There are actually 1,043 steps in the Thousand Steps Trail. They were created in 1936 as a means of transportation to work for the miners high up on the mountain. I don’t know what anyone else thinks, but having done this climb I think it is pretty incredible that this was the morning and evening commute everyday for the men who worked up on the mountain. Quite a commute!
The mining history in this area is very rich as sand was the most popular resource mined from Jacks Mountain. Mining for sand started on Jacks Mountain and in the narrows around 1900 by Harbison Walker Corporation and it continued until about 1950. The sand mined from the mountain was used for silica bricks which were heat resistant and at one point, Jacks Mountain was known as “The Silica Brick Capital of the World.” Both sides of “The Narrows” on Jacks Mountain were loaded with railroad tracks and at one point six inclined planes existed. Harbsion Walker Corporation, at its height, employed 2,000 people and produced half a million silica bricks a day.
Jacks Narrows which is cut by the Juniata River also housed some of the most famous transportation means in the history of east coast transportation at one time or another. The PA Turnpike, Pennsylvania Canal, William Penn Highway, and Pennsylvania Railroad all passed through Jacks Narrows at the base of this mountain. This goes to show how important a roll Thousand Steps and Jacks Mountain had to the early 1900s industrial boom.
Information about the 1,ooo Steps obtained from SummitPost.org.
Standing Stone Trail
Formerly known as “Link Trail” named for connecting Mid State Trail with Tuscarora Trail, Standing Stone Trail is a destination in its own right, offering Pennsylvania hikers and backpackers a link to dramatic scenery, wild plant and animal life, and compelling history.
Click for highlights of a trek along the SST.
Standing Stone Trail links Greenwood Furnace State Park to Cowans Gap State Park through Rothrock State Forest, Rocky Ridge Natural Area, State Game Lands No. 112, No. 71, No. 99, and No. 81, and Buchanan State Forest.
We also cherish our partnerships with numerous private landowners who generously allow hikers passage along the SST’s orange blazed route.
The Standing Stone Trail guide was updated in 2006. It is called “Hiking Guide to the Link Trail” because that was the name we were known by from the 1970’s through 2006.