Pennsylvania has got to be one of the most beautiful states I have visited. The people, small towns, rolling green hills, plush green forests and rivers keep a person captivated as you drive to your chosen destinations. Our first stop was Kinzua Bridge in the Kinzua Bridge State Park near Kane, Pennsylvania.
The Kinzua Bridge was originally built in 1882. At the time the bridge was built it was the tallest (301 feet) and the longest (2053 feet) in the world. The viaduct was used to transport coal, oil and lumber across the Kinzua Gorge and Creek.
The bridge was rebuilt in 1900 of steel for structural reinforcement and to carry wider and heavier loads. In 1959 they stopped using the viaduct but in 1987 they used the bridge for passenger excursion rail trips and in 2003 an F1 tornado came through and took out half the bridge.
In 2009 work began on the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk and by 2011 the pedestrian walkway opened. You can walk 600 feet out onto the remaing support towers of the original bridge. At the end is an overlook with a glass platform that you can look through or stand on.
There is a hiking trail down into the gorge to view the wreckage and the Skywalk from below.
The Visitor Center was a gorgeous facility where one could learn about the history of the bridge and skywalk.
Driving on Highway 6 was just beautiful. Tracy and I always like to stop at local cafes for lunch or breakfast but they are few and far between when it comes to parking for campers. We did find Fezz’s Community Diner outside of Coudersport, Pennsylvania and there was plenty of parking. It was sort of a 50’s diner and I got the pancake sandwich. OMG!
It was the find of the day and I had enough left over for both our breakfasts the next morning.
Last stop before camp was the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon in the Tioga State Forest. I cannot even imagine the splendor and beauty of the four seasons here.
After settling in at Fantasy Island Campground in Sunbury, Pennsylvania for the night we set our sights on Harrisburg.
Back on Highway 15 we come up on this huge Purple Dragon outside of Duncannon, Pennsylvania, so I had to get a picture!
This day we are stopping in Duncannon to visit the old Lightning Guider Sled Company which is now 30,000 square feet of antiques and crafts. It also has an old arcade, car museum and soda fountain.
What a wonderful day! Driving down highway 15 through Pennsylvania you follow the Tioga River and Lycoming Creek to Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Once in Williamsport you follow the West Branch of the Susquehanna River to the bigger Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where we stayed for a few days.
East Harrisburg Campground was very nice. It had full hookup, clean facilities, all sites were pull through, a laundry, showers and a pool, which we took full advantage of.
Hershey, Pennsylvania is only a 30 minute drive from the campground to the city of chocolate!
This is the Milton Hershey School which was built during the depression.
Hershey Park, Amusement Park
We visited Hershey Gardens and Butterfly Atrium. I can’t tell you the names of the butterflies but I can tell you they were beautiful.
This is the back of the building leading into the gardens.
Every type and color of rose was there to see. Another few weeks or so and they would have been gone for the season.
The 23 acres of gardens had an array of roses, shrubs, herbs, trees and assortment of flowers.
Do you see the similarities??? LOL
They even had a few very large sequoia trees.
In the pond was “the boy with the leaking boot”. Interesting enough there are only about 24 of these statues for view by the public throughout the US. This one can be found at Hershey Gardens.
The Building Under Glass can also be found in Hershey.
The Sessions House was built in 1732 and it was sealed in glass in 1929.
The building also served as the local post office for a period of time. There is even a letter slot in the door.
The Hershey smoke stacks.
Notice the lights on top of the street poles. Those are some big “kisses”.
We visited Hershey Chocolate World and took the free tour.
This is only a fourth of the inside of the building!
Ahhhhh a hershey chocolate milkshake, delicious!
In Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, we found Gravity Hill. They say this is an optical illusion but I am still skeptical because I was there!
We coasted down to the stop sign the put the car in neutral and immediately the car started the go up the hill. Crazy!
There is a video I posted on Facebook if you would like to check it out.
In York, Pennsylvania we went to the Haines Shoe House.
Built in 1948 by Mahlon Haines, a shoe salesman, the house was designed after a work boot.
We also visted Amish Country. We drove through Lancaster to Bird-In-Hand to go to this HUGE Farmer’s Market.
This is Dutch Haven in Paradise, Pennsylvania. I tried the Shoo-fly-pie, not a fan.
Off to visit Intercourse, Pennsylvania, and you will never guess what we had in Intercourse…..Fresh….Hot….. Pretzels from Immerguts. Yes! They were very very good.
While driving through the rolling hills of green and grains we visited a few covered bridges in the area.
Pinetown Covered Bridge was built in 1867 and is 135 feet in length.
Hunseckers Mill Covered Bridge was built in 1848 and is 180 feet in length.
Leaman Place Covered Bridge built in 1845 and is 113 feet long.
Landis Mill covered Bridge was built in 1873 and is a mere 53 feet long.
Shenks Mill Covered Bridge was built in 1855 and is 80 feet long.
In downtown Lancaster we went to the Heritage Press Museum which also shared the building with some eclectic shops.
The museum has established a working letterpress print shop to preserve this method of printing.
A 918 Club volunteer demonstrating the letterpress method of printing.
This is a printing press that the Smithsonian had sent to the museum to fix. It works fine now but the Smithsonian has never requested it back.
It’s moving day! Gettysburg here we come!
We stayed at the Artillery Ridge Campground. This campground is the closest to the Gettysburg Museum and Vistor Center and downtown Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. We are only staying a few days so this made it very convenient.
The first day we visited downtown and some monuments not on the battlefield.
Such as, Perry Como meets Abraham Lincoln on the square.
The Gettysburg Hotel
The David Wills House that was in charge of the immense cleanup after the Battle of Gettysburg and also where President Lincoln put the finishing touches on the Gettysburg Address.
A huge chess game.
President Dwight Eisenhower who was a resident of Gettysburg.
The 1776 Dobbins House Tavern also known as a secret “underground railroad” slave hideout.
Lincoln in front of the Library.
Friend to Friend monument depicts a Union soldier giving aid to a Confederate soldier. The two were real life friends.
Elizabeth Thorn buried as many as 100 soldiers as temporary caretaker of the Cemetery when her husband went off to fight. She is shown holding her pregnant belly and leaning on a shovel.
The Visitors Center was amazing. First we viewed the cyclorama. The story of the Battle of Gettysburg in a 360° cylindrical painting.
We then toured the museum. A person could spend a day here just reading and learning about all the exhibits.
We decided to take the driving tour of the battlefields. I had downloaded an app to guide us through our day. The app was a great tool for any visitor and I highly recommend it. For $9.99 you cannot go wrong.
The battlefields cover 6000 acres of land. The driving tour tells the story as you set out on your 22 mile driving tour.
There are 1328 monuments throughout the battlefield.
The Pennsylvania Monument is the largest in the battlefield.
There are 600 cannons throughout the battlefield, 400 that are original from the Battle of Gettysburg.
This rock wall is visible all throughout the battlefield.
Homesteads can still be found at the battlefield.
We stopped to walk the pups and have a nice picnic in the shade.
This is called Devils Den.
They say if you rub O’Rorkes nose you will have good luck. Looks as though his nose gets rubbed a lot.
We have come to the end of our road tour and headed back to camp for awhile before heading into visit the Cemetery.
This is the Lincoln Monument in the Cemetery, not the exact site of the Gettysburg Address but more in dedication to fact it was goven in the Cemetery.
The Cemetery is the final resting place of over 3500 Union soldiers. Unfortunately, there are no Confederate soldiers in this cemetery, their remains are in cemeteries in Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas.
This is the Soldiers National Monument. Around the monument are sections for each Union state and the remains of soldiers of those states.
Two sections were dedicated to 836 unknown soldiers. I ask myself how could this be?
As I walk through the section for my home state of Ohio, those unknown numbers rose. Very sad.
As we leave Gettysburg I have an even better understanding of the sacrifices that have been made towards freedom in our country.
As we make our way west towards Ohio we stop at the September 11th Flight 93 National Memorial near Stoystown, Pennsylvania.
The Visitors Center was very sad and gave a feeling of anguish as you wander through the debris from the wreckage, personal affects of passengers and crew, a timeline of the events that day and recordings where you could listen to some of the calls that day.
Ouside the walkway indicated where the plane impacted and the direction it traveled before ending up in the field below.
At the bottom you can walk out to the walls that name each passenger and crew member on the fatal flight.
The Visitor Center from below.
Such a harrowing place to visit but a beautiful dedication to the souls that left us all that day.
We head toward camp and get settled before heading to Mill Run, Pennsylvania to tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s, Fallingwater.
Building began in 1936 and finished in 1939 for the Kaufmann family, owners of Kaufmann’s Department Store in Pittsburgh.
The house is built on a waterfall that flows beneath the house.
Wright also used the boulders from the side of the hill to build upon this amazing piece of architecture.
We were not allowed to take pictures of the inside as they are the personal belongings of the Kaufmann’s.
I know this was a really lengthy blog and hope you enjoyed my Pennsylvania experience!
Until next time! Peace Out!!
Thanks for sharing this very detailed post with us – the bridge looks amazing! Keep up the great work.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Loved the gardens, covered bridges & waterfall! Not so sure about that bridge😮 Gettysburg brought back memories 😊 That is where I met Tom Kinder! Very sad about the unknown soldiers, especially for Ohio😢 Great blog sista! Love u, miss u & travel on!
Great pics, looks like a wonderful trip!
So amazing! Thank you for sharing your travel stories!
Lived in PA all my life and have seen many of the places you visited, but not all. Enjoy following your blogs.
Wow Pennsylvania looks stunning, never really thought of it as a popular tourist destination before but it looks fascinating. The covered bridges look great and although Hersheys looks a little dangerous calorie-wise. So much to see. Great post.