Have You Ever Explored The Abandoned Turnpike Tunnels?

Bring a flashlight and a sense of adventure.
Sidling Hill 5


If you think the Pennsylvania Turnpike is a little scary, wait until you see its abandoned tunnels.

The tunnels — Sideling Hill and Rays Hill, respectively — were closed in the 1960s in favor of a new route for the highway and travel plaza. The abandoned road that connects these two tunnels lives on as an easy — but incredibly intriguing and historic — hiking trail. Be advised, any exploration of these tunnels is done at your own risk. 

These abandoned tunnels were also used by PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to test rumble strips, emissions from unleaded gasoline and train maintenance workers. A third abandoned turnpike tunnel — the Laurel Hill Tunnel — is owned privately by Pittsburgh native Chip Ganassi and his company, Chip Ganassi Racing, for high-speed race car aerodynamic testing

Sidling Hill 7


If the spooky-scary aspect of these abandoned tunnels doesn’t tickle your fancy, the highway that runs through both tunnels was used in “The Road,” a 2008 post-apocalyptic survival film starring Viggo Mortensen. The studio partially restored the eastern side of the Rays Hill tunnel for filming. 

The Sideling Hill tunnel can be accessed from Pump Station Road in Fulton County. The Rays Hill tunnel can be accessed from Tannery Road in Breezewood. 

Scroll through the gallery to take a look. ⇓

This article was updated from its original posting in August 2020.

Categories: Hiking & Biking, The 412