Skip to main content

Winter in the Laurel Highlands

When most think of roadtrips, most think of the long haul, multi-day, cross-country treks. But some of the best trips are right in your backyard. (Or in this case my parent's backyard.)

On Christmas Eve, I spent five hours on a loop through Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands. I never really had the chance to explore this area growing up. So at 11 am, off I went.

First, I spent some time in Perryopolis. Downtown Perryopolis sits about a half mile or so off of PA 51 in Fayette County. The wagon wheel street grid for Perryopolis was actually designed by George Washington, who actually purchased land here to develop a grist mill and town. The wagon wheel street grid is a feature unique within Western Pennsylvania.

One of the first things I noticed was this well preserved former theatre. The Karolick Theatre which opened in 1921.

Karolick Building

It appears that the building housed other businesses as well.

IMG_2800

In a lot of these older Western Pennsylvanian towns, you can find old signs. And Perryopolis is no exception, like this embossed Stop Sign in Washington Square.

Embossed Stop Sign

Just outside of downtown is a beautiful Byzantine Church - St. Nicholas.

IMG_2810

And while I was taking photos...guess who showed up to say hello...Why Santa himself!

IMG_2813

To see more photos from Perryopolis, head here.

From Perryopolis, it was just a short drive down PA 51 to Route 201 and I followed that road east towards Connellsville. There PA 201 ends and PA 711 continues. I stayed on 711 to PA 653 in Normalville and would follow PA 653 (for the first time) east towards US 219.

I wasn't really sure what to expect...but down the road aways was two covered bridges. The first, Barronvale, is about a mile and a half off of PA 653. It was, and is, certainly worth the detour.

Barronvale Covered Bridge

Covered bridges are made for snow scenes.

IMG_2830

If you don't want to take the short trip to the Barronvale Bridge. You don't have to leave PA 653 to see the restored King's Bridge.

King's Covered Bridge

Covered Bridge Snow

Once I got on US 219, I head south and took the business route through Meyersdale. In Salisbury, I turned right onto PA 669 to head into Maryland. However, signs directing you to Mt. Davis - the highest point in Pennsylvania - caught my eye, and I took a detour.

Now, Mt. Davis isn't high at all - and at 3,213 feet about sea level - it's quite honestly not that impressive.

IMG_2844

But it was what I found on the side roads to and from Mt. Davis that made it worth while.

Winter in Rural Pennsylvania

While taking the shot above, down came an amish buggy. The detour was well worth it.

Amish horse and buggy

A gorgeous church in St. Paul's:

IMG_2858

From there it was briefly into Maryland...and a rarity...an 'END' sign for MD 669.

IMG_2861

From there it was onto ALT US 40/US 40 and back into Pennsylvania. I took a quick detour into Addison to get photos of the National Pike Toll House.

IMG_2862

From there it was back towards Uniontown on US 40 West and then up 51 north home.

To see the entire Laurel Highlands Roadtrip set...go here!

Comments

MarginBlocks said…
As always, you have wonderful pictures!

Popular posts from this blog

The Relief Route That Wasn't: The Never Built I-70 Bypass in the Mid-Mon Valley

In June 1963, a small blurb in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette read that The Westmoreland Engineering Company was awarded a $24,060 bid to study the proposed construction of Interstate 70 in Westmoreland and Washington Counties.  The study was to see what the construction and right-of-way costs "...to modernize the existing highway to Interstate requirements within eight months." (1)  This small, non-attributed, three paragraph article came less than a decade after the completion of a four lane highway that linked the Mid-Mon Valley to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This would be the start of a 15 year process to upgrade and improve Interstate 70 - a process that ultimately never produced a single foot of new highway.

This is the story, albeit brief, of the I-70 that never came about.

Background:
What is now known as Interstate70 from Washington to New Stanton began as a connecting highway for the region to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Known as the "Express Highway", construct…

The Many Failed Plans of Pittsburgh's Wabash Bridge and Tunnel

The December 27, 2004 opening of the Wabash Tunnel ended over 70 years of proposals and speculation for the use of the over 100 year old facility.  The tunnel, which is now a reversible roadway that is an alternative route for rush hour traffic, saw many failed plans during the 20th Century.  These plans included options for mass transit, converted and new bridges for vehicles, and other forms of transportation.

Brief History:
Constructed in 1902-04, the Wabash Bridge and Tunnel was planned and financed by rail mogul, Jay Gould.  Gould began his "Battle of the Wabash" with the established railroads of the city in 1890.  He would finally emerge victorious, but during that struggle, Gould would see many setbacks that would eventually result in the railroad's bankruptcy in 1908.  On October 19, 1903, when the two ends of the bridge were to be joined together over the Monongahela River, the 109' bridge collapsed; killing ten men.  Construction would resume four days later …

A look at Pittsburgh's Saw Mill Run Boulevard

Saw Mill Run Boulevard - Pennsylvania State Route 51 - runs through the narrow Saw Mill Run Valley.  It begins at the intersection of Clairton Road and Provost Road at the City of Pittsburgh Line with Brentwood.  It ends at the West End Circle at the entrance to the West End Bridge.  A four lane highway for its the entire length, Saw Mill Run Boulevard consists of interchanges at the South Portal of the Liberty Tubes and with the Parkway West.  It is an expressway from the Parkway to the West End Circle (West End Bypass).  One of the most well known traffic tie-ups in the Pittsburgh area occurs between Maytide Street and PA 88 (Library Road) which is simply known as 'Maytide and 88.'

History:
Saw Mill Run Boulevard was part of the 1928 Allegheny County 'City Beautiful' bond issue.  The bonds resulted in the creation of Saw Mill Run, Ohio River, Allegheny River and Mosside Boulevards. (1)   After the completion of the Liberty Tunnels in 1924, Downtown Pittsburgh was offic…