Altoona, United States
Altoona is a city in Blair County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is the principal city of the Altoona Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The population was 46,320 at the time of the 2010 Census, making it the eleventh most populous city in Pennsylvania. The Altoona MSA includes all of Blair County and was recorded as having a population of 127,089 at the 2010 Census, around 100,000 of whom live within a 5 mi radius of the Altoona city center according to U.S. Census ZIP Code population data. This includes the adjacent boroughs of Hollidaysburg and Duncansville, adjacent townships of Logan, Allegheny, Blair, Frankstown, Antis, and Tyrone, as well as nearby boroughs of Bellwood and Newry.
Things to do in Altoona
Horseshoe Curve is a three-track railroad curve on Norfolk Southern Railway's Pittsburgh Line in Blair County, Pennsylvania. The curve itself is about 2375 ft long and 1300 ft in diameter; it was completed in 1854 by the Pennsylvania Railroad as a way to lessen the grade to the summit of the Allegheny Mountains. It eventually replaced the time-consuming Allegheny Portage Railroad, the only other route across the mountains for large vehicles.
Canoe Creek State Park is a 911.91 acre Pennsylvania state park in Frankstown Township in Blair County, Pennsylvania. It is 12 miles east of Altoona, the nearest city. Canoe Lake, at 155 acre, is the focus of recreation at the park and is open for fishing year-round. Canoe Creek State Park is a half mile off U.S. Route 22 near the small town of Canoe Creek. The park was opened to the public in 1979 and was developed as part of an expansion effort in the 1970s to improve the state park system in Pennsylvania.
The Allegheny Portage Railroad was the first railroad constructed through the Allegheny Mountains in central Pennsylvania, United States; it operated from 1834 to 1854 as the first transportation infrastructure through the gaps of the Allegheny that connected the midwest to the eastern seaboard across the barrier range of the Allegheny Front. Authorized as part of the Main Line of Public Works legislation in 1824, it was a series of ten inclines connecting to a branch of the Pennsylvania Canal at either end, approximately 36 mi long overall. It had five inclines on either side of the drainage divide running athwart the ridge line from Blair Gap through along the kinked saddle at the summit into Cresson, Pennsylvania. The Portage Railroad utilized cleverly designed wheeled barges to ride a narrow-gauge rail track with steam-powered stationary engines lifting the vehicles. Except for peak moments of severe storms, it was an all-weather, all-seasons operation. Along with the rest of the Main Works, it cut transport time from Philadelphia to the Ohio River from weeks to just 3–5 days. The roadbed of the railroad did not incline monotonically upwards, but rose in relatively long, saw-toothed stretches of slightly-sloped flat terrain suitable to animal powered towing, alternating with steep cable railway inclined planes using static steam engine powered windlasses, similar to mechanisms of modern ski lifts. It connected two canal 'divisions' of the Main Line of Public Works of the Pennsylvania Canal System, from Johnstown on the west through the relative flats to Hollidaysburg on the east, thus allowing continuous barge traffic between the Ohio and the Susquehanna rivers. Considered a technological marvel in its day, it played a critical role in opening the interior of the United States beyond the Appalachian Mountains to settlement and commerce. It included the first railroad tunnel in the United States, the Staple Bend Tunnel, and its inauguration was marked with great fanfare.
Lakemont Park, located in Altoona, Pennsylvania, houses the world's oldest-surviving roller coaster, the Leap-The-Dips. On June 19, 1996, the roller coaster was added to the list of National Historic Landmarks by the National Park Service. The park opened in 1894 as a trolley park and became an amusement park in the summer of 1899. It is the 8th oldest in the United States. The park was owned by the Boyer Candy Company from May 23, 1986 until July 1, 1988, when it was called Boyertown USA.
Places to stay in Altoona