Hours and Days of Operation
The Summit Level Visitor Center is open Saturdays and Sundays only until mid-April 2017. Beginning in mid-April, the Summit Level Visitor Center will be open seven (7) days a week. The hours of operation are 9:00 am-5:00 pm.
7 days per week
Closed winter Federal holidays: Thanksgiving Day, December 25, January 1, Martin Luther King Jr. Day (3rd Monday in January), Presidents Day (3rd Monday in February).
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site
110 Federal Park Road
Gallitzin, PA 16641
Some units may direct drivers into the town of Gallitzin instead of to the park. Some users report that putting the town as "Cresson" instead of "Gallitzin" produces the correct driving directions. You may wish to verify your route using a roadmap. Regardless of which direction you are driving on U.S. Route 22, the Gallitzin Exit followed by a right turn will take drivers to the park visitor center.
Accessing the Park:
Ever since 1992, the park is accessed by taking the Gallitzin Exit of U.S. Route 22 and turning right into the park. Though there is a road and a gate adjacent, access is not gained by way of the Lemon House. That road is for staff only.
What's in the Visitor Center?:
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.
Approximately 19 informational panels, 6 models including a life- size model of the locomotive Lafayette, and 18 artifacts from the Portage Railroad are visitor center highlights. There are also hands on and interactive exhibits that will interest young and old alike. There are other exhibits on the park grounds and in the Engine House No. 6 Exhibit Shelter, the Lemon House, and along several park trails.
The park's non-profit Eastern National run bookstore carries unusual and hard to find books and souvenirs from the canal and early railroading era. Eastern National has published or reprinted books specifically related to park features or the park story. These would include a booklet on the Lemon House, the Sylvester Welch Report, and A Pleasant Peregrination through the Prettiest Parts of Pennsylvania (1836). Souvenir items include collectibles such as park magnets, keyrings, mugs, patches, pins, decals, coal-in-a-bottle, and brass coins as well as many other fun and educational items.
Upon your entrance to the Summit Level Visitor Center, a Park Ranger and maybe even a park volunteer will greet you at the informational desk. This is also where you will need to go if you wish to get one of the park passes available at Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site.