I talked about our stops in Ohio as we headed north. I talked about our trip to upstate New York. Now I have to talk about our travels back south. In an effort to see a few more fun things, we took a different direction this time going through Pennsylvania. Luckily, we have 2 different friends in Ohio. We were able to bunk with one on the way up and the other on the way down. It was perfect!
Leaving Rochester and heading towards the Kinzua Bridge State Park in Kane, PA was one of the prettiest drives ever. We actually went towards Letchworth State Park, which I remembered from the Hot Air Balloon festival a few years ago. We only passed one Amish person driving their horse and cart, but we drove all through Amish country which is stunningly beautiful at every turn.
This place… it does not disappoint! You can read all abut it here, but in a nutshell, it was a railroad that was first built 1882. It continued working until the late 1950’s when only an occasional train came through. It was closed in 2002 for restoration as it was a beloved landmark. In 2003, while still being restored, a tornado came through and ripped part of it down. Repairing it would have been incredibly expensive, so the state turned it into a visitor’s attraction.
The views from the edge of the bridge are beautiful and tragic. It’s amazing how much destruction a tornado can do.
You can walk all around and the views from every vantage point are gorgeous. We weren’t able to walk below, as it was under construction.
While walking around, we even found a painted rock. Have you see those? They are all over and it’s such a fun trend going on right now.
I have to admit this visitor’s center was one of the nicest ones I’ve ever seen!
I didn’t get a lot of photos from inside, so you’ll have to trust me. But there were lots of interactive things for kids to do. This was also neat- the bridge is so high the Statue of Liberty can fit under it!
While I really loved this place, we had to get back on the road. But it is well worth the detour!
From here were headed to Pittsburgh, PA to ride the Duquesne Railway. This railway has been around since 1877! You can read all about it here.
Now I’m going to be perfectly honest here and say that I could have skipped this. The history and the actual ride was cool, but getting there was a pain. First off, you are in downtown Pittsburgh. The traffic is awful. If you get off track, or turned around, you can’t just turn around. You have to go several miles out of the way to turn around. There is lots of construction and the roads, well, they are a bit confusing. My poor GPS lady, I’m sure she was a little irritated with me!
When we finally found the railway, there wasn’t any parking next to it, like some of the sites I read had said. So we had to turn around again. We saw a parking sign, with an arrow, only to realize we passed the parking entrance before we ever saw the sign. It was very frustrating. I almost gave up. But since we were right there, I gave it one last shot and low and behold, the 5th time was a charm.
The most important thing to remember is this is a CASH ONLY attraction. And not only cash, but EXACT CHANGE. Check the website for the rates and then add up your party and prepare to have that EXACTLY. There is a change machine, but I saw many, many people exchanging a $20 bill into quarters. No one wants to carry that around in their pocket. When we went it cost the 4 of us $10 roundtrip.
The views going up (and down) were pretty spectacular though.
There is a small museum and gift shop at the top and you can walk around a bit. We didn’t do any of that because by now my kids were over it and just wanted to get back to the car.
While it was a neat piece of history to experience, I don’t know that I would go out of my way to see it again. If I were already in Pittsburgh though, it would be worth stopping by.
From here we headed back to Ohio to stay with another friend. We had so much fun and it was fun to see all the kiddos getting along. On day two, we just drove. I looked for exciting things on our path in West Virginia, but I didn’t find anything. Plus, by this point, we just wanted to get home.
When we finally got home, the boys hugged Dad and started crying. Everyone missed that guy!
We were home for exactly TEN minutes, when our youngest fell and knocked his forehead giving himself the biggest goose egg I have ever seen. We all jumped back into the car heading for the doctors office. I called them on the way and they told us that as long as he wasn’t throwing up, his eyes weren’t dilated and he was talking and making sense, then he was probably ok. Everything seemed normal (except the egg on his head) so we turned around and came back home. My husband said, “Well, my stress levels have increased since you’ve been home!” haha. We had literally been home for TEN minutes. I couldn’t believe it.
And this was the end of our summer travels. It was a great summer and I love being gone. But to everything there is a season and now I’m ready for school to start and the forced schedules that go with it.
To read about our other 2017 summer travels, click on the following links:
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Palmyra, New York (girls trip)
- Panama City Beach, FL
- Back to New York (family visit)
- Quick stops to Ohio: Hartman Rcck Garden and Cornhenge
For my TRAVEL page, click here
**When researching “unique” places to visit, I typed in our locations to two different websites. Atlas Obscura and Roadside America. Both were incredibly helpful!!