See more ideas about pennsylvania turnpike, abandoned, interstate highway. Thanks for a great article. Looking back towards the east, the darkness inside the tunnel is complete. Would like to see the graphics art from the inside. Once the spur gets into Breezewood, make your first right … It was awesome. Since then, these three once busy passageways have been explored by many Turnpike, road, or outdoor enthusiasts. The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike is a 13 mile stretch of roadway that was part of the original alignment of the PA Turnpike. I always wondered what happened to them. It is fun – thanks for checking out the write-up! [14] It proposed various ideas to make the trail as accessible as possible for cyclists, hikers, inline skaters, and equestrians. Thanks C.J. My wife & I did the tunnels back in 2016. There are two tunnels that visitors can walk or bike through along the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike. The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike is the common name of a 13-mile (21 km) stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike that was bypassed in 1968 when a modern stretch opened to ease traffic congestion in the tunnels. Any idea of what the crime rates are along the road? My grandmother’s farm was taken by the state to build a portion of the turnpike west of here. The article was written in March 2020, and the photos are from the same month. There are two main access points. THe Laurel Hill Tunnel is now privately owned by Chip Ganassi racing and used for aerodynamic testing. No controls so perfect place for ambush, robbery, rape, etc. Just off to the side of the ventilation room is the old control room. Yes it was – the Pennsylvania Turnpike was built on top of the started-but-never-completed South Pennsylvania Railroad, which was a joint partnership between famous businessmen of the day William Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie (pictured below in front of the Rays Hill Tunnel in 1884), Henry Clay Frick, and J.P. Morgan. Despite the tunnels being abandoned and unmaintained, they are still in great structural condition. Would be wonderful to have a national walking trek that made use of these old abandon ways? I would encourage everyone to do this piece of history before it is gone to either the Pike2Bike or before the road completely crumbles. How wasteful to just allow this area to deteriorate after all the funds piured into that project. Barnum Rail-Trail, WV January 8, 2016. With the absence of traffic, the tunnels have provided a new home for migratory bats who stay in tunnels from October to April. This looks like it would be cool to go and see. Someday this may indeed become an “official” rail trail, with lighted tunnels and regular maintenance. Only tunnel on the turnpike that featured exhaust fans at one portal . Apr 10, 2015 - The Abaonded PA Turnpike near Breezewood is one of the oddest attractions in Pennsylvania. So bring a flashlight or headlamp – you’re cellphone light won’t cut it. Still, if you’re an “urban explorer”, you’ll want to check this series of small rooms out. The office window here makes for a great photo-op. The abandoned nuclear jet engine bunkers in the Quehanna Wild Area are a Cold War-era piece of history tucked away in Cameron County. Funds – no. It’s paved, with a lot of cracks and bumps. Yes – use GPS coordinates 40.048790, -78.095869 The parking area is just off of Pump Station Road. Click on video to play. Making your way back through the Sideling Hill Tunnel to the eastern portal, one more adventure awaits on top of the tunnel itself. Abandoned Turnpike, Breezewood, PA. Save. What were the offices used for? Breezewood in the Fall....The Abandoned PA Turnpike By Adam. When the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened in 1940, it was known as the "Tunnel Highway" because it traversed seven tunnels: from east to west, Blue Mountain, Kittatinny Mountain, Tuscarora Mountain, Sideling Hill, Rays Hill, Allegheny Mountain, and Laurel Hill. Thanks for checking out the write-up! Getting off the Turnpike, the highway number will turn to I-70. My grandfather helped clear land in Bedford County for the Turnpike construction (he was a timber man). If you’re easily offended, you might want to keep your light focused on the road at your feet and ignore the tunnel walls. I too traveled this turnpike and remember all seven tunnels. This past Saturday (10/24/2020) they had the End of the Road half marathon on the abandoned PA turnpike starting at the opposite end of your article at Siding Hill and going through Rays Tunnel. Nearly 50 years later in 1937, to make use of seven of the partially dug tunnels, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission turned the tunnels into a highway. My partner and I went on this trail today. Excellent story. The PTC and PennDOT used the highway to train maintenance workers, as well as for testing of rumble strips. The Sideling Hill Tunnel was the longest of the original seven Turnpike tunnels, at 1.3 miles in length. The image below, from the State Museum in Harrisburg, is what drivers would have seen approaching the tunnel from Breezewood in the 1940s. This site is … Yes – use GPS Coordinates 39.999862, -78.228380 The parking area is along Tannery Road. Michael Allan Neff recommends Abandoned PA Turnpike. The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike is THE MOST apocalyptic hiking / biking trail in the Keystone State! These fans have been silent for more than 50 years, but the roar must have been deafening up close. We have plenty of “maintained” hiking / biking paths and tunnels in the state. That was actually the first tunnel that they bypassed, I believe. But you could just as easily start at the Sideling Hill parking area in the east. The Sideling Hill Tunnel was the longest of the original seven Turnpike tunnels, at 1.3 miles in length. Sideling Hill Tunnel on the Abandoned PA Turnpike in September 2020. Yes – the 2009 post-apocalyptic survival flick “The Road” was filmed at several locations along the abandoned PA Turnpike, including the Rays Hill Tunnel. Thank you for this story!!! After what seems like forever, you’ll emerge from the western end of the Sideling Hill Tunnel. Going Thursday with a friend, thanks for the detailed and excellent guide! The only thing that comes close to this, in my experience, is the Abandoned Trolley Graveyard in neighboring Somerset County. It was abandoned in the 1960s because the two tunnels along it were only one lane each way, causing massive bottlenecks. Thanks for the feedback and gald you had a good experience! I think I found my next big trip!! These tunnels were originally built as part of the South Pennsylvania Railroad. Although not an official trial, the stretch of abandoned turnpike is popular with hikers and bikers. As with the Rays Hill Tunnel, the walls of the Sideling Hill Tunnel are a virtual museum of graffiti, ranging from the mild to the wild to the downright profane. An access road was built in the late 2000s on the PTC-owned side of the former Pump Station Road overpass, making the 3.5-mile (5.6 km) section still owned by the PTC a de facto access road to the active turnpike in itself; however, like other access roads along the turnpike, it is off-limits to the public and is only used by the PTC or Pennsylvania State Police. [citation needed], The tunnel's entrances have deteriorated due to vandalism, and their signboards were taken sometime between 1981 and 1999. The Bedford Coffee Pot is one of the last “roadside giants” along the Lincoln Highway, America’s first coast-to-coast highway. Along the way you will pass the former Cove Valley Service Plaza, now just a large paved area that was used for a time after the closure of this section of the Turnpike as a State Police shooting range. If you look to your right, you’ll see a second section of the PA Abandoned Turnpike, which is used by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as a maintenance yard (it is not accessible). A bypass around the tunnels and up over the mountains was opened in 1968.Information below from PA Turnpike exhibit at the State Museum in Harrisburg. Thanks for the feedback and I agree – see it while you can! Or you can reverse course and retrace your steps back to the parking area along Tannery Road. The amount of money and labor needed to make these tunnels “safe” enough to insure would be enormous. Thomas-GenevieveH, Higham, Suffolk, UK. The Abandoned Turnpike was created by a re-route if the highway in 1968. In 1959, four Senators urged state officials to work with the turnpike commission to study ways to reduce the traffic jams. For the other abandoned section, see, Publicly accessible portions in red, closed portions in grey, Rays Hill Tunnel in magenta, Sideling Hill Tunnel in dark magenta, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, "Cycling: Tighter Security near Confluence Dam Sends Cyclists in Search of New Campsite", "Improving the Roadway: Turnpike Considers Tunnel Options", Template:Attached KML/Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike, Solomons Island Cycling Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike Photos, Mainline Turnpike (I-70, I-76, I-95, I-276), Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area, Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, Hoverter and Sholl Box Huckleberry Natural Area, Carbon County Environmental Education Center, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, Harrison Hills Park Environmental Education Center, Honey Hollow Environmental Education Center, Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center, Kings Gap Environmental Education and Training Center, Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center, Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, Wildlife Center at Sinnemahoning State Park, Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at Saint Vincent College,, Historic trails and roads in Pennsylvania, Protected areas of Bedford County, Pennsylvania, Protected areas of Fulton County, Pennsylvania, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2019, Articles containing potentially dated statements from November 2007, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2012, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The intersection of Tannery Road and US 30 is just east of the Breezewood interchange where, A parking lot exists on the trail at the eastern end of the turnpike off Pump Station Road north of US 30; the entrance is a service road just south of where a turnpike overpass was removed in 2005. Cowans Gap State Park is close to the Sideling Hill trailhead of the Abandoned PA Turnpike, and in my write-up “The 7 Best Things to Do at Cowans Gap State Park” you’ll get an overview of the highlights there. Hike it with a friend and a strong flashlight and you’ll be fine! The trail requires helmets and lights. Looks pretty scary. The turnpike commission announced plans to build a second bore at the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel and a four-lane bypass of the Laurel Hill Tunnel in 1960. And honestly, I think the “wow” factor would be diminished. Until then it is simply a non-maintained, use at your own risk trail. I knew the tunnels existed but never knew how to get to them or even if you were allowed. The PA Turnpike winds its way for over five hundred miles around and through much of southern PA. Thank you for the write up. Bats fill tunnels. All … So if inquisitive kids are part of your crew, be ready to answer some awkward questions. Would take LOTS of work and money to make the tunnels and roadways “safe” and ADA compliant, and all the things that go into making public trails these days. Not a lot has happened in the past two years with respect to the abandoned turnpike section and tunnels near Breezewood, PA. That means that the Sideling Hill Tunnel is VERY dark inside, the closer you get to the center. The dirt parking lot (pictured below) is located at the intersection of Route 30 and Tannery Road. One short tunnel was bypassed during the original construction of the Turnpike. During the Fall of 1981 and the Summer of 1982, Bill Symons explored the three former single tube tunnels of the PA TPK System.The tunnels, Laurel Hill, Ray's Hill, and Sideling Hill, had been abandoned for over 10 years. Once across the bridge, Rays Hill Tunnel comes into view. Because of the tunnel’s length and the slight arc in the tunnel (to allow for proper drainage and prevent ponding water in the center), it is impossible to see one end from the other. The abandoned Kunes Camp is an easy 2 mile out-and-back hike to the ruins of a hunting camp built BETWEEN massive boulders on the Quehanna plateau. When the Pennsylvania Turnpike … DS. So don’t be surprised to see some of those features in this area around the tunnel. [10] This bypass opened to traffic on October 30, 1964 at a cost of $7.5 million. Today, the Abandoned Turnpike, as it is commonly known, is a popular tourist attraction. Place is dark, tunnels falling apart, no lighting or ventilation in tunne ls, place filled w/ horrid grafitti. Went thru the 7 tunnels many years ago to visit family in Blairsville. If you want to see the entire thing, it really makes no difference which end you start at. “The 7 Best Scenic Overlooks in the Buchanan State Forest” will give you maps and directions to all 7, plus info on a few nearby “bonus views” as well. [4] The new and upgraded tunnel tubes would feature white tiles, fluorescent lighting, and upgraded ventilation.[5]. I’m going to, since I’m too young to even begin to guess. Just before reaching the Rays Hill Tunnel, you’ll cross over Mountain Chapel Road via the short bridge pictured below. Perhaps I’ll make them a must see in the near future! Approximately 0.5 miles past the old travel plaza you will catch your first glance of the Sideling Hill Tunnel. End of what the crime rates are along the abandoned PA Turnpike is the old control.., -78.095869 and 1968 must be kept on leash October 1938, and creator of Turnpike. Area to the Tunnel and adjusted the airflow and fans accordingly – use GPS coordinates,. 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