Written by 6:29 pm National Park Guides, Travel

National Park Guides

A Quick Guide to Pennsylvania’s National Parks


The beautiful state of Pennsylvania is filled with amazing destinations. Visitors to the state have the opportunity for a wonderful vacation. Throughout the state there are 18 National Parks to explore. Many of these parks protect sirs of historic importance, from the sites of military battles, others commemorate people of importance in U.S. and Pennsylvania history. Here are then of the state’s wonderful national parks.

Alleghany Portage Railroad National Historic Site

The Alleghany Portage Railroad was the first railroad to circumvent the Alleghany Mountains. It also presented the first direct route from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. Visitors to southwestern Pennsylvania can explore this wonderful site. There are many points of interest including the Lemon House, the Skew Arch Bridge, as well as the Engine House 6 Exhibit Shelter, which has information on how the engine house worked and much more.

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

The Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site protects the Philadelphia home of Edgar Allan Poe. This famous American writer only lived in Philadelphia for a short time, but they were some of the most productive years. Visitors to the home can see how he lived, learn about the writer and enjoy the writing of Edgar Allan Poe.

Eisenhower National Historic Site

Located close to the Gettysburg Battlefield, the Eisenhower National Historic Site preserves the home and farm of General and President Eisenhower. Visitors to this park can see how the farms were used during the President’s lifetime. This site offers visitors tours of both the home and the grounds. Access to this park is through Gettysburg National Military Park.

Fort Necessity National Battlefield

Fort Necessity was the site of the opening action in the French and Indian War in 1754. This war was fought between the French, British and American Indians. The French and Indian War was also important in setting the stage for the American Revolution. Visitors to this site can stop at the Visitor Center, learn about the battle and the site, visitors can also tour the Great Meadow and Fort Necessity, the Mount Washington Tavern and more.

Gettysburg National Military Park

This national park provides visitors with a look back in time to the Battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War. The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center is a good starting point for visiting the park. The museum has an impressive collection of exhibits about Gettysburg during the Civil War. After learning about this spot’s significance, visitors can take a tour of the battlefield, including bus tour options as well as self-guided auto tours. the Living History programs  at Gettysburg National Military Park are another fun point of interest.

Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site

The Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site preserves an industrial town, called an “iron plantation.” Hopewell and other towns like it helped create the industrialized America. Within this National Historic Site there are structures that played a role in the business of resource extraction and much more. Visitors can explore the Visitor Center and Museum, as well as take a tour of the community, learn about the history through living history programs and demonstrations.

Independence National Historical Park

Located in Old City Philadelphia, this 45 acre park, is the best area to enjoy the history of the United States. You can find the Liberty Bell as well as Independence Hall. Within this World Heritage Site you will be able to learn about the creation of both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution right in the same place. Franklin Court, also in the Historic Park is the site were Benjamin Franklin’s home once stood. Visitors to Independence National Historic Park can enjoy all of this history and 18 other historic structures.

Oil Region National Heritage Area

This Northwestern National Heritage Area in Pennsylvania preserves the site and shares the story of the first successful commercial oil well in the world. Within this National Heritage Area visitors can see artifacts and learn about the region’s history, as well as enjoy the modern day views of the communities, farmlands and more. Throughout the region visitors can also enjoy the bike trails, scenic overlooks and much more.

Steamtown National Historic Site

Visitors to Steamtown National Historic Site will learn all about the steam locomotives, as well as experience the sights and sounds of steam locomotives. While at this historic site, visitors can explore the History and Technology Museums or Roundhouse to explore the exhibits, as well as take a guided tour of the Locomotive Repair Shop. Another one of the wonderful activities to enjoy at Steamtown are the Train Rides. The rides occur seasonally, there are both short and long rides for visitors to enjoy.

Valley Forge National Historical Park

This National Historic Park preserves the site of Continental Army’s winter encampment over the winter of 1777 to 1778. Over the months of the winter the Continental Army trained, and emerged to win an important battle. At Valley Forge National Historic Site visitors can enjoy outdoor activities, including hiking, biking and more. In addition the park offers guided tours and programs throughout the year.

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