• Photo of Lemon House, Level #6, and Engine House on a beautiful summer day.

    Allegheny Portage Railroad

    National Historic Site Pennsylvania

Things To Do

Park Visitor Center

The Visitor Center, located immediately off of US Route 22 at the Gallitzin Exit, is the best place to start your tour. The park movie is shown in the indoor 60 seat auditorium as requested to give a concentrated overview of the park story. The program lasts approximately twenty minutes. The movie is a dramatic interpretation of what it was like to work and travel on the Portage Railroad. A fictional character, Edgar West, explains life on the canals then speaks of a change of occupation to Portage Railroad worker. Edgar relates a story of blasting the Staple Bend Tunnel as well as general building techniques. He uses written accounts by writers such as Charles Dickens and local newspapers to speak of the value of the Mainline system and the thrill of faster travel.

Engine House 6 Exhibit Shelter

At the top of incline #6 were several buildings. Among them was a building to house the stationary steam engines. While actual plans for the buildings have not been located, remains of the foundation for the engine house are preserved in an unique exhibit structure. Within the Engine House 6 shelter building are exhibits to explain the workings of an engine house and a "Discovery Room" of interactive exhibits. At the east side of the Engine House Exhibit Shelter is a platform that permits you to look down the length of Incline 6 to the Skew Arch Bridge. The Bridge can be enjoyed close up by hiking down the trail or driving to the traffic island on which it is preserved. In the area surrounding the Engine House are places for demonstrations of period work skills. When the weather cooperates costumed rangers will help immerse you into the 1840s.

The Lemon House

The Lemon House has reopened as of May 10, 1997. A major restoration project was completed restoring the house to its 1840s appearance. This includes the interior first floor as well as the exterior. While it is the original house on its original location, there is a great scarcity of information available about the home. Plans or contracts for building the house remain elusive. Documentary evidence is lacking to explain how the tavern was operated and what the menu may have been. Much of the restoration was founded on archeology work, period artwork, and documentation of other 19th century taverns in the local area. In 2010 and 2011 a repointing project to replace the mortar between the exterior stones will be occurring. The Lemon House will remain open to the public as usual during this project.

Picnic Area

There are tables near the park Visitor Center for those wishing to have a quick meal or snack. Or some visitors enjoy using the empty amphitheater (the same as used for Evening on the Summit above) as a resting place. A shaded picnic area with a covered shelter and comfort station is located a half mile walk from the park's historic area. There is parking much closer but it is a separate area of the summit facilities.

For the Picnic Area only, drivers take the Cresson Summit exit of U.S. Route 22. Westbound drivers take the exit marked "Cresson Summit" and turn left at the end of the exit ramp. The Picnic Area is on the left side of 'old route 22' and is marked with a large wooden sign. Eastbound drivers take the exit marked "Summit" NOT the Cresson US Route 53 exit that preceeds it. At the end of the ramp turn right onto 'old route 22' and watch for the wooden sign on the left as you start down the long hill.

Evening on the Summit
Evening on the Summit programs are held on Saturday evenings during the summer. These special programs consist of either a concert or a speaker presentation. Concerts are $2.00/person and are held in the park amphitheater, but in the event of inclement weather may need to be moved indoors. Speaker presentations are free and are generally held in the Summit Level Visitor Center Theater. Here's what's in store for 2015:
June 6-Concert by Matthew Dodd-Songs and Stories of Old Canal Days.
June 20-Park Ranger Doug Bosley-What Was Carried on the Main Line Canal? (Weather permitting, this program will be held in the park amphitheater)
July 25-Concert by Full Kilt-Twist yer Kilt Celtic Rock
August 1-Park Ranger Nathan Koozer-You Can't Get There From Here
August 15-Concert by The Michael O'Brian Band-World Famous Blitzin' Gallitzin Irish
August 22-Concert by Simple Gifts-A Collage of Folk Music
September 5-Enjoying the Night Sky with Dr. Martin Rice

Van Tours
These Park Ranger led van tours follow the route of the Allegheny Portage Railroad from Hollidaysburg to Johnstown. Van Tours are free, but there is a limit of 12 passengers and reservations are required. Please Call (814) 886-6150 for more information or to make reservations. Van Tours will begin at the Summit Level Visitor Center at 1:00 pm on the following Saturdays: June 13, July 11, July 25, August 8, August 22, and September 19.

Heritage Hikes
Park Ranger led Heritage Hikes will be held through the summer of 2015. The hikes vary in length, duration, starting time, and meeting point. Heritage Hikes are free, but reservations are required. Please call (814) 886-6150 for more information or to make reservations. Heritage Hikes will be held on the following Sundays:
June 21-Johnstown Canal Basin Walk
June 28-Inclines 6 to 10 Hike
July 19-Lower Trail Bike Tour-Williamsburg (You will need to bring your own bike)
August 2-Staple Bend Tunnel Hike
August 16-Summit Level Hike
August 23-West Penn Trail Bike Tour-Saltsburg (You will need to bring your own bike)
September 6-Inclines 6 to 10 Hike
September 27-Hollidaysburg Canal Basin Walk

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