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Biking the abandoned section of the PA Turnpike

Hey everyone!  Now that spring is upon us and I have pulled my bike out of the garage, and after reading and responding to posts from @jnophoto and @sb4700 , I was reminded of a really cool trip I took last fall.  I probably should have posted this back then, but procrastination got the better of me.  So, better late than never, right?

This is a 13 mile section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Breezewood, PA that was abandoned in 1968 when they created a new, wider section to accommodate the increased traffic.  It's technically not an official trail yet and signs warn that it's at one's own risk, but it is not trespassing to walk or ride it.

There are 2 tunnels you ride through.  Rays Hill Tunnel is 3/4 of a mile long, and Sideling Hill is 1-1/4 long.  You absolutely need powerful headlights to go through them, as they are pitch black inside.

The whole area has a creepy vibe to it, reminiscent of something from The Walking Dead.  In fact, scenes from the Viggo Mortensen movie, The Road, were filmed there.  But, despite the creepiness, the surrounding vistas are beautiful.

PA Turnpike Tunnel.jpegPA Turnpike.jpeg

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10 Replies

That looks like such a blast!! I don't know when/if I'd ever be able to make it out to PA for that, but sometime I'd like to hit up the Elroy-Sparta rails-to-trails in WI which is a little similar sounding, going through a few old tunnels.

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@TomV 

I was at my nephew's graduation a couple of years ago in Sparta and rode a section of the rails-to-trails! It's a really great trail set up they have. Those tunnels are pretty cool (literally and figuratively), however, I only did short ones so I didn't need too much in the way of lights. It was a great experience!

@Rob6 I'm going to dig through my photos and find some similar ones to these of a 'post-apocalyptic' vibe ride I used to do when I lived near Boston. It was an old decommissioned military area now called Wampatuck State park and some of the stuff there was SPOOKY. Thanks for sharing!

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Very cool @REI-JohnJ .  Can't wait to see it!

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@Rob6 

Okay here, you go! Wompatuck State Park is a 3,500 acre park that used to be a Naval Ammunition Depot from 1941 - 1965. It is full of hidden, underground bunkers, abandoned railroad tracks, and a lot of old military buildings. Those buildings (most of the pics) have the old hardware remaining of labs for making who knows what. We're talking individual rooms with doors that automatically seal shut and have the containers with the two holes for your arms to go through like you see in alien movies (the last two photos). I don't know what they made there, but it was dangerous!

Wompatuck1.JPGWompatuck2.JPGWompatuck3.JPGWompatuck4.JPGWompatuck5.JPGWompatuck6.JPGWompatuck7.JPGWompatuck8.JPG

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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So we can get the experience of the movies Alien, Resident Evil (underground experimental lab, why not?) and Silent Hill (Centralia!) all in a long weekend?!? That is one heck of a tour! Throw in some Deliverance and sign me up!

Count me in @jnophoto !!  I'll be sure to bring a machete....just in case...  😁

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That looks great! I have a goal for next year to cruise from my uncles place to my grandmas.... that destination is kind of (lols not really but kinda) en-route....

Great pictures!  

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@REI-JohnJ 

Those pics are awesome!  I know it's not necessarily "outdoorsy", but I have a certain fascination in abandoned buildings like that.  I've had a few other adventures with abandoned properties, some of which involved trespassing. (Shhhhh.  Don't tell anyone)  I may share those on another post.  The names and places will be changed to protect the guilty. 

 

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
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