Tunnelview Historic Site
1665 Auen Rd., Saltsburg, PA 15681
40o 28' 4.729" N 79o 22' 31.291" W
Facilities | Directions | Park Map
This 16 acre site, adjacent to the Conemaugh Dam in southwestern
Indiana County, contains significant remnants of transportation
The Tunnelview tale begins with the Pennsylvania Mainline
Canal. A 900' portion of canal visible at the site was part
of the canal's Western division. The route extended from
Pittsburgh to Johnstown, where the Allegheny Portage Railroad
began. Once over the Alleghenies, passengers continued their
trip to Harrisburg and Philadelphia.
Constructing the canal through the rugged terrain of the
Alleghenies was a monumental undertaking. Faced with steep
terrain and a sharp bend in the Conemaugh River, engineer
Alonzo Livermore routed the canal through Bow Ridge, the
narrow strip of land within the riverbend. Once through
the tunnel, the canal continued over a stone arch aqueduct
across the river. This was the only site on the canal with
an aqueduct and tunnel next to one another.
The Western division of the canal operated until 1852,
when maintenance problems, financial insolvency, and competition
from the railroads brought an end to the brief canal era
in Pennsylvania. The canal tunnel was sealed off as part
of the Conemaugh flood control project in 1952.
By 1864, the Pennsylvania Railroad had constructed a new
tunnel and stone arch bridge here for its subsidiary, the
North West Railroad. The PRR completed construction of another
tunnel here in 1907, when the railroad was realigned. This
realignment required the construction of a stone arch bridge
which still stands. The bridge withstood the 1936 Johnstown
Flood. A sign on the stone arch bridge shows the high water
In 1952 the PRR realigned its trackage again, and constructed
the high level iron bridge standing today. Today the bridge
carries trains of the Norfolk Southern Railway. A fourth
tunnel was constructed through Bow Ridge in 1989 to deliver
water to a nearby hydroelectric power station.
For a more thorough explaination of the history of Tunnelview Historic Site, please see the Tunnelview Historic Site Brochure.
Stalagmites in Bow Tunnel, Jan. 15, 2013
Photo: Ed Patterson
A pavilion, restroom, interpretive exhibits and a canoe
launch are available at Tunnelview. The Army Corps of Engineers
also offers extensive public recreation facilities at the
River Lake. Call 724/459-7240 for more information concerning
the Corps facilities.
Penn Rail Trail runs through Tunnelview Couny Park.
This trail runs between Saltsburg and the Newport Road trailhead
near Blairsville. The West Penn Trail is operated by the
More information regarding the facilities available can be found in the Tunnelview Historic Site Brochure.
Tunnelview Historic Site is located adjacent to the Conemaugh
Dam in southwestern Indiana County. The site is located
within a short driving distance of Saltsburg, Blairsville,
New Alexandria and Clarksburg. A directional
map with written directions is available.
In order to help you find your way around historic and scenic Tunnelview park, you should review (and print) our Tunnelview park map (PDF).
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