National Road

The Nation’s First Interstate Highway…

Lumber_noembedAs the United States entered the 19th Century, the colonial frontier west of the Appalachian Mountains was becoming increasing independent from the Eastern seaboard. A road was needed to unite the nation. Commissioned by the U. S. Congress in 1811, the National Road was the nation’s first interstate highway and remains the only one ever constructed. The National Road State Heritage Park is a corridor celebrating and commemorating the history and heritage of the 90-mile stretch of US Route 40 which traverses the southwest corner of Pennsylvania.

A Journey Through History…

nraod_minerlampThe Petersburg and Searights toll houses, and the stone “S” bridge provide a glimpse back to those earlier days. So does Fort Necessity, which takes you back further to the French and Indian Wars and a young army colonel named George Washington. Right up the Road from the fort is Washington Tavern. Speaking of taverns, there are 48 standing structures that were once used as taverns or inns dating back to the National Road era, 1818 to 1853 and some are still being operated as bed and breakfasts and restaurants today!

Sights You Can’t Miss…

nroad_ftnecIf you like the small town charm of yesteryear, visit the historical districts of Uniontown and Brownsville, Addison and Claysville. While you’re in Brownsville, visit the Flat Iron Building to learn more about the National Road and the Rivers of Steel Heritage Area and don’t miss Nemacolin Castle overlooking the Monongehala River. Be sure to stop at Scenery Hill for those antiques you’ve been looking for and don’t miss the annual National Road Festival held in the month of May for over 25 years — the wagon train is a sight to see. Just take your time and enjoy the Road!

Celebrating the National Road

nroad_quiltEvery May for over 25 years has seen the amazing National Road Festival highlighted by the Wagon Train, a reenactment of National Road transportation history. Some of the other highlights include a period fashion show, watermelon seed-spitting contest and a Native American Festival at the State Theater. But, above all, just take your time and enjoy the Road!