the abandoned pennsylvania turnpike

Last weekend a group of friends and I took a mini roadtrip to the abandoned Pennsylvania turnpike. It’s a thirteen mile stretch of the PA turnpike that was bypassed when a modern stretch opened in 1968 to ease traffic congestion in the tunnels. It’s now an unofficial bike trail that you can bike at your own risk.

Since the road is rough, I opted not to take my beloved fixed gear bicycle with it’s skinny little tires. Instead I rode my old cruiser (remember her?) which I’m not sure if it was really for the best. I found the ride to be fairly challenging. I would just blame that on me being out of shape but I bike nearly everyday. The hills and not being used to riding a single speed cruiser killed me.

Rough ride aside, it was an awesome trip, and I had a TON of fun. There was lots of graffiti and abandoned maintenance rooms for the tunnels. The buildings were pretty empty except for giant turbines used to pull all the bad air out of the tunnels.

The ride back to the car was cold. The sun was setting quickly and the temperature was dropping rapidly. The tunnel closest to the car, which is also luckily the shortest, had the craziest freezing cold breeze blowing through it the second time through. I just closed my eyes since the wind was just making them water and pedaled as hard as I could (which at the end of the day wasn’t all that hard at all!)  Maybe coming this late in the season wasn’t the best idea, or maybe we all just were a bit under-dressed but it sure was beautiful. We could not have picked a more beautiful time to come. The leaves were absolutely gorgeous.

So basically this trip contained three of my favorites things; bikes, abandoned structures, and nature! As hard of a time as I had biking some parts, I’m really looking forward to going back and doing it again next year.

Author: Kaylah

Just a green haired gal from Cleveland, Ohio.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *