- The Staple Bend Tunnel was the first railroad tunnel in the United States.
- The two-mile trail and tunnel are operated by the National Park Service.
- Bicyclists should not try to ride through the tunnel.
Staple Bend Tunnel Trail
This trail is easy, short, beautiful and fascinatingly historical! Excavated for the Allegheny Portage Railroad and finished in 1833, the Staple Bend Tunnel was the first railroad tunnel in the United States. Today, you can walk through the 900-foot tunnel and see the incredible workmanship of early 19th century laborers and craftsman. Along the sides of the trail, cut-stone “sleepers” that once anchored the railroad rails still can be seen. And it is all framed by the lush forest of the Little Conemaugh River valley.
The trailhead for the Staple Bend Tunnel Trail is in the village of Mineral Point, and the two-mile trail is nearly level and easily walked or bicycled. Staple Bend Tunnel is at the end of the trail and open to the public. Because light is visible through the opposite portal, no artificial light is needed. However, bicyclists should dismount and walk their bikes through the tunnel as the darkness in mid-tunnel can be disorienting. This tunnel connects on each end with the Path of the Flood Trail.
View Staple Bend Tunnel Trail in a larger map
- This is an “out and back” trail, so users should be prepared for a four-mile walk or bicycle ride.
- Upon entering the tunnel, bicyclists should dismount and walk through due to disorienting darkness inside.
- While the Path of the Flood connects to the Staple Bend Tunnel Trail on both ends, the Path is significantly more challenging with steeper grades.