Harrisburg, Pennsylvania audio tour: Drive PA Indian Paths: Turnpike Eastbound, Part 3

Drive PA Indian Paths: Turnpike Eastbound, Part 3

Driving Tour

75 mins

About the Tour

This tour is Part 3 of a four-part eastbound Pennsylvania Turnpike series that eliminates turnpike boredom. To access the rest of the series, just tap on my author profile.

It tells incredible prehistoric tales of ancient Indians who once walked this trail. Compelling historic dramas unfold from the time that the cultures of Indians and European settlers collided here.

This part of the tour begins at the Sideling Hill travel plaza, in the Allegheny Mountain range. It continues over and under wilderness mountain ridges before leveling off and crossing the broad Susquehanna River Valley.

By the time you reach the other side of the valley at the Highspire travel plaza, you also will have reached a new understanding about life and death here centuries ago. That's guaranteed!

We'll hear the story of Tree Worm and his controlling mother-in-law. We'll learn why a tribe was called the Hemp People.

Do you like Indian Summers? The people who coined the term absolutely dreaded them. I'll tell you why.

We'll learn to speak a little Seneca, and get the story on a boarding school that served as the model for turning Indians into true civilized Americans.

There's a lot more, too.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thanks for the contributions of Paul A.W. Wallace, whose 1965 work Indian Paths of Pennsylvania cleared the way for all to follow; and Henry Schoolcraft who in the first half of the 1800s put tribal stories, legends and myths into writing -- as best as a Victorian white man could -- as Indian culture was thought to be on the verge of extinction.

Tour Producer


Leon J. Pollom

I am a writer/researcher of the past. Based in Pittsburgh, I once covered daily news for newspapers. Now, I cover really old news-- news that's had time to steep, and prove its significance.

You can check out my website at https://www.NowThenPgh.com

Major Landmarks

  • U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center

  • The National Civil War Museum Pennsylvania

  • State Museum of Pennsylvania

Directions to Starting Point

Drive Route 76 East, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, down the eastern face of Sideling Hill until you see signs for the Sideling Hill travel plaza. Pull into the plaza and follow Voicemap directions for starting the tour. Do not return to the Turnpike until listening to the tour start. Otherwise, Voicemap may get out of sequence, and you will miss information or stories.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

Highspire travel plaza

Best time of day

Any time, day or night.


This wilderness path becomes a frontier trail when Europeans arrive. Frontiers tend to be violent. This one more than most. I avoid graphic details, but if you wish to spare a child -- or yourself -- talk of killings and scalpings, this tour is not for you.


Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
Drive PA Indian Paths: Turnpike Eastbound, Part 3