they helped build a nation during the American Revolution. In the 1800’s, they were joined by immigrants from around the world fighting to save the country during the Civil War, and then leading it to become a world power. The region witnessed the American Revolution, saw the struggle to end slavery and welcomed the nation’s first female industrialists.
We invite you to enjoy waterways and hiking trails through woodlands, farms and fields; to explore historic towns and villages; and to tour ironmaster mansions and 300 years of industrial sites. From National Parks and outdoor recreation; to specialty farms, mini breweries and vineyards; to quiet villages to urban night life… morning, noon, and night we have it all!
Challenging trails for hiking, pristine streams for water sports and fishing, scenic bicycle routes, historic sites and museums, heritage villages, and award-winning vineyards, micro-breweries and artisan farms.
You are invited to explore the Iron & Steel Heritage and Recreation Region located in and around the Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Landscape and Hopewell Big Woods, the finest natural preserve in our region. We encourage you to select from the many locations depending on your schedule or to follow a self-guided heritage tour blending history and recreation to discover the Iron & Steel Landscape’s many “Faces of Freedom.”