Lackawanna Heritage Valley

When America needed to fuel its rapid expansion, it turned to the Lackawanna Heritage Valley. With enormous reserves producing 80% of the world’s coal, along with iron and steel production, railroading and railroad building, and textile manufacturing, it’s fair to say that the region was the engine that drove America’s Industrial Revolution.

During that time, the region became known as America’s immigrant destination. Today, that rich cultural heritage is evident through fascinating historic sites, vibrant ethnic festivals, impressive museums and architecture. As for the outdoor enthusiast, there are a vast array of recreational activities among the mountains, lakes, Lackawanna River, and the beautiful Lackawanna River Heritage Trail.

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(Photo: CNJ Extension, Lackawanna River Heritage Trail)

Things to See and Do

  • Everhart Museum

    1901 Mulberry Street Scranton, PA 18510

    The Everhart Museum in Scranton’s Nay Aug Park (East Scranton) houses extensive displays of art, natural history and the sciences. Founded by Dr. Isaiah Everhart in 1908, the museum is a regional favorite among families in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Everhart attracts diverse audiences by offering exciting contemporary exhibitions, including the popular LEGO exhibition, the Vietnam Moving Wall Memorial, Ancient Marks (tattoos), and Dinovember, to complement their more traditional displays of art, natural history and science.

  • Nay Aug Avenue Natural Play Area

    1700 Nay Aug Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509

    Located in the Green Ridge section of Scranton, the Nay Aug Avenue Natural Play Area is the first of its kind in Pennsylvania because it is constructed primarily with materials found in nature. The park is designed to help children foster a sense of environmental stewardship while enjoying creative outdoor play. Its unique features include a Tike Bike Trail, a miniature bicycle track that simulates a real road, complete with speed limit, safety and directional signage; the Lily Pad Stage for performing arts and story time; a simulated Beaver Dam, made from cob, a natural building material created by mixing subsoil or clay, water, straw and sand; a Fish Run painted with Iron Oxide (which occurs naturally in runoff from the river); Turtle Hill, an earthy mound shaped like a turtle; and the Fidelity Fishing Shack, a small structure that children can use as a “clubhouse,” and that also will display a montage of interpretive materials from nature for environmental education. The AeroGlider is an accessible glider that can accommodate up to two wheelchairs at a time so children and adults with disabilities can enjoy nature in this urban green space. The park is adjacent to the Lackawanna River and the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, giving park-goers easy access to fishing in the Lackawanna River, and a host of activities on Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, such as walking, running, hiking, bicycling and bird-watching. Bald Eagles fly overhead on a regular basis, often stopping at resting places in the trees overlooking the river and the park.

  • Lackawanna Historical Society

    232 Monroe Avenue Scranton PA 18510

    The Lackawanna Historical Society is headquartered at the Catlin House in Scranton’s Hill Section. The former residence of George H. Catlin, an early financier in the city, and his wife, Helen, the home is one of Scranton’s architectural treasures. Designed by architect Edward Langley and built in 1912, the Tudor Revival style home is a stately example of the upper-class homes of its time. The three-story, sixteen-room residence features walnut woodwork, molded plaster ceilings, brass lighting fixtures, a three-paneled stained glass window, and six fireplaces. Most of the furnishings are original to the Catlin and Archbald estates and the décor is reminiscent of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The house was bequeathed to the Lackawanna Historical Society by Mr. Catlin, a lifetime member, who died in 1935. The LHS received the property in trust upon Mrs. Catlin’s death in 1942.

  • Steamtown National Historic Site

    150 South Washington Avenue Scranton PA 18503

    Steamtown celebrates the strength and glory of locomotion. Take a ride on a fully operational steam engine through the beautiful mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Or experience the heritage of the railroad through the History and Technology Museums. Visit the only national park solely dedicated to railroad history, created to interpret the story of mainline railroading between 1850 and 1950. The park occupies more than 40 acres of former rail yard and includes historic railroad buildings. The Steamtown National Historic Site also operates three steam locomotives. Bring the whole family for a hands-on learning experience as you tour roundhouses and ride the rails. Open year-round, seven days a week.

  • Delaware and Hudson Rail-Trail

    Forest City Industrial Park, Route 247 Forest City PA 18421

    The Delaware and Hudson (D&H) Rail-Trail runs from the New York State border south for 38 miles to Route 171 in Simpson. The D&H passes through 12 municipalities. The rail-trail is current is in use by bikers, hikers, runners, equestrians, and snowmobilers. The D&H is part of the 70+ mile Lackawanna River Heritage Trail system.

  • Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour

    RD 1, McDade Park, Bald Mountain Road Scranton PA 18504

    At the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour, you will descend slowly into the earth in a mine car as you enter the old Slope #190. Watch the sky slowly disappear. Soon you’ve reached “the foot.”  Then explore 300 feet beneath the earth through an anthracite coal mine originally opened in 1860.  Accompany a miner in the winding underground gangways and rock tunnel past three different veins of hard coal, past the mule boy and the nipper, past the monkey vein and the dead chute. Listen as he explains the fascinating methods used, and the heroic efforts involved, in deep mining’s history.

  • Electric City Trolley Museum

    Cliff Street Scranton PA 18503

    Relive the time of the trolleys at Electric City Trolley Museum and Station, located in a recently restored late 19th century mill building. Through interactrive exhibits and displays – including vintage trolleys, the museum tells the story of the electric traction systems and the impact they had on the development of the Lackawanna Valley. Northeast Pennsylvania and the industrial northeast. 

  • Steamtown National Historic Site - Steam Train Excursions

    Cliff Street Scranton PA 18503

    Steamtown runs steam train excursions from May through December with trips to Moscow, Gouldsboro, Tobyhanna and Delaware Water Gap Township. The “Holiday Express” and the “Holiday Limited” train excursions run in November and December. The “Scranton Limited” short train trips run on select days from April to November. The Locomotive Cab Ride offers the opportunity to ride aboard either a steam or diesel locomotive on all days that the “Scranton Limited” train operates.

  • Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple

    420 N. Washington Avenue Scranton PA 18510

    Completed in 1930 as a Masonic Temple and Scottish Rite Cathedral, this magnificent building is a mix of Art Deco and Gothic styles. As the result of an architectural competition, it was designed by architect Raymond Hood, designer of Radio City Music Hall. The 180,000 square foot building has intricate details and the design uses marble, gold leaf and stone to interpret Masonic and historic symbolism throughout. This grand building is a venue for cultural and performing arts, as well as for private events. Tours are available by calling 570.346.7639, extension 100.

  • Lackawanna State Park

    1839 Abington Road Dalton PA 18414

    The 1,445-acre Lackawanna State Park is in northeastern Pennsylvania, ten miles north of Scranton. The centerpiece of the park, the 198-acre Lackawanna Lake, is surrounded by picnic areas and multi-use trails winding through forest. Boating, camping, fishing, biking and swimming are popular recreation activities.

  • Lackawanna River Heritage Trail

    213 South 7th Ave. Scranton PA 18505

    The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail is a 70+ mile rail-trail system from the New York State border south to the Susquehanna River in Pittston, Pennsylvania. It includes the Delaware and Hudson (D&H) Rail-Trail. The trail system travels through 30 municipalities, including the cities of Carbondale, Scranton, and Pittston. The trail uses abandoned railroad corridors and former coal mining lands, access roads, flood control levees, municipal parks, public sidewalks, and streets. The trail is popular with bicycle riders, walkers, and runners.

  • McDade Park

    RD 1, McDade Park, Bald Mountain Road Scranton PA 18504

    McDade Park, created in the 1970s from reclaimed coal mining terrain, is now Lackawanna County’s premier destination park with the addition in 2009 of the Boundless Playground. The playground is a large inclusive play structure that serves children of all abilities and needs. The centerpiece of the Boundless Playground is an apparatus full of swings, slides, places to twirl, games to explore and areas to climb. Other features of the park include an Olympic-sized swimming pool with bath house, a children’s fishing pond stocked several times a year, basketball and tennis courts, a softball field, two pavilions, outdoor picnic areas with charcoal grills, and a 2-mile cross country running course and hiking trail system.

  • Nay Aug Park

    1901 Mulberry Street Scranton PA 18510

    The City of Scranton’s largest park, Nay Aug Park, grants residents and visitors a touch of nature amid the city landscape. Walking trails, picnic areas, kid-friendly rides, two playgrounds, two Olympic-sized swimming pools and waterslide complex number among the attractions. The Everhart Museum is also located within the park. A rock-strewn gorge and series of waterfalls is the centerpiece of the park. The Nay Aug Gorge is a National Natural Landmark. A pedestrian footbridge opens in 2007 to access parkland across the Roaring Brook untouched for many years. The David Wenzel Tree House in Nay Aug Park is the first of its kind in Pennsylvania. It opened in 2007, and it overlooks the gorge 150 feet below.

  • Nay Aug Park, Gorge and Treehouse

    1901 Mulberry Street Scranton PA 18510

    The City of Scranton’s largest park, Nay Aug Park, grants residents and visitors a touch of nature amid the city landscape. Walking trails, picnic areas, kid-friendly rides, two playgrounds, two Olympic-sized swimming pools and waterslide complex number among the attractions. The Everhart Museum is also located within the park. A rock-strewn gorge and series of waterfalls is the centerpiece of the park. The Nay Aug Gorge is a National Natural Landmark. A pedestrian footbridge opens in 2007 to access parkland across the Roaring Brook untouched for many years. The David Wenzel Tree House in Nay Aug Park is the first of its kind in Pennsylvania. It opened in 2007, and it overlooks the gorge 150 feet below.

  • Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces

    RD 1, McDade Park, Bald Mountain Road Scranton PA 18504

    The Anthracite Heritage Museum tells the story of the people who came from Europe to work in the anthracite mining and textiles industries. On a tour of the facility visitors will experience the lives of proud people who endured harsh working conditions yet carved out communities filled with tradition.   The diverse collection highlights life in the mines, mills and factories.  Visitors are welcomed into the family’s homes and neighborhoods with a moment of reflection in the kitchen, a visit to the pub, or a seat in a local Church.  The Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum’s diverse regional collections represent all facets of work, life and values of the region’s ethnic communities.

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