Day Trip on a Budget: Checking Out an Historic Mansion in a State Park

If you’re trying to day trip on a budget, your best bet is to check out the state parks. Nominal entrance fees — even if you’re from out of state — make these a great go-to resource for anyone watching their bottom line.

One of my favorite day trips was to Susquehanna State Park. I discovered there’s a neat old mansion there, former home to the Carter-Archer family, as well as the site of preserved grist mill village, Rock Run.

There’s a lovely trail that follows the stately Susquehanna River — and lots more to discover in that park. Read the original post about the mansion and the visit to Rock Run here.

Susquehanna State Park is also home of the privately run Steppingstone Museum. Exhibits include antique farm implements, wood-wrights shop, blacksmith shop, and restored farm house. Steppingstone Museum also hosts special events throughout the year. Please call the museum office at 410-939-2299 for more information, or visit their website at

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On-a-Budget: daily March – October $2/vehicle; out-of-state residents $4/vehicle; open weekends only November – February

Hours: 9 a.m. to Sunset; Picnic Area open 10 a.m. to Sunset. The Rock Run Gristmill is open on weekends and holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Memorial Day to Labor Day, and upon request. The Carter-Archer Mansion is also open on weekends and holidays, Memorial Day to Labor Day from 1 to 4 p.m., and upon request. for more information and updates on the park’s historic sites, please contact staff at 410-557-7994.

Dogs: Welcome in the area and the trails, but not in the grist mill or mansion, so if you’re planning on poking around in those buildings, then get one of your group to agree to stand outside with the pooches or leave the poor mutts at home.

Websites: Pages/central/susquehanna.aspx

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Have you daytripped somewhere interesting? I’d love to hear what you’re doing! Email if you’re interested in being a guest-blogger!