Historic National Road – Pennsylvania Itinerary for a one day Road Trip

Historic National Road PA Road Trip

Buckle up, travel lovers, and get ready to hit the road! Did you know the National Road (aka US 40, Cumberland Road, Cumberland Pike, and National Pike) was the first federally-funded interstate highway in the United States? That’s right, in 1806, Congress and President Thomas Jefferson authorized the construction of this historic road beginning in 1811.

Originally intended to stretch from Cumberland, Maryland, to the Mississippi River, this road was a game-changer for the young nation. It slashed travel times to the western part of the country and paved the way for fledgling interstate mail and freight delivery industries. And let’s not forget about the countless pioneers and settlers who used this road to make their way west, transforming the American frontier forever.

Today, you can still travel a portion of this historic road, taking in the breathtaking scenery and experiencing the history of this pivotal moment in American transportation. So what are you waiting for? Hop in the car and join the countless travelers who have journeyed along the National Road throughout history!

The Pennsylvania portion of the Historic National Road is a perfect itinerary for a road trip and offers an exciting blend of history, outdoor adventure, and cultural experiences. Here are just a few of the highlights that await you:

Old Petersburg Toll House

834 Main St, Addison, PA 15411

Start your tour at the Old Petersburg Toll House in Addison. The Old Petersburg Toll House is one of six original toll houses on Historic National Road and one of the two remaining toll houses you will see on the trip.

  • Learn about the history of the National Road and the critical role of toll houses in early transportation.
  • Take some time to explore the toll house and its exhibits.

Fort Necessity National Battlefield

National Pike, Farmington, PA 15437

Next, head to Fort Necessity National Battlefield, where the French and Indian War began. This historic site offers visitors a glimpse into the early days of American history and showcases the struggle between the British and French forces over control of the region.

Directions from Old Petersburg Toll House:     Head north on Toll House Road. Turn left onto U.S. 40. Then turn left into the Fort Necessity National Battlefield.

  • Distance from Previous Site:         15 miles / 24.0 km
  • Travel Time from Previous Site:    19 minutes
  • Suggested Time at This Site:         30 minutes

Visitors can see the site where George Washington led his forces in one of the most famous battles of the French and Indian War. Learn more about the battle and the Historic National Road at the Fort Necessity/ National Road Education and Interpretive Center.

After exploring Fort Necessity, unwind with a visit to Christian Klay Winery. Enjoy a tasting of their award-winning wines and soak up the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Braddock’s Grave

Fort Necessity National Battlefield, National Pike, Farmington, PA 15437

Directions: Take a left on to U.S. 40 and drive approximately one mile. The NPS site will be on your left.

  • Distance from Previous Site:          4.2 miles / 6.7 km
  • Travel Time from Previous Site:     7 minutes
  • Suggested Time at This Site:        15 minutes
Braddock’s Grave
Braddock’s Grave, Fort Necessity National Battlefield

View the grave of British Major General Edward Braddock, leader of an ill-fated expedition to the forks of the Ohio River to try to capture French-held Fort Duquesne during the French and Indian War.


1491 Mill Run Rd, Mill Run, PA 15464

Directions from Braddock’s Grave: To get to Fallingwater from Braddock’s Grave, you’ll want to take Route 40 West for about 19 miles. Then, turn right onto Route 381 North and continue for approximately 11 miles until you reach the entrance to Fallingwater on your left.

  • Distance from Braddock’s Grave: approximately 39 miles
  • Travel Time from Previous Site: approximately 1 hour
  • Suggested Time at This Site: 1.5 to 2 hours


Tour the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house that seamlessly integrates with its natural surroundings. Take in the stunning views of Bear Run and marvel at the home’s unique architectural features.

Coal and Coke Heritage Center

2201 University Dr, Lemont Furnace, PA 15456

Directions from Fallingwater: Head southeast on State Route 2010/Mill Run Road for approximately 2.5 miles until you reach State Route 381. Turn left onto State Route 381 and continue for about 3 miles. Then, turn right onto State Route 982 and follow it for approximately 6 miles until you reach the town of Scottdale. In Scottdale, turn left onto Pittsburgh Street and continue for about 2 miles. Turn right onto PA-819 S and follow it for about 5 miles until you reach the intersection with University Drive. Turn right onto University Drive, and continue for approximately 0.5 miles until you reach the Coal and Coke Heritage Center on your right.

  • Distance from Previous Site:         17.8 miles / 28.5 km
  • Travel Time from Previous Site:    23 minutes
  • Suggested Time at This Site:         30 minutes

Coal played an integral role in the development of the Connellsville Coke Region. At the heritage center, learn about the development of coke, a refined type of coal used to smelt iron. The Coal and Coke Heritage Center is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history of western Pennsylvania’s coal and coke industry.

The center features exhibits and displays showcasing coal and coke industry artifacts and equipment. Visitors can see vintage photographs, maps, and documents highlighting the history of coal mining and coke production.

Searight Toll House

National Road, 7328 National Pike E, Uniontown, PA 15401

Directions from Coal and Coke Heritage Center:     Head southeast on Penn State Campus and turn right onto U.S. 119. Turn right onto U.S. 40.

  • Distance from Previous Site:           9.6 miles / 15.4 km
  • Travel Time from Previous Site:    11 minutes
  • Suggested Time at This Site:         30 minutes

One of the few remaining tollhouses on the Historic National Road, the Searights Tollhouse is a unique stop on your journey. Learn about the history of toll collection and its role in transportation during the 19th century.

Named for tavern owner William Searight, the toll house is one of six toll houses along Historic National Road and the second on our trip. Thousands of travelers paid tolls here while journeying along the road.

Brownsville Historic District

Directions from Searight Toll House: Turn left onto U.S. 40 and continue west. Turn left on Market St where you enter Brownsville’s North Side Historic District.

  • Distance from Previous Site:          7.6 miles / 12.2 km
  • Travel Time from Previous Site:  13 minutes
  • Suggested Time at This Site:          1 hour

In Brownsville, you can discover more of the byway’s history. You can visit Nemacolin Castle, the Flatiron Building Heritage Center, or several historic churches dating back to 1845. Visit your choice of two bridges built in the 1830s – the Flatiron Bridge or the Dunlap Creek Bridge.

Step back to the early 19th century with a visit to the Nemacolin Castle, a beautiful historic home built in the 1780s. Take a guided tour of the castle and learn about its rich history and the families who lived there.

Pennsylvania Trolley Museum

Directions from Brownsville:     Return to W U .S. 40 and continue to the junction of N U.S. 79. Take N U.S. 79, which joins E U.S. 70. Stay on N U.S. 79 and take the Meadowlands exit, Exit 40. Turn left at the end of the ramp. Head north on Pike Street. Turn left onto Country Club Rd. Turn right onto North Main Street and bear left at the next intersection. Travel .5 miles on Museum Road and Turn left where you enter the parking lot.

  • Distance from Previous Site:           27.5 miles / 44.0 km
  • Travel Time from Previous Site:     45 minutes
  • Suggested Time at This Site:           1 hour 30 minutes

Follow the development of the Historic National Road at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. At the museum, guests can take a tour on a trolley and see nearly 50 preserved trolleys in addition to photographs and video clips.

S Bridge

Directions from Trolley Museum:     Head northwest on Museum Road. Turn left onto Main St. Continue straight onto Oak Grove Road. Turn left onto Henderson Ave/ PA 18. Turn left onto Jefferson Ave. Turn right onto Chestnut St/ U.S. 40. Turn right onto S. Bridge Rd/ PA 221.

  • Distance from Previous Site:           9.3 miles / 14.9 km
  • Travel Time from Previous Site:   19 minutes

S Bridge pennsylvania

Visit the S Bridge in Buffalo Township and see one of the engineering feats of the National Road. Walk across the bridge, built in the early 19th century, and marvel at its architecture.


  • Total Distance Traveled:     91 miles / 145.6 km
  • Total Travel Time:                 2 hours 17 minutes
  • Total Stopping Time:            4 hours 15 minutes

In addition to these attractions, the Historic National Road in Pennsylvania is also home to numerous outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking, biking, fishing, and camping. From stunning natural beauty to historic landmarks and cultural experiences, the Historic National Road in Pennsylvania offers something for everyone. So hit the road and discover this fantastic destination for yourself!

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