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Allegheny Ridge

Conquering the Ridge…

alleghenyridge_posterIt must have seemed like an insurmountable obstacle to the early pioneers looking to expand Pennsylvania’s canal system west — a 1200-foot ridge rising above the Altoona and Hollidaysburg area. But in feats of engineering that would come to symbolize American technical prowess and the emergence of Pennsylvania as an industrial giant, the Allegheny Portage Railroad and later, the Horseshoe Curve were constructed to conquer the Allegheny Ridge and open the west for canal boats, and eventually, the railroad.

Hollidaysburgh — Canal Era…

aridge_trestlePeople and goods traveling on the Pennsylvania Canal in the 1830’s were transferred at Hollidaysburgh to the Allegheny Portage Railroad for their trip over the mountains. This made the town an important stop on the trip west. Today, a visit to the Canal Basin Park, the U.S. Hotel and the Canal Worker’s House can take you back in time to a remarkable period in our history.

Portage — On the Main Line…
aridge_bridgePortage began as a mountain hotel and resting place on theAllegheny Portage and Pennsylvania Railroads.The Portage Station Museum, Braemer Cottage, which belonged to Andrew Carnegie, and the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Clubare just some of the must-see destinations here.

Windber — Kingdom of Coal…

The Allegheny Ridge Heritage Area also celebrates the region’s iron, steel, and coal industries which prospered as a result of the Ridge’s conquest. The Coal Heritage Center in Windber introduces visitors to the region’s mining heritage while a short trip to the Eureka 40 Mine Overlook offers a view of a “coal patch” community and an adjacent mine complex.