Appalachia conjures thoughts of majestic mountains, country music, and living simply — but it offers much more.
Called an “undiscovered national treasure,” Appalachia is a 200,000-square-mile region along the Appalachian Mountains. The region cuts through 13 states, including Pennsylvania, from southern New York to northern Mississippi.
In Pennsylvania, explore the remarkable diversity and authenticity of Appalachia.
Civil War Homefront
Troop movements and battles blazed across Appalachia during the Civil War. The five-year conflict affected all people — white, black, free, slave, immigrant, native, Confederate, and Union. Away from the battles and battlefields, stories are being told from the front porch, the living room and main street. The personal accounts chronicle hardship and triumph, loss and sacrifice, joy and relief, depicting a place and a people transformed by the actions of 150 years ago.
Scenic driving is a great way to experience the region. Take time to get out of your car and into the forest, field, town or river, to tour authentic attractions, meet friendly folks, and learn about local legends.
Immigrants and industry characterize much of Northern Appalachia. Among first Americans, the Seneca Indians maintain cultural traditions in the forests east of Lake Erie. The Allegheny area is replete with forts and inns dating from the American Revolution and the French and Indian War. In southwestern Pennsylvania, German immigrants helped add rifle-building to the region’s tradition of artisanry. Look for demonstrations by skilled gunsmiths at places like Old Bedford Village. To the north, near Oil City, oil in America was first discovered by Edwin Drake. The Drake Well Museum displays a replica of his 1859 derrick. The area is complex yet compact. Drive 20 miles in any direction, and you’ll never be at a loss for some ethnic festival, story-telling event, craft demonstration or historical re-enactment.