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Explore Pennsylvania's Trails of History
One of the best ways to truly get to know Pennsylvania is through the Trails of History offered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). These mapped trails take you on a journey into our past and tell the inspiring stories of our forebears as they settled a new colony, triumphed on the field of battle, and quickly developed one of the most productive and innovative regions on the planet. History buff or not, there are plenty of options and hundreds of sites and landmarks (many on the National Register of Historic Places) that explore Pennsylvania from the sidewalks of its biggest cities to the breathtaking landscape of its most secluded farmsteads. For more information about each trail and a list of sites, visit PHMC's Trails of History website. Which one will you take?
Military History Trail
From the Revolutionary War to Lake Erie's stormy seas, the Military History Trail travels through some of the most influential and table-turning battles the continent has ever seen. Learn about Pontiac's Rebellion at the Bushy Run Battlefield in Westmoreland County or set sail on the Commonwealth's official flagship, the U.S. Brig Niagara, and visit the bay front museum for spectacular views of Presque Isle Bay.
Erie Maritime Museum
150 East Front Street
Erie, PA 16507
Rural Farm and Village History Trail
Need to get back in touch with your roots? Explore PHMC's Rural and Village History Trail. From Pittsburgh to Amish Country in Lancaster County, this trail is rooted in Pennsylvania's rural heartland. Enjoy the spacious views of the pastoral landscape as you explore some of the state's most interesting backcountry locations and landmarks. Discover what life was like in the 18th and 19th centuries for early German settlers at the Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum or make way for cavalry drills during July’s Civil War Days event. Visit the website to learn more.
Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
2451 Kissel Hill Road
Lancaster, PA 17601
Industrial Heritage Trail
Are you interested in our state's legendary industrialists and inspiring innovators? Explore the forests, forges, and foundries that made men like Andrew Carnegie and Robert Coleman millionaires as you get to know the highlands of Pennsylvania's northernmost reaches on the Industrial Heritage Trail. Discover the relationship between man and metal, and view the historic machines and inventions that changed the world forever. When you reach Scranton, turn south and head towards Eckley Miners' Village to visit an authentic 19th-century coal patch town, the capital area's Cornwall Iron Furnace, and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg.
Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
300 Gap Road
Strasburg, PA 17579
Historic Homes Trail
Connecting with our past can be hard to do, but it's best done by exploring the places where people lived every day. From within these homes, we can learn more intimately what life was like and how it was lived, providing a common location for interpretation and insight into our own. From the most humble of stone cottages to the carefully curated estate, each of these historic homesteads contain fascinating stories to experience. William Penn’s summer home, Pennsbury Manor, is also a top destination.
400 Pennsbury Memorial Road
Morrisville, PA 19067