Colgate Grove Picnic Grounds

Colgate Grove pavilion with train in the background

Situated among picturesque farm fields and enchanting forests, Colgate Grove is the halfway point for our excursion trains and a wonderful place to enjoy a serene picnic, host a private event, or spend just a few hours in nature away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world. 

The Grove

With multiple daily train departures, passengers can ride to Colgate Grove and enjoy a layover before returning to Rockhill Furnace on a later train. This service is available to all East Broad Top passengers on the 11am and 1pm train departures. The final train of the day will not allow passengers to disembark at Colgate Grove. Our standard timetable usually allows for a two-hour layover until the next train arrives.

Facilities available include...

Please refer to the timetable for more detailed schedule information and to plan your itinerary. If you intend to use this service, book your train tickets as a roundtrip passenger, and on the date of your ride, simply inform a train crew member that you wish to disembark at Colgate Grove and what train you intend to return on. 

Colgate Grove may be closed to regular excursion train passengers during certain special events. Check our website or call (814)447-3285 to find out more before your visit. 

Private Events & Parties

Colgate Grove is a PERFECT location for a birthday party, company picnic, or wedding! On regular operating days, the picnic facilities are first-come, first served. Pavilions and tables can be reserved for private functions through our group sales office. Please use the contact form to tell us about your event. 

History of Colgate Grove

As early as the 1890s, passengers could disembark trains at Colgate Grove and enjoy a picnic in the shade of the forest along the EBT’s mainline. In 1919, the railroad constructed a 1 1/4 mile spur that branched off the mainline at Colgate Grove to serve a new ganister quarry at the base of Tuscarora Mountain.

In 1961, one year after the railroad reopened as a tourist attraction, the operating excursion track was extended north toward Shirleysburg by one mile, where the railroad built an additional track off of the old clay spur to complete a “wye” that could be used to turn trains around. Picnic pavilions and bathrooms were constructed, and excursions began making a brief stop to allow passengers to get off and return on a later train. This service quickly became a nostalgic staple of the East Broad Top experience.

In April of 2023, the EBT Foundation, in partnership with Community State Bank, replaced the 60-year-old shelters (which had fallen into disrepair during the EBT’s dormancy between 2011 and 2020) with two new pavilions and enhanced boarding platforms and walkways. The Grove reopened for picnics in the summer of 2023. 

Historic photo of 12 at Colgate Grove during the tourist era
Colgate Grove - Tourist Era (August 1978)
Colgate Grove while the EBT was closed
Colgate Grove - Dormancy Period (2011-2020)
Colgate Grove with new pavilion during the foundation era
Colgate Grove - Foundation Era (July 2023)

Thank You!

The EBT Foundation would like to thank our partners at Community State Bank and Brown and Walter’s Insurance for their generous support in reopening Colgate Grove for generations of future visitors to visit and enjoy! 

Colgate Grove Policies

  • Running water and electricity are not available at Colgate Grove.
  • Please remember that anything you bring must be loaded/unloaded on the train. Visitors are welcome to bring supplies, food, and non-alcoholic beverages in reasonably sized coolers, baskets, and backpacks. A member of the train crew will help you load/unload your items in designated areas aboard the train. 
  • Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, oversized coolers, large-capacity beverage containers, weapons, firearms, and alcohol.  
  • Only trained service animals are permitted aboard the train or at Colgate Grove.
  • For their safety, passengers must stay in publicly accessible areas at Colgate Grove and follow all directional signage and staff instructions. Do not cross the train tracks, and watch children closely as the train departs and arrives.
  • Campfires are not permitted at Colgate Grove at this time.  
  •  All passengers must return to Rockhill Furnace on the last departure of the day. Camping is not permitted at Colgate Grove without special arrangements through the railroad’s group sales office.