The Bower is located in the Ridge and Valley Region of the Appalachian Mountains which run from Maine to Georgia. The Ridge and Valley ecoregion is “characterized by alternating forested ridges and agricultural valleys that are elongated and folded and faulted” (EPA). The mountain chain was formed 480 million years ago through compression into folded and doubled-over layers of bedrock and subsequently through erosion. In Pennsylvania, the north-south alignment of the Appalachians shifted to an east-west orientation as the thrusting plates encountered a hard mass of subsurface volcanic intrusion. This east-west portion of the Appalachians is known as The Pennsylvania Salient.
The Bower sits on the north side of “Little Mountain” which parallels the extensive Kittatinny Ridge (also known locally as Blue Mountain) running through central Pennsylvania. The Tuscarora Trail follows this ridgetop through the state, meeting the Appalachian trail a few miles from The Bower. Just to the north, Shermans Creek creates the Shermans Valley as it meanders from its origin in the western part of Perry County and finally reaches the Susquehanna River on the eastern edge of the county. With Blue Mountain and the Susquehanna River as two borders and the Tuscorara Ridge to the north forming the third border, Perry County has remained relatively isolated from the urbanization, suburbanization, and development of the greater Harrisburg region.
bower (noun) 1. a pleasant shady place; 2. a retreat or sanctuary