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Tranquil Farmhouse: the perfect getaway

Bedrooms 4
Space 3,500 sq. ft.
Property type farmhouse
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

Newly Renovated Farmhouse Centrally Located to Cumberland Valley Attractions

The Parnell Springs Farmhouse is located in the beautiful Cumberland Valley countryside near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania at the foot of Mt. Parnell. Address is 2997 McDowell Road, St. Thomas PA 17252. The farmhouse is located about 1 hour from Gettysburg, 2 hours from Lancaster, and 1.5 hours to Hershey. We are also about 10 minutes away from Mercersburg Academy if you need a place to extend your visit. This farmhouse has many other exciting options for providing entertainment with a country setting. You could enjoy a very relaxing and quiet getaway; you can enjoy an adventure with hiking, boating, or sightseeing at local state parks; or you can visit local towns for some small town shopping or outlet shopping.

For the relaxing getaway:

You can enjoy a cup of coffee on one of the many porches surrounding the farm house while listening to the quiet babbling of the natural spring flowing through the basement of this 19th century farmhouse. After your morning coffee, you can take a ride through the country side to see cows and limestone speckling the fields on your way to the mountaintop lake for swimming.

Other relaxing activities include shopping in nearby towns such as Mercersburg, Greencastle, slightly larger Chambersburg, or the outlets in Hagerstown. There are also local orchards to check out on your way to try some local fruit, jellies, and juices.

For the adventurous traveler:

Whitetail Resort ( is only 15 minutes away. In the warmer months, Whitetail offers golfing, fly-fishing, summer adventure camps, climbing wall, and more!

Cowan’s Gap State Park ( is only 15 minutes away and offers hiking, swimming, boating, picnicking, hunting, education, cross country skiing, ice fishing, ice skating

Buchanan’s Birthplace State Park ( is approximately 10 minutes away and has hiking, picnicking, fishing, or hunting.

The house is located on a working farm, the newly renovated historic farmhouse sits quietly with spectacular views of the valley and surrounding mountains. The house is completely furnished and ready for your home away from home. It has four bedrooms, three with queen size beds, and a fourth with a bunk bed with a full size lower mattress and a twin size upper mattress. The house has a new kitchen, living room, and game room. The bedrooms are accommodated with central air. There are two full baths, one with a combined shower/tub, and the other with a shower and double vanity. A second floor porch is offered for the master bedroom with beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. The house offers room for outside activities with the whole family.

In short Parnell Springs Farmhouse is perfect for both the couple looking for a weekend away and the extended family looking for a place to spend a week away.

We can provide suggested day trips, good restaurants, and other things that will make your stay enjoyable. For a fee we can also stock the fridge and pantry for your stay.

We want your stay to be enjoyable, so if there is anything else you would need, please ask.

More Details

Joe McDowell
Member since: 2014
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 24, 2017

About Joe McDowell

Approximately twenty five years prior to the French and Indian War, The McDowell Family settled in the beautiful Cumberland Valley and farmed land at the foot of Parnell’s Knob for several hundred years.This 19th century farm house is located on land that has been in the McDowell family since the 1700′s. The farm is still in the McDowell name with the eighth and ninth generations of the family involved with ownership. It is still a working farm with cattle housed in the barn and crop lands and pasture being utilized.

Our family loves to visit this amazing house on its beautiful property, and we would love to share our great experiences with you.

Joe McDowell purchased this farmhouse in 1830

Why Joe McDowell chose Pennsylvania

In 2012 we began renovations to Parnell Springs to provide a unique guest house rental on the historic property with modern amenities. Originally there were five bedrooms on the second floor of the house. We converted this area into four bedrooms, including a hallway and two bathrooms. Downstairs, the guest front door was removed and an additional window was installed in it’s place. The down stairs will feature a modern kitchen,living room/dining area,parlor, and study. Future plans call for the old kitchen to be converted into a sunroom. There is a second story porch as well as three porches on the first floor from which to enjoy views of Mount Parnell and the beautiful countryside in our unique Cumberland Valley.

What makes this farmhouse unique

The brick section seen in the middle of the house is as the original house was built in 1870 right after the Civil War. The house had two front doors, which was the tradition of the time; the one on the left was for the family and the one on the right was specifically for guests entering the living room. The right door has been replaced with a window. A spring located in the basement provided the water supply and necessary cooling for the milk harvested on the farm.

Near the beginning of the 20th century the family added a two story section to the north and south sides of the house. The new section on the north included two rooms downstairs, one of which was a formal parlor. A twisting stairwell leads up to two more bedrooms on the second floor. The one story addition on the south side of the house contained a kitchen and bathroom, and a concrete cistern was installed above the bathroom to provide running water.

Guestbook comments from the owner

From our farmhouse guestbook:

Thanks so much for the great home. Everybody loved it. There was a lot of room in the house and the yard outside was nice and big. We really enjoyed seeing the cows and playing the great games here. Thanks you very much.
May 2016
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Saint Thomas Farmhouse Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • farmhouse
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 3500 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 9
  • non smoking only ...
  • children welcome ...
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Resort ...
  • Water View ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Master Bathroom - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Guest Bathroom - toilet , shower , Double Vanity in Guest Bathroom
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 9
  • Bedroom 2 - 1 bunk bed , Full Size/Twin Bunk Bed
    Bedroom 3 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 4 - 1 queen
    Master Bedroom Suite - 1 queen , Private Bathroom Access
  • Bedrooms are on 2nd Floor with central a/c and heat. The master bedroom has a private bathroom and access to a porch.
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Game Room ...
  • Games
  • Music Library
  • Pool Table ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Boat ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Ski & Snowboard ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool ...
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • outlet shopping
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • parasailing
  • rock climbing
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • swimming
The farmhouse is located about 1 hour from Gettysburg, 2 hours from Lancaster, and 1.5 hours to Hershey. The house is situated about 15 minutes from Whitetail Ski Resort, which is our biggest attraction during the winter months. We are also about 10 minutes away from Mercersburg Academy if you need a place to extend your visit. This farmhouse has many other exciting options for providing entertainment with a country setting. You could enjoy a very relaxing and quiet getaway; you can enjoy an adventure with hiking, hunting, picnicking, fishing, or sightseeing at local Cowan's Gap and Buchanan state parks; or you can visit local towns for some small town shopping, outlet shopping, or antiquing.


Exceptional! 4.9/5 -
(20 traveler reviews)

Tranquil Farmhouse: the perfect getaway
average rating of 4.95 based on 23 reviews

Charming farmhouse with breathtaking surroundings.

  • 5 of 5

We enjoyed every minute of our family vacation in and around the farm house. The location had beautiful surroundings the pastures and hills are tranquil. The towns around the area are friendly felt like stepping back in time.

The house was so comfortable was plenty of room for all eight adults, we did not want to leave!!!! Thank you for a wonderful place. We hope to come back with our family again.

  • Submitted: Apr 30, 2017
  • Stayed: Apr 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Sterling, VA

Spacious, Quiet, and Perfect for the Family

  • 5 of 5

We stayed here for 2 nights/3 days (Friday - Sunday). First night, we played chess and some board games that were available at the house and the 2nd night after a grueling day of skiing, we had nice fire going in the pit in the backyard with some smores. The house is very clean and decorated with cute cows throughout. It also has three temperature controls and despite our initial worries that the house might be cold, it was very warm and cozy.

I would suggest bringing some firewood or stopping by at the Food Lion down the road to use the nice fire pit in the backyard. Also, the "beer distributor" in town closes at 8PM so make sure to bring enough beer/wine or you will find yourself with no options.

Everyone enjoyed the stay and would highly recommend for families.

  • Submitted: Feb 12, 2017
  • Stayed: Feb 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Great place with character

  • 5 of 5

The farmhouse was very nice - very comfortable. Convenient location from Whitetail. I want to plan more trips there! Thank you, Jeff.

  • Submitted: Feb 12, 2017
  • Stayed: Feb 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Washington, DC

A great weekend getaway for visiting nearby ski resort

  • 5 of 5

Three families stayed at the home and had a great time. There was plenty of room for three small families - a new kitchen - and several toys and movies for the kids. The children especially enjoyed looking at the cows. The house was clean, and the heating was great when visiting in the winter time. The home was only about 15-20 minutes away from Whitetail Ski Resort. Thank you!

  • Submitted: Jan 23, 2017
  • Stayed: Jan 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Quiet getaway with friends

  • 5 of 5

We recently stayed here for a few days during the holidays with some friends and had a great time. The bumper-pool table was a hit! The house was very clean and the kitchen and bathrooms were nicely updated. It was a little cold outside during our stay, so we didnt get to do much exploring outside other than visiting the cow barn, but there was plenty of space in the house to accommodate us all.

  • Submitted: Jan 16, 2017
  • Stayed: Dec 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Beautiful treasure in the foothills of the mountains and rolling farmland!!

  • 5 of 5

We absolutely loved this farm home. So peaceful with beautiful views. We were impressed from the moment we walked in the door. So clean and inviting. This home has everything you need. The kids loved all the toys and games and the vast space to run around outside. I loved the totally equipped kitchen! Our children want us to rent again for another family vacation!!! I would recommend this property to anyone interested in visiting the area. So close to so many thing. Thanks so much for providing this great place!!

  • Submitted: Oct 25, 2016
  • Stayed: Oct 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for the wonderful review. It was great having you, and we look forward to seeing you again soon!
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Nearest Airport
20 Miles
Nearest Golf
12 Miles
Whitetail Golf Resort
Nearest Motorway
15 Miles
Interstate 81
Nearest Ski
12 Miles
Whitetail Ski Resort
Car: necessary

The farmhouse is approximately 1.5 hours from Hershey Park, 2 hours from Lancaster, and 1 hour from Gettysburg.

***Upcoming local fairs and festivals:


***Parks & recreation: Buchanan’s Birthplace State Park (10 min), Cowan's Gap State Park (20 min), Raystown Lake (1 hr 30 mins), C&O Canal (1 hr 30 mins)

***Golfing: Rocky Spring Golf Course (25 min) or Whitetail Golf Course (15 min)

***Civil War Attractions: Gettysburg Battlefield, Antietam Battlefield, Sharpsburg MD, Harrisburg Civil War Museum (all within 1 hour drive, Harper's Ferry WV is a 1 hr 15 min drive)

***Shopping: nearby smalltown shopping in Mercersburg, Greencastle, slightly larger Chambersburg, or the outlets in Hagerstown

***Live Theatres/Movie Halls: Historic Star Theatre in Mercersburg PA and in Berkeley Springs WV, Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg, Totem Pole Playhouse in Caledonia, Majestic Theatre in Gettysburg (20 mins to 1 hr drive)

***Caves & Caverns: Visit Lincoln Caverns or explore Penns Cave by boat (1 to 2 hrs away)

***Hang gliding & parasailing: We are located 12 miles from the popular jump point 'The Pulpit' (aka Lookout Point) in McConnellsburg

***Universities & Academies: Mercersburg Academy (5 mins), Wilson College (30 mins), Shippensburg University (45 min), Dickinson College (1 hr)


Rates & Availability

Saint Thomas Farmhouse Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Property Damage Protection $79
Pet Fee $125 + Tax
Cleaning Fee $50 + Tax
Tax Rate 9.0%

Rates are subject to change until reservation is confirmed. Check In is 4pm and Check out is 11am.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.

Enter dates for accurate pricing

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