23 Must-See Attractions in Bedford County

October at Shawnee State Park.

From museums to mountain vistas, from scenic backroads to an abandoned superhighway – there are a TON of must-see attractions in Bedford County, PA!

Fall foliage at the Bedford Coffee Pot.
Fall foliage at the Bedford Coffee Pot.

What I’ve assembled for you here is a list of 23 of the best things to see and do in Bedford County, complete with directions and descriptions for all 23.

Artifacts on display at the Fort Bedford Museum.
Artifacts on display at the Fort Bedford Museum.

Simply click on the blue text links to view detailed directions and more in-depth articles about each Bedford County “must-see” destination listed below.

The Pike 2 Bike Trail approaching Rays Hill Tunnel along the Abandoned PA Turnpike.
The Pike 2 Bike Trail approaching Rays Hill Tunnel, along the Abandoned PA Turnpike in Bedford County.

1. Fort Bedford Museum

The Fort Bedford Museum was built in 1958, 200 years after the original Fort Bedford was constructed during the French and Indian War.

Fort Bedford Museum in downtown Bedford Pennsylvania.
Fort Bedford Museum in downtown Bedford, PA.

The museum tells the story not only of that specific war and time period, but also the story of the people that inhabited Bedford County before and since.

Inside the Fort Bedford Museum in Bedford Pennsylvania.
Inside the Fort Bedford Museum in Bedford, Pennsylvania.

2. Old Bedford Village

Old Bedford Village in Bedford County is a living history museum that gives you a glimpse into what life was like in western Pennsylvania from 1700 until 1899.

Blacksmithing demonstration at Old Bedford Village.
Blacksmithing demonstration at Old Bedford Village.

Rather than viewing old photos and dusty relics, visitors learn by seeing reenactors demonstrating activities that would have been common in Bedford County from colonial times up through the Civil War.

Kniseley One-Room Schoolhouse at Old Bedford Village.
Kniseley One-Room Schoolhouse at Old Bedford Village.

3. Shawnee State Park

Shawnee State Park in Bedford County opened to the public in 1951, and has been a magnet for tourists ever since!

1950s postcard featuring the beach at Shawnee State Park.
1950s postcard featuring the beach at Shawnee State Park.

At the heart of the park is 451-acre Shawnee Lake, used by fishermen, boaters, swimmers, and bird watchers alike.

Fishing pier at Shawnee State Park.
Fall foliage at Shawnee Lake.

4. Dunkle’s Gulf Station

Dunkle’s Gulf Station along the Lincoln Highway in Bedford is a throwback to the early days of American automobile transportation, and is still in operation to this day!

Dunkle's Gulf Station along the Lincoln Highway in Pennsylvania.
Dunkle’s Gulf Station along the Lincoln Highway in downtown Bedford, Pennsylvania.

Designed to be Gulf’s showpiece service station between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, the art deco styling of the building has been attracting motorists since it first opened in 1933.

Dunkle's Gulf Station in Bedford featured on a postcard from the heyday of the Lincoln Highway.
Dunkle’s Gulf Station in Bedford featured on a postcard from the heyday of the Lincoln Highway.

5. Grand View Vista

The Grand View Ship Hotel was one of the most famous attractions along the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental automobile route linking the east and west coasts of the United States.

The Grand View Point Hotel as viewed from the west along the Old Lincoln Highway.
The Grand View Point Hotel as viewed from the west along the Old Lincoln Highway.

Sadly, the hotel burned down in 2001, but the ruins of the hotel and the “grand view” remain.

The view from the site of the former SS Grand View Ship Hotel along the Lincoln Highway.
The view from the site of the former SS Grand View Ship Hotel along the Lincoln Highway.

6. The Bedford Coffee Pot

The Bedford Coffee Pot is a unique 18 foot-tall “novelty structure” built along the Lincoln Highway near downtown Bedford.

The Bedford Coffee Pot, August 2021.
The Bedford Coffee Pot, August 2021.

Constructed in 1927 by David Koontz as a gimmick to entice motorists to stop at his service station for food and fuel, the Bedford Coffee Pot was one of hundreds of “roadside giants” than once stood alongside the Lincoln Highway.

The Bedford Coffee Pot pictured on an old postcard.
The Bedford Coffee Pot pictured on an old postcard.

7. 1806 Old Log Church

The 1806 Old Log Church is the oldest standing church in Bedford County.

Fall foliage in Bedford County at the 1806 Old Log Church.
Fall foliage at the 1806 Old Log Church in Bedford County.

Located right along Route 30 (AKA the Lincoln Highway) near Shawnee State Park, it is visited by thousands of people from around the globe every year.

The pews inside the 1806 Old Log Church along the Lincoln Highway in Bedford County PA
The pews inside the 1806 Old Log Church along the Lincoln Highway in Bedford County, PA.

8. The Jean Bonnet Tavern

The Jean Bonnet Tavern in Bedford County not only serves up delicious food and beverages in a colonial American setting, but it is rumored to be the most haunted restaurant in Pennsylvania!

The historic Jean Bonnet Tavern along the Lincoln HIghway in Bedford County, PA.
The Jean Bonnet Tavern along the Lincoln Highway in Bedford County.

People come from near and far to dine here, many in hopes of having some sort of “paranormal” experience.

Page from the "ghost book" at the Jean Bonnet Tavern detailing some of the paranormal activity that has been observed there.
Page from the “ghost book” at the Jean Bonnet Tavern detailing some of the paranormal activity that has been observed there.

9. Warrior Ridge Vista

Warrior Ridge Vista is located along Blankley Road in the Buchanan State Forest, approximately 11 miles south of Bedford and just off of Route 326 near the village of Rainsburg.

Warrior Ridge Vista in Bedford County Pennsylvania
Warrior Ridge Vista in Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

Use GPS coordinates 39.87001, -78.51487 to navigate to this superb southeastern view of Bedford County.

A map to Rainsburg Vista and Warrior Ridge Vista in Bedford County PA
A map to Rainsburg Vista and Warrior Ridge Vista in Bedford County, PA.

10. Rainsburg Vista

Located 3/4 of a mile south of Warrior Ridge Vista (see map above) you’ll encounter Rainsburg Vista, with wide-open views to the north and west.

Rainsburg Vista in the Buchanan State Forest
Rainsburg Vista in the Buchanan State Forest

Use GPS coordinates 39.86386, -78.52488 to navigate to Rainsburg Vista, and savor the sights of the fertile Bedford County farmland below.

Rainsburg Vista in Bedford County Pennsylvania
Rainsburg Vista in Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

11. The Abandoned PA Turnpike

The Abandoned PA Turnpike is a thirteen mile stretch of abandoned superhighway, bypassed by an alternate route in 1968.

The western portal of Rays Hill Tunnel along the Abandoned PA Turnpike

Today the Abandoned PA Turnpike is a popular hiking/biking trail, featuring two lengthy tunnels and a trailhead near Breezewood in Bedford County.

Bicycling the Abandoned PA Turnpike in September 2020.
Bicycling the Abandoned PA Turnpike in September 2020.

12. Blue Knob State Park

Blue Knob State Park is located in the northwestern tip of Bedford County, and is home to the highest skiable mountain in PA!

Blue Knob ski area at Blue Knob State Park.
Blue Knob ski area at Blue Knob State Park.

Blue Knob is also the second highest point in Pennsylvania, with only Mount Davis in Somerset County coming in taller.

Blue Knob Summit in Bedford County is the second-highest spot in Pennsylvania.
Blue Knob Summit in Bedford County.

13. Skyline Drive Vista

Skyline Drive Vista is a picturesque roadside overlook in the Gallitzin State Forest, on the western edge of the Bedford County.

Skyline Drive Vista along Skyline Drive in the Gallitzin State Forest.
Skyline Drive Vista along Skyline Drive in the Gallitzin State Forest.

Skyline Drive Vista is located right along Skyline Drive (a dirt state forest road) at GPS coordinates 40.23314, -78.66069, or 400 yards east of the intersection of Skyline Drive and Buffalo Road.

How to find Skyline Drive Vista in the Gallitzin State Forest.
A map to Skyline Drive Vista in the Gallitzin State Forest.

14. The Pied Piper of Bedford County

The 18 foot tall Pied Piper of Bedford County stands along the edge of the Lincoln Highway near Schellsburg, in front of a defunct children’s park called Story Land that closed in the 1980s.

The Pied Piper roadside giant along the Lincoln Highway in Bedford County.
The Pied Piper roadside giant along the Lincoln Highway near Schellsburg in Bedford County.

The Pied Piper is on private land, but you can still pull off to snap a few photos across the street from the statue, at the intersection of Cemetery Road and Route 30.

Cemetery Road near Schellsburg, original route of the old Lincoln Highway.
Cemetery Road near Schellsburg, original route of the old Lincoln Highway.

15. William Frazier’s Gravesite

William Frazier was the first child of European descent born in Bedford County.

William Fraser monument near Manns Choice in Bedford County.
William Frazier monument near Manns Choice in Bedford County.

He was a Revolutionary War veteran whose gravesite is along what is now Route 31, just west of Manns Choice.

Map to William Frazier gravesite in Bedford County. PA
Map to William Frazier gravesite in Bedford County.

The ceremony dedicating this memorial is described in a newspaper clipping from 1950 reprinted below.

Newspaper clipping from 1950 about the William Frazier gravesite memorial dedication.
Newspaper clipping from 1950 about the William Frazier gravesite memorial dedication ceremony.

16. The Bedford County Fair Mural

The Bedford County Fair Mural is a piece of public art located on Business Route 30 at the I-99 underpass, next to the Bedford County Fairgrounds and very close to the Bedford Coffee Pot.

The Bedford Fair Mural along Business Route 30 on the I99 underpass.
The Bedford Fair Mural along Business Route 30 on the I99 underpass.

The mural was completed in 2018 by artist William Snyder III.

Right side of the Bedford Fair Mural along Business Route 30 on the I99 underpass.
Right side of the Bedford Fair Mural along Business Route 30 on the I99 underpass.

The mural depicts many of the personalities and attractions associated with the Bedford County Fair, which is nearly 150 years old.

Left side of the Bedford Fair Mural along Business Route 30 on the I99 underpass.
Left side of the Bedford Fair Mural along Business Route 30 on the I99 underpass.

17. The Lincoln Highway Barn

The Lincoln Highway Barn is a tribute to America’s first coast-to-coast automobile route.

Lincoln HIghway Barn west of Schellsburg in Bedford County.
Lincoln Highway Barn west of Schellsburg in Bedford County.

The Lincoln Highway Barn is part of the Bison Corral farm and gift shop, located at 2708 Lincoln Hwy, Schellsburg, PA 15559.

Lincoln HIghway Barn at the Bison Corral in Bedford County.
Lincoln Highway Barn at the Bison Corral in Bedford County.

18. Glade Pike

Glade Pike isn’t a singular destination – it’s a beautiful 12 mile scenic drive in western Bedford County.

Glade Pike Church in Bedford County.
Glade Pike Church in Bedford County.

Glade Pike runs along a ridgetop between Manns Choice and West End, parallel to Route 31 below.

Map to Glade Pike in Bedford County, PA.
Map to Glade Pike in Bedford County, PA.

For my money, this is one of the most scenic back roads in all of western PA.

Fall foliage farm scene along Glade Pike in Bedford County, PA.
Fall foliage farm scene along Glade Pike.

Old barns, historic churches, and views for miles – Glade Pike has everything you could ask for when looking for a scenic country drive.

Cow on a hill along Glade Pike in Bedford County.
Cow on a hill along Glade Pike in Bedford County.

19. The Covered Bridges of Bedford County

Bedford County has 14 covered bridges – so many that listing them all here would effectively double the length of this list!

Herline Covered Bridge near Manns Choice in Bedford County, PA.
Herline Covered Bridge near Manns Choice in Bedford County.

So rather than do that, I’m providing THIS LINK to a separate article that lists all 14 bridges, along with directions to each one.

Colvin Covered Bridge in Bedford County, PA.
Colvin Covered Bridge in Bedford County, PA.

20. Founders Crossing

Founders Crossing is a 20,000 square foot antique mall and local artisan market located in the heart of downtown Bedford.

Founders Crossing antique store and flea market in Bedford, Pennsylvania.
Founders Crossing on South Juliana Street in downtown Bedford.

Housed in a building that dates back to 1890 and featuring more than 100 vendors, Founders Crossing is open 7 days a week and is one of my favorite places to spend an hour or two whenever I’m passing through Bedford County.

Antiques and collectibles at Founders Crossing in Bedford Pennsylvania.
Antiques and collectibles at Founders Crossing.

21. The Lost Children of the Alleghenies Monument

The Lost Children of the Alleghenies were two young brothers who wandered away from their Bedford County home in April, 1856 and perished in the nearby mountains, despite a massive search effort to save them.

Sign next to the Cox Monument on State Game Lands 26 in Bedford County PA.
Sign next to the Cox Monument on State Game Lands 26.

On the 50th anniversary of their deaths, in 1906, a marble monument was erected on the spot their bodies were found, next to Ciana Run on present-day State Game Lands 26 in Bedford County.

The Lost Children of the Alleghenies monument on State Game Lands 26 in Bedford County Pennsylvania.

22. Coral Caverns

Coral Caverns is home to the remains of a 420 million year old coral reef that formed off the coast of modern-day Virginia and migrated (via plate tectonics and continental drift) to Bedford County over the eons.

Exploring Coral Caverns in Bedford County Pennsylvania.
Coral Caverns in Bedford County.

The Visitor Center at Coral Caverns is a single room, filled with an assortment of fossils, dioramas, and caving-related artifacts and memorabilia.

Fossil display at Coral Caverns in Bedford County Pennsylvania.
Fossil display in the Visitor Center at Coral Caverns.

Formerly known as Wonderland Caverns, this Bedford County cave has been a tourist attraction for nearly 100 years!

Coral Caverns in Bedford County was formerly knows as Wonderland Caverns.
Coral Caverns was formerly knows as Wonderland Caverns.

23. Pavia Overlook

Pavia Overlook at Blue Knob State Park is located atop the second-highest mountain in Pennsylvania!

Exploring Pavia Overlook at Blue Knob State Park in Pennsylvania.
The author at Pavia Overlook.

The view here is from the highest summit in Bedford County, and second highest in all of Pennsylvania!

View to the southwest from Pavia Overlook at Blue Knob State Park in Bedford County Pennsylvania.
View to the southwest from Pavia Overlook.

So there you have it!

Directions to 23 of the best things to see and do in Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

Foggy morning fishermen at Shawnee State Park.
Foggy morning at Shawnee State Park in Bedford County.

Whether you’re looking for day trip ideas or staying in the area for a week or more, you’re sure to find something to love about Bedford County on this list of “must-see” destinations.

Site of the original Fort Bedford, just a few hundred yards east of the current Fort Bedford Museum.
Site of the original Fort Bedford, just a few hundred yards east of the current Fort Bedford Museum.

And if I missed one of your favorites, be sure to leave a suggestion in the comments below.

A misty morning sunrise at the 1806 Old Log Church in Bedford County PA.
A misty morning sunrise at the 1806 Old Log Church in Bedford County.

There’s always room for more ideas on this list of must-see destinations in Bedford County, PA!

The art deco-styled Dunkles Gulf Station in Bedford PA
The art deco-styled Dunkle’s Gulf Station in Bedford, PA.

Nearby Attractions

8 Must-See Attractions in Blair County is your guide to the best things to see and do in Bedford County’s neighbor to the north.

Looking into downtown Hollidaysburg from the lower overlook at Chimney Rocks Park.
Chimney Rocks Overlook in Blair County.

10 Must-See Attractions in Cambria County is your guide to the best things to see and do in Bedford County’s neighbor to the northwest.

The view from the Johnstown Inclined Plane in Cambria County PA
The view from the top of the Johnstown Inclined Plane in Cambria County.

16 Must-See Attractions in Huntingdon County is your guide to the best things to see and do in Bedford County’s neighbor to the east.

Sunrise at Whipple Dam State Park.
Sunrise at Whipple Dam State Park in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania.

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Rusty Glessner is a professional photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

2 COMMENTS

  1. What a great list! I tried to find this article on your Pinterest page so I could add it to my Pins for Bedford but you don’t seem to have it listed there. I would add to this list the Omni Bedford Springs Hotel. The history there is just amazing and–even if you aren’t staying there–you can take a tour or even just walk around. Another attraction is Gravity Hill. Unfortunately, I think the Wonderland Caverns in Manns Choice is closed. That was an incredible place too!

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