Somerset, Pennsylvania audio tour: Drive PA Indian Paths: Turnpike Eastbound, Part 2

Drive PA Indian Paths: Turnpike Eastbound, Part 2

Driving Tour

60 mins

About the Tour

This tour is Part 2 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. You'll hear compelling historic dramas unfold from the time that cultures of Indians and European settlers collided here.

This part of the tour begins at the Somerset travel plaza, a summit of the Allegheny Mountains. It ends at the Sideling Hill travel plaza.

Along the way we'll learn the origins of fire. We'll explore the problems of firewater and how they caused George Washington to lead troops here.

We'll hear Indian stories of the Underworld, and learn also how not to lower yourself over a cliff.

Just for good measure, we'll talk to a Seneca woman camped along the trail -- in her language.

So, you will reach a new understanding about life and death here centuries ago. I guarantee that!

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thanks for the contributions of the Seneca Language Department directed by Ja:no's Bowen; 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

Major Landmarks

  • Fort Bedford Museum

  • Old Bedford Village

  • Gravity Hill

  • National Museum of the American Coverlet.

Directions to Starting Point

As you travel Route 76 East, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, look for Somerset travel plaza signs just beyond the exit for the community of Somerset. Pull into the plaza. If you need to download the tour, the plaza is wifi equipped. Start the tour and listen to introductory information before returning to the Turnpike.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

A number of nice shops and restaurants can be found in Bedford, which also has a reconstructed fort and other tourist attractions.

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 2