Mount Davis – Salisbury, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Mount Davis

Salisbury, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania's highest point is spotted with boulders which were pushed to the surface by nothing but cold. 


The highest point in Pennsylvania at 3,213 feet above sea level, Mount Davis commands a wide view of the Allegheny Mountains made possible by an observation tower which reaches above the trees atop a large rock which traveled to the surface thanks to fluctuating temperatures.

The mountaintop is home to a unique phenomenon called “sorted stones.” The constant freezing and unfreezing of the ground on the mountain has pushed sandstone boulders from underneath the surface through the ground in patterns. The highest point and survey marker is on top of one of these boulders, and several others have been adorned with plaques that tell the story of the peak’s namesake, John Nelson Davis among other histories of farming, lumbering, mining, and even just odd stories from the area. One such story regards a Lydia Shultz, the “wild child” of the mountains, who got lost in the area while looking for lost cows. She was not found until several months later, and had become feral, hiding from search parties when they approached.

The floor of the observation tower is also overlaid with a metal topographical map of the area complete with arrows pointing out the local landmarks, so all around and underfoot Mount Davis provides visitors with something to look at. 

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