The Sideling Hill Tunnel is five miles east of the Rays Hill Tunnel. There are two main ways to access the tunnels. The second is via Oregon Road. Basics of the Global Positioning System (GPS), NPS Passport Stamps – More Things to Hunt, Britain’s Day of Infamy – December 10, 1941, The Unbelievable Exploits of Captain Robert Stobo, The Palms aka Hoberg’s, Borrego Springs, CA, Tuzigoot National Monument, Clarkdale, AZ, Tumacácori National Historic Park, Tubac, AZ, Santa Elena Canyon at Big Bend National Park, The Caves of the Door Bluff Headlands Cache, Follow More Exploring Off the Beaten Path on WordPress.com, NPS Passport Stamps – More Things to Hunt, Tuzigoot National Monument, Clarkdale, AZ, Threat Centered Revolver Handgun Training. If you go to the eastern end, you’ll pass the parking apron of the old Cove Valley Travel Plaza. I called it Wrays as a result of reading this in Wiki and it's called this in East Broad Top Railroad & Coal Company's map showing the line from 1871-1956. The eastern portal of the Rays Hill Tunnel on September 30, 1940 – the day before the opening. The tunnel is part of an unofficial bike trail on a 13 mile stretch of weather-beaten asphalt called the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike. Built in 1881 as part of the failed South PA railroad. All these places were geocache locations. Despite the constantly increasing rates to drive on the toll road that stretches from one side of the state to the other, it’s often the most convenient way to travel. The road was designed to maximize straightaways while minimizing curves and hills. The others are nearby Rays Hill Tunnel, and farther west, the Laurel Hill Tunnel.It was less expensive to realign the Turnpike than to bore a second tube for four lane traffic. It has a geocache nicely tucked away in it. In fact, most of Pennsylvania is heavily wooded and mountainous. 1885 by South Penn. down the road next to the cemetery that you can pay to park over night. The west portal is arched rather than hexagonal. It was the shortest of the seven original tunnels on Pennsylvania Turnpike. If starting on the west end, you will park in Breezewood. I also recommend bringing a spare tube and a pump as we encountered a number of bikers with flat tires. The eastern portal of the Rays Hill Tunnel in 1885 with the geocache location shown. It’s also the only portal to not have ventilation fans above the opening. A local bike shop does tours of the pike and the tunnels. From the parking lot at U.S. 30 and Tannery Road, head east along the abandoned road to kick off this out-and-back (up to 7.3 miles each way). The small dot of light in the center of the blackness is the other end. Tunnel on abandoned alignment of Pennsylvania Turnpike Unofficially open to hikers and bicyclists We sure did. Ray's Hill Tunnel: Ray's Hill Tunnel, western portal, 1980. There you can get on the old turnpike and ride your bike to the cache. (N40 00.000, W78 13.682) Access to the trail is up the embankment. Photo by M. Dakelman : Shortest of the original seven tunnels on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This is Oregon Road. The first is the parking area located at the western end of the road. That will light the way ahead. By the late 1950’s, the flow of traffic was significantly inhibited and the Turnpike Commission embarked on an aggressive program to remedy the tunnel jams. While not officially open to the public, the inner workings of the tunnels are accessible to the adventurous. Sideling Hill Tunnel is 6,782 feet (2,067 m) long. A family friendly blog for explorers, educators, curiosity seekers and lifelong learners of all ages. The two tunnels along the abandoned turnpike are the Sideling Hill Tunnel and the Rays Hill Tunnel. So here we are on a hot July day looking for tunnel geocaches compliments of Andrew Carnegie and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Off to the right side of the turnpike you'll see a … It has been off limits since it was taken out of service in 1964. Footing can be treacherous. After you bike through the tunnel, it’s up and over. Roughly one-third of the way in, the temperature had … The eastern portal of the Rays Hill Tunnel in 1885 with the geocache location shown. When people think of my native Pennsylvania, they usually think Pittsburgh and Philadelphia – urban areas. All of these tunnels were dark and dingy, with cement lining and recessed lighting. Headlights were required even during the day. 30 East and Tannery Rd. Just before reaching the Rays Hill Tunnel, you’ll cross over Mountain Chapel Road via the short bridge pictured below. Two small parking areas exist along Oregon Road about two miles from this intersection and provide simple access to a trail. abandoned , Abandoned pa turnpike , abandoned turnpike , Pennsylvania turnpike , Rays hill tunnel , Sideling hill tunnel , turnpike turn pike Construction and expansion have been ongoing ever since. The others are nearby Rays Hill Tunnel, and farther west, the Laurel Hill Tunnel.It was less expensive to realign the Turnpike than to bore a second tube for four lane traffic. It is located at the Westmoreland/Somerset County line and was bypassed in 1964. Steps, passageways, ventilators, control rooms and other assorted man-made features are waiting for the curious. Our #2 cache made the list because of the unique geocaching environment it is located in – an abandoned highway tunnel on an abandoned section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Southern Alleghenies Conservancy 814-623-7900 sacc@earthlink.net. 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