Travel

The top 7 things to do on a Route 6 road trip in Pennsylvania

An aerial view of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Among America’s more unsung road-trip corridors is U.S. Route 6’s passage across northern Pennsylvania, a throughway rich in sylvan scenery, history, and cultural heritage.

From the industrial landmarks of “Electric City” to the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, there’s much in store for you along this wonderful drive as it passes through the rolling farms and small towns of the Allegheny Plateau.

A map of U.S. Route 6 in Pennsylvania

Our recommended route

U.S. Route 6 runs some 3,200 miles from the California oasis of Bishop to the tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Four hundred miles of that cross-country course traverse the Keystone State from west to east, great for a 1- or 2-night road trip.

Though the Pennsylvania Route 6 Heritage Corridor, as the highway’s run through the state is officially known, hits some larger communities—the midsized city of Scranton being the biggest—this is mostly a rural drive serving up plenty of serene vistas and some of the darkest skies in the East. Parts of the route are formally classified as Pennsylvania Scenic Byways, including the reach around Tunkhannock in the plateau-lands evocatively called the “Endless Mountains.”

When to drive it

Beauty awaits on Pennsylvania’s Route 6 year-round, though there’s no question that fall—with its overload of gorgeously colored foliage—is the most all-around photogenic season to cruise.

Things to see & do

1. The Allegheny Reservoir

(access near milepost 94)

Easily reached from Route 6 near Warren, this nearly 8,000-acre reservoir on the Allegheny River is one of the jewels of the Allegheny National Forest, with a mostly undeveloped shoreline and rich opportunities for swimming, fishing, camping, and hiking.

A view of the collapsed railway bridge at Kinzua Bridge State Park in Pennsylvania

The collapsed Kinzua Viaduct rail bridge is the centerpiece of Kinzua Bridge State Park.

2. Kinzua Bridge State Park

(access near milepost 135)

This remarkable site, accessed via Mount Jewell, showcases the remnants of the 1882-built Kinzua Viaduct, a railroad bridge spanning the Kinzua Gorge that was partly destroyed by a tornado in 2003. Today, the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk provides an unforgettable view.

A view of the dark night sky, including the silhouette of a windmill.

Cherry Springs State Park is known for its dark night sky, allowing visitors to see the full Milky Way and many of the fainter constellations.

3. Cherry Springs State Park

(access at milepost 178.8)

Cherry Springs State Park—just a hop, skip, and a jump from Route 6 along State Route 44—is best known as an International Dark Sky Park: Its remote setting on the Allegheny Plateau, surrounded by the Susquehannock State Forest, offers some of the finest stargazing in the East. It’s also host to lovely woods, well-preserved Civilian Conservation Corps structures, and good wildlife viewing.

4. Pennsylvania Lumber Museum

(access near milepost 187)

Learn about the history and legacy of the timber industry in Pennsylvania at this well-designed museum. It includes interactive exhibits that give you a taste for everything from axe-swinging to log raft-steering, plus a restored early-1900s-style lumber camp, a locomotive, a steam-powered sawmill, and other outdoor attractions.

A view of Pine Creek Gorge from nearby Leonard Harrison State Park

Pine Creek Gorge is often called the "Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania."

5. Pine Creek Gorge

(access at milepost 208.9)

At Ansonia, Route 6 skirts the head of the Pine Creek Gorge, a forested chasm widely known as the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.” Just south of Ansonia, you’ll find Colton Point and Leonard Harrison state parks on either side of this spectacular valley, a National Natural Landmark more than 1,400 feet deep at its maximum.

The Lackawanna County Courthouse in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Scranton has a wide array of historic sites and buildings, including the Lackawanna County Courthouse, built in the Romanesque Revival style in 1884.

6. Scranton

(milepost 330)

A child of the anthracite coal industry, “Electric City” has numerous attractions
for history buffs, including the rail museum of Steamtown National Historic
Site, the Electric City Trolley Museum, and the Lackawanna Coal Mine in McDade
Park.

A waterfall at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is home to lots of waterfalls, many of which can be hiked to.

7. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

(milepost 397.7)

At Milford, Route 6 affords access to this long, linear unit of the National Park Service, anchored by the ridge-cutting Delaware Water Gap itself and home to splendid forests, impressive waterfalls, historic sites, broad river vistas, and more than 100 miles of hiking trails.

Where to stay

  • Hampton Inn & Suites Warren (3291 Market Street, Warren, PA)
    This AAA Three Diamond hotel offers a fitness center and swimming pool just outside of Warren next door to a shopping complex.
  • Hilton Scranton & Conference Center (100 Adams Ave., Scranton, PA)
    This pet-friendly Three Diamond hotel, just a few minutes’ walk from Steamboat National Historic Site, includes multiple restaurants, a 24-hour fitness center, and a 50-foot lap pool.

Where to eat

  • Lamb’s Creek (200 Gateway Dr., Mansfield, PA)
    Tuck into prime rib, Texas grilled meatloaf, the signature Lamb’s Creek salad, and more at this casual AAA Diamond Approved eatery, which includes an outdoor patio.
  • Twigs Restaurant & Café (1 E Tioga Street, Tunkhannock, PA)
    This friendly AAA Diamond Approved establishment serves wraps, paninis, and much else amid great ambience conjured by brickwork, stained-glass windows, antique ceiling tiles, and other fetching design features.
  • New Amber Indian Restaurant (3505 Birney Ave., Scranton, PA): You can’t beat the lunch buffet at this AAA Diamond Approved restaurant, which features more than a few tandoor-cooked items.
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Let AAA help you plan your road trip

Members can visit their local AAA branch for free maps and TourBooks1, or go online to find maps in the AAA Map Gallery and check gas prices and road conditions, plus much more. 

Road trip planning resources

Rent your road trip car from Hertz

Prevent wear and tear on your personal vehicle by renting a car for your next road trip. AAA members save up to 20% on when they rent with Hertz in the U.S. and Canada, and additional qualified AAA drivers are free—great for sharing driving responsibilities on a longer trip.2

Rent with Hertz

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