Allegheny Portage Railroad: guided tour through the Johnstown Canal Basin

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The Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site will offer a free guided hike tour to learn about the importance of Johnstown along the Main Line Canal in the early 1800s. (courtesy: Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site)

CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site will offer a free guided hike tour to learn about the importance of Johnstown along the Main Line Canal in the early 1800s.

The two-mile Ranger-led tour will take place this Sunday, July 25, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., according to their Facebook page. Reservation is required, which can be done by calling the Visitor Center at 814-886-6150. Rain or shine, they’re allowing up to 20 people to step into the past.

They ask that participants come prepared with water and walking shoes. The meeting location will be at the corner of Walnut and Washington Street across from the Flood Museum.

The tour will highlight locations in downtown that were part of the canal basin and a few buildings that are still standing from the canal days, their post said.

Johnstown was located on the western end of the Allegheny Portage Railroad and served as one of two endpoints that connected the railroad and the Pennsylvania Canal, according to the National Park Service’s website.

The railroad was designed to lift riverboats traveling between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia out of the canal and speed up transportation by passing them through the Allegheny Mountains. What would once take approximately three weeks, the railroad made travel possible in four days.

How exactly did they make all of this possible, then? Reserve your spot this weekend, and you’ll be able to learn more.

If you miss out this weekend, there will be other heritage hikes taking place at other noteworthy locations, which can be found on the National Park Service website.

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