Forge Hill Road at Deer Creek (Palmer State Park)


Location. Forge Hill Road, which parallels US 1, North of Hickory, at Deer Creek. ADC Map 11, Coords E7.

Description.

Forge Hill parallels US1 hugging the hillside and at points drops steeply to the creek. At the top of the southern rise is the crossroads community of Kalmia and on the north side is McCanns Corner. Prior to modern earth moving equipment, cuts and fills as on today's straight US1 were impratical and I assume Forge Hill Road predates US1 as the primary north south route.

Parking is limited to either side of the bridge across the creek which can accommodate about three vehicles. However, this is a little used area and I have never had trouble parking.

The bridge itself appears to be in terrible repair with concrete sides which are weathered down to the reinforcing rods. However, if you climb down under the bridge, it is a massive concrete arch which I assume was constructed during the depression.

Unfortunately, the bridge area is a popular dumping area for both construction debris and some household garbage.

Palmer State Park is an undeveloped parcel which includes both sides of the creek, both upstream and downstream from Forge Hill Road.

My travels have been limited to crossing the bridge to the North side and then walking along a well maintained trail downstream. The trail, once a road, is high above the creek and access to the creek involves some scrambling down the bank. The trail continues to a lone spruce tree with ruins of a structure, presummably a dwelling. Shortly thereafter on the creek side is the "forge", very impressive ruins which consists of a wall with a drop of some 20 feet and a circular shaft. During a recent visit, I climbed down around this to the creek and was surprised to see just how high the ground is above the creek and how large the structure was.

I am uncertain as what this was used for. The word "forge" tends to suggest an iron forge, but I am uncertain there are any substantial iron deposits in the area. There is some evidence of quarrying and perhaps this was used for the production of flint in making "china". Considering the height of the facility, its difficult to imagine that the creek was used as a source of power.

I have hiked downstream beyond the forge along the creek to a well defined stream which is the eastern boundary of the property and picked up a number of woods roads all the time climbing up, up and up and eventually came to Trappe Road.

On another occassion, I followed the well defined woods roads just downstream from the bridge. This climbs and comes out Forge Hill Road near the top of the hill.