Last updated: 10/22/2010
Park hours can change due to holidays and inclement weather. If traveling a great distance you may want to call the park for operating hours.
closed Veterans Day (November 11), Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1, Martin Luther King Jr. Day (3rd Monday in January), Presidents Day (3rd Monday in February).
Current cost is $4 per adult aged 16 and over. 15 and under are free. National passes are honored.
The Allegheny Portage Railroad has many interesting things to see. Visit the Lemon House- a historic tavern built to accommodate travelers. Discover the Engine House- a replica of the many buildings that made up the Portage Railroad. Watch a movie in our visitor center and browse the many exhibits and models. Drive out to the Staple Bend Tunnel unit to hike and explore the nine hundred foot tunnel (remember you need to walk 2 miles each direction when visiting the tunnel).
The Allegheny Portage Railroad was a great achievement in early travel. Charles Dickens, Jenny Lind, and Ulysses S. Grant traveled over the Allegheny Mountains. They braved a system that injured passengers on a weekly basis. A system of inclined planes and a nine hundred foot tunnel carved through solid rock by Welsh coalminers made this feat possible.
The Allegheny Portage Railroad played a vital role in the nation's industrialization during the first half of the nineteenth century by linking the eastern United States to the west. Ten inclined planes allowed the railroad to overcome grades up to 5-6/8 degrees along the rugged terrain of the Allegheny Mountains, as the boats from the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal were portaged over the mountains.
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site is located in southwestern Pennsylvania approximately 12 miles west of Altoona. Today's park covers 1249 acres. The main unit contains the Summit Level Visitor Center, the historic Lemon House, Engine House #6 Exhibit Shelter, the Skew Arch Bridge, picnic area and hiking trails. The Staple Bend Tunnel unit is located approximately 4 miles east of Johnstown, PA.
Some artifacts directly related to the portage railroad
No primary source documents on site
Tours, talks, and special events listed at the park website.
Teachers there are many wonderful programs for your students. There are lesson plans, pre-visit and post-visit materials available for you. There are also "Teaching With Historic Places" materials available! The Education Specialist can visit your classroom and help you plan your field trip.
Celebrate Junior Ranger Day and National Park Week at Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site on April 24th at 2 PM. Join Vivienne Shaffer for her special children's program, Rachel Carson, Pennsylvania and the Nature Discovery Treasure Chest.
Appointment required: Yes
Special Event Rental