Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, the commonwealth’s official history agency, invites the public to explore the state-owned historic sites along the Pennsylvania Trails of History for free on Saturday, September 24. The Pennsylvania Trails of History comprises museums and historic sites administered by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, organized along four theme-based “trails” crossing the commonwealth: Military History, Industrial Heritage, Historic Homes, and Rural Farm & Village. Visitors are invited to explore one or more of the trails to learn about the people, places and events that make Pennsylvania so special. Located throughout the state, the sites are only a short drive away. There’s also The State Museum of Pennsylvania for a wide variety of Pennsylvania history under one roof.
Visitors can walk in the footsteps of Pennsylvania’s historic soldiers on the Military History Trail. At sites like Bushy Run Battlefield or Brandywine Battlefield Park, programs and exhibits bring landmark battles to life. Connecting sites of military significance, this trail maps significant forts, battlefields and training grounds, as well as the Pennsylvania Military Museum, where visitors learn about the commonwealth’s men and women serving in the Armed Forces, civilian activities on the home front, and the Keystone State’s contributions to military innovation.
From modest stone houses to sprawling estates, the Historic Homes Trail opens the door to Pennsylvania's past. Original furnishings, gardens, outbuildings, and architectural details tell the stories of these enduring homesteads and the people who built and inhabited them. Places like Pennsbury Manor, Joseph Priestley House, and Daniel Boone Homestead are highlights of this trail.
The labor of iron, coal, oil and lumber workers built businesses and communities that are now legacies on the Industrial Heritage Trail. Visitors can experience the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, where more than 100 locomotives and railcars are on display, or Drake Well Museum, site of the first commercially successful oil well. The story of Pennsylvania’s coal industry unfolds at the Anthracite Heritage Museum and lumber heritage can be discovered both indoors and out at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum. These destinations introduce the people who lent innovation and determination to these early enterprises. Rooted in Pennsylvania's rustic beginnings, the Rural Farm & Village Trail leads to pastoral landscapes from Colonial to recent history. Escaping into the sylvan settings is as simple as joining a tour. Special events throughout the year at places like Ephrata Cloister, Old Economy Village and Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum recall the craft and culinary heritage of centuries past.
Participating historic sites and museums include:
- Brandywine Battlefield Park, Chadds Ford
- Bushy Run Battlefield, Jeannette
- Cornwall Iron Furnace, Cornwall
- Daniel Boone Homestead, Birdsboro
- Drake Well Museum, Titusville
- Eckley Miners’ Village, Weatherly
- Ephrata Cloister, Ephrata
- Erie Maritime Museum & Flagship Niagara, Erie
- Joseph Priestley House, Northumberland
- Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, Lancaster
- Pennsbury Manor, Morrisville
- Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum, Scranton
- Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, Ulysses
- Pennsylvania Military Museum, Boalsburg
- Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg
- Somerset Historical Center, Somerset
- State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg
The Pennsylvania Trails of History comprises museums and historic sites administered by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Learn more by visiting PHMC online or following us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.