The state of Pennsylvania can be found in the northeastern United States. This state is one of the thirteen original colonies of the beginning of the U.S. The state is full of historical battle sites and areas of importance to America and its citizens. Snow-filled winters and lush green summers cater to all types of activities for all types of people. Pennsylvania has 18 National Parks to explore, many of which protect and preserve the land and buildings that are of historical importance. Explore the beautiful state and all the Pennsylvania National Parks.
Valley Forge National Historical Park
From 1777 to1778, the Continental army made their camp at Valley Forge. The site preserves the location and memories of the Revolutionary War time and era when citizens untied to overcome difficult situations. Make sure to see the stunning Washington Memorial Chapel which called the “shrine to the American people.” The chapel’s interior is beautiful and tranquil and across the grounds, there are impressive statues and other monuments to see. Hear a ranger-led talk by a staff member dressed in perfect costume for that time era, or walk some of the 30 miles of trails the park has. Tour the encampment by trolley for ease of convenience or your own personal vehicle.
Flight 93 National Memorial
On that fateful day on September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorists as four airplanes were hijacked as the terrorists attempted to crash them into specified targets. The passengers of flight 93 thwarted the attack, rallying together to stop the hijackers as the plane veered off course from Washington D.C. and eventually crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, which was the final resting place of 44 passengers. The Visitor Center opened in 2015 and has exhibited as well as a learning center. Walk out to the field and the crash site to see the memorial plaza that was created. Here visitors can see the Wall of Names of those who perished and potentially saved hundreds of lives. Walk the Memorial Groves and the Wetlands Bridge, also created in honor of the passengers of Flight 93.
Gettysburg National Military Park
This national site is the destination of the infamous Battle of Gettysburg. The small, quiet town of Gettysburg ended up being the location of the battle that was the turning point in America’s Civil War. The battle stopped General Lee’s advance to the north and was considered the bloodiest battle in the war. This was also the site of President Abraham Lincoln’s influential speech known as “Gettysburg Address,” which is still studied today. During the summer and fall months, live-action programs take place where cannon and rifle demonstrations are given. Visitors can hear and see the explosion of cannons across the vast field where the battle took place. Explore the visitor center and tour the battlefield by guided tour, self-tour, bus tour, or audio tour. See the sights and sounds and final resting place of thousands of soldiers in the single turning point in America’s Civil War.
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
Discover over 800 acres at this historic site that was one of the few beginning areas where industrialism took place. The U.S. transformed into an industrial giant over time and the Hopewell Furnace site helped start it from 1771 to 1883. Historic structures can be found onsite where people can see the beginnings as well as the growing pains of America. The visitor center and museum have exhibits, programs and a bookstore to see. Take a self-guided walking tour of the historic community. The buildings each have recordings and text to tell you about the history and story of each place. Visit Hopewell and get a taste of the early beginnings of America.
Steamtown National Historic Site
Located in Scranton, Pennsylvania is the Steamtown Historic Site. This was the former area of the Scranton yards of the railroad and dates back from 1899 to about 1902. This site has a railroad museum and heritage railroad located here on over 60 acres of land. The museum is built around a roundhouse that replicates the original structure. There are many freight and passenger cars and also a few locomotives on display. Some are available for visitors to walk through and explore. See the amazing rains and exhibits and learn how the steam railroad transportation began and how it helped America’s industrial growth.
Schuylkill River Valley National Heritage Area
This National Heritage Area is the protected site where the American Revolution, as well as the Industrial Revolution, has an extensive history. The area interprets and protects the river that was of great importance to both events in the U.S. River Peddle and Paddle events occur during specific times of the year and the area also has craft and art shows, speakers, and tours available. Visit the quiet and beautiful river and surrounding landscape that contributed to the forming of a great nation.
Johnstown Flood National Memorial
In South Fork, Pennsylvania 1889, the South Fork dam failed. The crushed dam released 20,000,000 tons of water that destroyed the small town of Johnston. The massive and swift flooding killed over 2,000 people and the world came to know them as the “Johnstown sufferers.” Explore the visitor center that gives guests the history, facts, and story of the town, dam and its citizens. There is a short park film to watch, as well as views out to the former dam Walk about the grounds and see the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Clubhouse or take a guided tour to see original parts of the structure.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
This famous trail is not strictly confined to the state of Pennsylvania. The Appalachian Trail runs through 14 different states for over 2180 miles, including the state of Pennsylvania. It is managed by the National Park Service as well as the US Forest Service. Many people make this a “bucket list” item to walk part or all of the Appalachian Trail, which could take months. The scenic trail cuts through wooded areas climb to the top of mountains and ridgelines and wander through the Appalachian Mountains for some of the most up close and personal gorgeous views you will ever see.
Historic State and Beautiful Greenery
Pennsylvania is home to some of the most important historical sites and structures in the National park system. The state has 19 National Parks to visit and they have drawn over 9 million visitors their areas. Pennsylvania is home to important and lovely rivers and waterways, battlefields, soft green fields and beautiful mountains. Choose a park to visit, or visit several of the Pennsylvania National Parks.