Abandoned Turnpike Tunnels, Central PA

July 2, 2017 Gallery

It always blows me away to find massive infrastructure efforts abandoned.  These tunnels, Sideling Hill Tunnel and Rays Hill Tunnel were completely abandoned in 1968 when a more modern stretch of road was opened to ease congestion.

This 13 mile stretch of abandoned turnpike was given to Southern Alleghenies Conservancy for $1 in 2001. The area is managed loosely by Friend of Pike 2 Bike, although they are attempting to transfer ownership to Bedford County in order for the area to be eligible for federal grants.

Access

Do not attempt to reach the tunnels from the east as it is private property.

There are two main ways to access the tunnels.  The first is the parking area located at the western end of the road.  The second is via Oregon Road.

If using the parking load at the western end, I highly recommend bringing a bicycle.  I also recommend bringing a spare tube and a pump as we encountered a number of bikers with flat tires.

We utilized Oregon Road as we only wanted to see the Sideling Hill Tunnel.

Exploring

After walking through the 1.2 mile tunnel, the building at the eastern end is easy to explore.  The southern slope is easiest to scale and there is a door on the rear entrance of the building that is open.

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