SCENIC OVERLOOKS AND VIADUCTS ACROSS ROUTE 6
A contributing factor to US Route 6 in Pennsylvania being called one of the most scenic routes are the engineering feats that attempted to overcome difficult terrain and the overlooks that interpret the history of how people moved about the wilderness of Pennsylvania’s northern tier.
Viaducts, that transport resources and people over the mountains, are visible along Route 6 or just a few miles off. Two of the most popular ones are the Tunkhannock Viaduct and the Kinzua Skywalk.
The Tunkhannock (Creek) Viaduct or as some know it, the Nicholson Bridge, celebrates its 100th anniversary this month. Built by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad (DL&W), construction began in 1912 and its completion, dedication, and ready for use took place on November 6, 1915. In 1975, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) designated the Nicholson Bridge as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark due to its significant contribution to the development of the United States and to the profession of civil engineering. On April 11, 1977, this construction and engineering feat was listed on the National Register of Historic Places due to its national architectural, engineering, and transportation significance. The viaduct is visible on Route 11 just north of PA Route 6 from Factoryville, near Mile Marker 320.
Trains can still use the Tunkhannock Viaduct, unlike the other viaduct along PA Route 6. The Kinzua Viaduct, which once claimed to be the largest trellis railroad bridge in the world, hosted a rail excursion train up until the early 2000’s, when a tornado toppled a portion of the bridge as it was being repaired. Today, a wooden skywalk allows visitors to walk 560 feet into the Kinzua Gorge and look down on the bridge remains and valley through a partial glass panel. The Kinzua Skywalk is located in Mt. Jewett at Mile Marker 136.
Overlooks or pull offs are not just places to take a rest but where a traveler can experience the stories about the industrial and recreational heritage of the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor. Just a few miles off Route 6 near Mile Marker 7 is the Pymatuning Spillway, a great place to watch wildlife especially the carp and ducks. The lumbering industry impact on Galeton is told on signage that overlooks the small town and its lake between Mile Marker 198 and 199. The Wyalusing Rocks Overlook, just west of Wyalusing near Mile Marker 287, offer a fantastic view of the Susquehanna River and French Azilum, the French farm colony site reportedly created for Marie Antoinette. The Lake Wallenpaupack Visitor Center in Hawley has a back deck that travelers can relax on while taking in views of the Lake with all its water sports.
All these sites are worth a stop as travelers cross Route 6. For more information on other potential stops, visit our website at www.paroute6.com.
Read past Monthly Features:
August 2015 - Celebrating the Birth of Gifford Pinchot Across Route 6
June 2015 - Route 6 as a Transportation Corridor
May 2015 - PA Route 6 as a National Recreational Trail
April 2015 - The Real Artisans of PA Route 6
March 2015 - Maple Month
February 2015 - Washington and Lincoln Connections