12 Must-See Attractions in Blair County

Looking into downtown Hollidaysburg from the lower overlook at Chimney Rocks Park.

Blair County, founded in 1846, is home to some amazing attractions, both natural and man-made.

Approaching the Horseshoe Curve Visitor Center in Altoona.
Approaching the Horseshoe Curve Visitor Center in Altoona.

From railroad history to unique natural landmarks, here are 12 of the best things to see and do in Blair County!

Fall foliage around the lime kilns at Canoe Creek State Park.
Fall foliage around the lime kilns at Canoe Creek State Park in Blair County.

1. The Horseshoe Curve

The Horseshoe Curve in Blair County was considered one of the “engineering wonders of the world” at the time of its completion in 1854.

Eastbound train descending the Horseshoe Curve.
Eastbound train descending the Horseshoe Curve.

This 2,375 foot-long curved stretch of railroad tracks allowed trains to conquer the Allegheny Mountains for the first time, by permitting a more gradual ascent/descent of those mountains.

Old sign on exhibit inside the Horseshoe Curve museum.
Old sign on exhibit inside the Horseshoe Curve museum.

Today the Horseshoe Curve has both a museum/visitor center, as well as a viewing area to watch trains round the Curve itself.

A young railfan waves to a passin Norfolk Southern engineer at the Horseshoe Curve.
A young railfan waves to a passing Norfolk Southern engineer at the Horseshoe Curve.

2. The Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum

The Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum in Blair County celebrates the lives of both railroad workers and railroading communities in central Pennsylvania.

Exterior of the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum in Blair County Pennsylvania.
The Railroaders Memorial Museum in Blair County.

Unlike many “train museums” that focus primarily on engines and cars, the Railroaders Memorial Museum focuses primarily on the men and women who kept the engines running and the cars rolling.

Exhibit showing some of the various jobs performed by employees of the Pennsylvania Railroad at the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum.
Exhibit showing some of the various jobs performed by employees of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

On the grounds surrounding the Railroaders Memorial Museum, you’ll find a number of engines and cars (“rolling stock”, in railroading terms) on display as well.

Pennsylvania Railroad engine on display outside the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum
Pennsylvania Railroad engine on display outside the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum.

3. Chimney Rocks Park

Chimney Rocks Park near Hollidaysburg in Blair County is home to 3 impressive scenic overlooks in a beautiful borough park setting.

Autumn in Blair County at Chimney Rocks.
Autumn in Blair County at Chimney Rocks.

Chimney Rocks Park is named for the tall, chimney-shaped limestone pillars on top of this mountain at the heart of the park.

One of the limestone chimneys at Chimney Rocks Park.
One of the limestone “chimneys” at Chimney Rocks Park in Blair County.

According to local legend, the flat spot on top of one of the limestone “chimneys” was called the “Chief’s Seat” and was used as a lookout by the local Native American tribal chief.

A view of the Chimney Rocks high above Hollidaysburg PA
The view from near the “Chief’s Seat” at Chimney Rocks in Blair County.

4. The Abandoned Lime Kilns at Canoe Creek State Park

The abandoned lime kilns at Canoe Creek State Park are remnants of a thriving limestone-processing facility that once operated around the clock in this now-tranquil corner of Blair County.

The abandoned lime kilns at Canoe Creek State Park.
The lime kilns at present-day Canoe Creek State Park.

Lime produced here in the early 1900s was loaded onto Pennsylvania Railroad cars and shipped off to the Jones and Laughlin steel mills in Pittsburgh.

Jones and Laughlin Steel Company in PIttsburgh Pennsylvania.
Jones and Laughlin Steel Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (public domain image).

It’s hard to imagine as you stand in front of the silent lime kilns today how much smoke, noise, commotion, and back-breaking work went on in this location for the decade or so that the kilns were in operation.

Early October at Canoe Creek State Park in Blair County, Pennsylvania.
Early October at Canoe Creek State Park in Blair County, Pennsylvania.

5. DelGrosso’s Amusement Park

DelGrosso’s Amusement Park has been a central PA tradition for more than 100 years!

DelGrosso's Amusement Park is a free-admission park in Tipton Pennsylvania.
DelGrosso’s Amusement Park near Tipton in Blair County.

DelGrosso’s Amusement Park offers free parking, free admission, and over 30 rides, with something for everyone from little kids to adults.

Some of the rides for older kids and adults at DelGrosso's Amusement Park in Blair County Pennsylvania.
Two of the many rides for older kids and adults at the park.

Laguna Splash is a fabulous water park attached to DelGrosso’s Amusement Park, for even more summer fun!

Looking out over Laguna Splash water park at DelGrosso's.
Looking out over Laguna Splash water park.

6. Fort Roberdeau

Fort Roberdeau in Blair County was built in 1778 by American colonists during the Revolutionary War, and was occupied until 1780.

Exploring Fort Roberdeau in Blair County Pennsylvania.
Fort Roberdeau in Blair County.

The fort was originally erected by General Daniel Roberdeau to protect local lead mining activities from British loyalists and their Native Americans allies.

Late winter afternoon at Fort Roberdeau in Blair County Pennsylvania.
Aerial view of Fort Roberdeau.

7. Antique Depot

Antique Depot and Flea Market is housed in a 74,000 square foot indoor facility in Duncansville, Blair County.

The parking lot at Antique Depot in Duncansville.
Antique Depot and Flea Market in Blair County

Home to nearly 200 different antique dealers and flea market vendors, you’ll find a huge variety of antiques, collectibles, and unique objects at Antique Depot.

Looking down an aisle at Antique Depot in Duncansville
Inside Antique Depot in Blair County.

8. Canoe Creek State Park

There’s a LOT more to Canoe Creek State Park than just the famous lime kilns!

One of the many boat launches at Canoe Creek State Park in Blair County Pennsylvania.
One of the many boat launches at Canoe Creek State Park.

Canoe Lake, at 155 acres, is the focal point of recreation at the park.

Hiking along the Sugarloaf Trail at Canoe Creek State Park in Blair County Pennsylvania.
Scene along the Sugarloaf Trail.

Canoe Creek State Park features 12 miles of hiking trails, providing opportunities to explore forests, fields, wetlands, historic sites, and the lakeshore.

Marsh Trail boardwalk at Canoe Creek State Park in Blair County Pennsylvania.
Marsh Trail boardwalk along Canoe Lake.

9. Tytoona Cave

Tytoona Cave is part of a 6.8 acre Nature Preserve between the cities of Tyrone and Altoona in Blair County.

Tytoona Cave is one of the many excellent natural attractions in Blair County, PA.
Tytoona Cave is one of the many excellent natural attractions in Blair County.

According to the National Speleological Society“The first 1,000 feet of the cave are easily accessible by novices and is an excellent location to educate visitors about the cave’s geology and hydrology”.

Peering into Tytoona Cave from the entrance.
Peering into Tytoona Cave from the entrance.

Tytoona Cave is open to visitors from 6AM to 9PM., and exploration is strictly AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Beautiful ice formations near the entrance to Tytoona Cave in Blair County Pennsylvania.
Beautiful ice formations near the entrance to Tytoona Cave.

10. The Allegheny Portage Railroad

Located on the Blair/Cambria county line, the Allegheny Portage Railroad near Altoona is one of the most historic railroading sites in Pennsylvania!

Looking up Incline Number 6 towards Engine House Number 6 at the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site near Altoona Pennsylvania.
Looking up Incline Number 6 towards Engine House Number 6 along the Allegheny Portage Railroad.

This 36 mile-long track was the first railroad built across the Allegheny Mountains, allowing for canals on the eastern and western sides of the state to be connected, cutting the travel time from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia from weeks to just days.

Drawing of how Engine House Number 6 looked during the time the Allegheny Portage Railroad was in operation.
Drawing of how Engine House Number 6 looked during the time the Allegheny Portage Railroad was in operation (public domain image).

Today, the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site is maintained by the National Park Service, allowing visitors to learn about and explore first-hand the “glory days” of the Allegheny Portage Railroad near Altoona.

Allegheny Portage Railroad Visitor Center.
Visitor Center at the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site.

11. Cabbage Creek Falls

Cabbage Creek Falls is a picturesque little waterfall tucked away in Shawnee Park (not to be confused with Shawnee State Park) in Blair County.

Exploring Cabbage Creek Falls in Blair County Pennsylvania.
The author at Cabbage Creek Falls in Blair County.

Located on the outskirts of Roaring Spring, Cabbage Creek Falls is a perfect short hike for just about any age or ability level.

Hillside view of Cabbage Creek Falls in Blair County PA.
Cabbage Creek Falls at Shawnee Park near Roaring Spring.

12. Leighty’s Flea Market

Leighty’s Flea Market in Blair County is one of my favorite outdoor flea markets in all of Pennsylvania!

Exploring Leighty's Flea Market near Altoona Pennsylvania
Leighty’s Flea Market near Duncansville in Blair County.

Featuring a little bit of everything, Leighty’s Flea Market is a 29 acre goldmine for collectors of all things “vintage”, as well as a fun place to window shop and people-watch.

Leighty's Flea Market is open on Sundays from April through October.
Leighty’s Flea Market is open on Sundays from April through October.

Nearby Attractions

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

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

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

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

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

October at Shawnee State Park.
Shawnee State Park in Bedford County.

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