Biddle Furnace, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania
aka Rock Furnace, McNickles' Furnace, Rough Furnace, Woodward's Furnace
Biddle (aka Rock) - James W. Biddle built this furnace in 1825 along Roaring Run in Kiskiminetas Township. It went into blast on Christmas day. The venture was not successful, and the furnace changed hands several times before it went out of blast permanently in 1855(s&t). A little of each side is standing. Much slag abounds. A huge rock, called Camel Rock or Hanging Rock, overhangs the road above the furnace. (P)(V)(rp,ph-2004)
From the center of Apollo go E on PA56 to Pennsylvania Avenue and turn right. This becomes Old State Road (SR2046).
At 1.4 miles 40º 34.711'N - 79º 32.547'W take Jackson Road (SR2050) to the right. This road leads to another road, Brownstown Road (SR2051), 40º 34.305'N - 79º 31.584'W. Go right on this road past the Kiski Twp. Maintenance and Police center on the right side of the road. Beyond this and just before the top of the hill you will find a place to park on the right side of the road. (Ignore the no trespassing sign. The Township police have said it is OK to park there) You may hike down the road and you will see a trail leading down to the Upper Falls on Rattling Run. When you enter the woods, there is a path running along the bluff above the stream.
This will take you to the beautiful upper falls on Rattling Run.
However, to get to Biddle Furnace continue past the parking spot on Brownstown road to a gated entry on the right 40º 33.902'N - 79º 31.079'W. Park here. Walk the old gated road for about 1/2 to 5/8 mile paralleling Roaring Run to the bridge over the run. 40º 33.641'N - 79º 31.646'W. Continue up the road on the south side of Roaring Run to Camel (Hanging) Rock on the left.
GPS Coordinates 40º 33.541'N - 79º 31.731'W.(P)(V)(rrp 2004)
The furnace remains are down over the hill from this point about 20 feet. From here you can return to the bridge, look for a path to the left and follow it about 100-200 yards to the Lower Falls on Rattling Run.
Camel (Hanging) Rock - August 2004
Biddle Furnace and Camel (Hanging) Rock - August 2004
Camel (Hanging) Rock to left; Biddle (Rock) Furnace to right (ls)
Biddle (Rock) Furnace Special Sources:
A Guide to the Old Stone Blast Furnaces of Western Pennsylvania, Myron B. Sharp and William H. Thomas (s&t)
Lee Shaeffer, Pittsburgh, PA
Roaring Run Websire (ls)
Pat & Michael Hom, San Diego, Californiia (ph)
Copyright © Richard Parks, Last updated January 311, 2009