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Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site
In central Pennsylvania, 10 mi west of Altoona
Preserved here are the remains of the first railroad to cross the Allegheny Mountains, including the first railroad tunnel built in the United States. The 36-mi-long Portage Railroad, completed in 1834, used a series of 10 inclined planes to lift canal boats loaded on railroad-type flatcars across the mountains between Hollidaysburg and Johnstown. The railroad, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal, reduced the time to travel the 390 mi between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to four or five days from three weeks. The site was authorized on August 31, 1964.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
Cross-country skiing (rentals in Altoona), hiking, picnicking, viewing the historic area of the park, walking. Facilities: Visitor center, film, interpretive displays at Engine House No. 6, Historic Lemon House Tavern, wayside exhibits. Book sale area, picnic pavilion with grills, tables. Programs & Events: Interpretive tours of Lemon House. Costumed demonstrations including log hewing, stonecutting, and lifestyles of the past (June-Aug.). Evening on the Summit outdoor concert ($2) and guest lectures (concerts and lectures, Sat. nights in summer), guided Heritage Hikes and bus tours to lesser-known areas of the railroad (June-Aug., Sun.; reservations required, tel. 814/886-6150). Tips & Hints: Go Apr. and May for wildflowers, Oct. for fall colors. Busiest July and Aug., least crowded Dec. and Jan.
FOOD, LODGING & SUPPLIES
Camping: None in park. In Duncansville: Wrights Orchard Station (2381 Old Rte. 220, tel. 814/695-2628; 40 sites; $18-$28; flush toilets, hook-ups). Hotels: None in park. In Altoona: Hampton Inn (180 Charlotte Dr., tel. 814/941-3500; 110 rooms; $79-$92). In Ebensburg: Comfort Inn (111 Cook Rd., tel. 814/472-6100 or 800/228-5150; 78 rooms; $59-$68). X Restaurants: None in park. In Altoona: Jethros (417 Parkview La., tel. 814/942-2178; $7-$16; no lunch Sun.). In Ebensburg: Noon-Collins Restaurant (114 E. High St., tel. 814/472-4311; $12-$20). Groceries & Gear: None in park. In Altoona: Wal-Mart Supercenter (2600 Plank Rd. Commons, tel. 814/949-8980).
FEES, HOURS & REGULATIONS
Entrance fee: $3 per person. Bikes restricted to hard-surface roads. No hunting. Leashed pets only. Visitor center open daily 9-5.
HOW TO GET THERE
10 mi west of Altoona, 15 mi east of Ebensburg on U.S. 22 (Gallitzin exit). Nearest airports: Johnstown (30 mi), Martinsburg (20 mi), Pittsburgh (80 mi).
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site (110 Federal Park Rd., Gallitzin, PA 16641, tel. 814/886-6150, fax 814/884-0206, www.nps.gov/ alpo). Allegheny Mountains Convention & Visitors Bureau (tel. 814/943-4183 or 800/842-5866, fax 814/943-8094, www.alleghenymountains. com). Greater Johnstown-Cambria Convention & Visitors Bureau (111 Market St., Johnstown, PA 15901, tel. 814/536-7993 or 800/237-8590,).
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site.
Basic information for visitors wanting to see the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site In central Pennsylvania, 10 mi west of Altoona