Staple Bend Tunnel

At first, it appears this trail is just another enjoyable crushed limestone trail. But this easy trail is anything but typical. For starters, it leads to the Staple Bend Tunnel – America’s very first railroad tunnel. Completed in 1834, this amazing feet of engineering travels 900 feet through solid rock and features cut rock arches which extend 150 feet into each end. The signature from the early 19th century stonecutters responsible for the work can still be seen on several of the blocks. Other interesting historic sites along the trail include several rows of stone "sleepers" which were used as railroad ties in the 1800s. Once through the tunnel (bring a flashlight), hikers will find themselves standing at the top of the first of a series of 10 inclines used to transport railcars across the rugged Allegheny Mountains, connecting Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and beyond.

Hiking Information

Rating: Easy

Length: 4.6 miles round trip

Time: 3.0-4.0 hours

Elevation: 27 feet

Map: Suitable for hiking use.

Hike Profile: A graphic profile depicting the elevation mile by mile.

Hike Detail (PDF)


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