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Wilkes-Barre

Downtown Wilkes-Barre, PA, a Trail Town at the very tip of the D&L Corridor

Wilkes-Barre, part of the Wyoming Valley, is framed by the Pocono Mountains to the east, and the Endless Mountains to the west. The majestic Susquehanna River flows through the center.

In the 1800s, hundreds of thousands of immigrants flocked to the region to work the mines. Wilkes-Barre was located in the heart of the anthracite fields, and thus smack in the middle of development. The accompanying growth they triggered, coupled with inevitable economic and cultural changes, transformed the rural farming region into a thriving urban center. Wilkes-Barre soon became the region’s financial center and home to rich and powerful entrepreneurs. Their business ventures affected the railroad-and-canal system that stretched 165 miles southward to Bristol.

The first documented burning of anthracite occurred in Wilkes-Barre. In 1808 Judge Jesse Fell discovered that forced air made the hard-to-burn coal an efficient heat source. This discovery helped change Luzerne County from a quiet frontier to a thriving region where mining was king.

Today, one of the best places to glimpse Wilkes-Barre’s past is the Luzerne County Historical Society Museum on Franklin Street. It has Native American exhibits, anthracite coal displays and presentations that highlight important natural and cultural events of the Wyoming Valley. Nearby are Wilkes-Barre Commons, the F.M. Kirby Center – a center for the performing arts, and the Luzerne County Courthouse – one of Pennsylvania’s most impressive architectural masterpieces.

Things to Do

1

Cresco Station Museum of the Barrett Township Historical Society

The Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad first came through Cresco in 1851. The peak use of the Cresco Station can be categorized into two periods: the Freight Period from 1851 to circa 1900, and the Passenger Period from 1900 to... More

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2

Frances Slocum State Park

Frances Slocum State Park consists of 1,035 acres in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County. The horseshoe shaped, 165-acre lake is popular for boating and  fishing, and is a home to many species of birds, fish and wildlife. The many hiking and mountain biking trails... More

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3

Ricketts Glen State Park

Ricketts Glen harbors Glens Natural Area, a National Natural Landmark. Hike the Falls Trail System and explore the Glens, which boasts a series of wild, free-flowing waterfalls, each cascading through rock-strewn clefts in this ancient hillside. The 94-foot Ganoga Falls... More

4 Seven Tubs Nature Area in Plains Township

Seven Tubs Nature Area

Seven Tubs Nature Area is a 500-acre site located in Plains Township. The main feature of the area is a stream called Wheelbarrow Run that flows through a ravine where a series of large potholes or "tubs" are gouged out... More

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5

Steamtown National Historic Site

Steam locomotives excited the senses and Steamtown works to keep their stories alive! You'd feel heat from the firebox, smell hot steam and oil; you'd hear the whistle, feel the ground vibrate, and watch as one-ton drive rods turned steel... More

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6

Susquehanna Levee Trail

The Luzerne County Levee Trail, also known as the Susquehanna River Levee Trail, is a 12-mile paved path made up of 4 different reaches on either side of the Susquehanna River. A system of interconnected paved trails built atop the flood... More

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7

Wilkes-Barre Historical District Walking Tour

Visitors who take a walking tour of Wilkes-Barre will see a wide range of architectural styles and history living on through renovated buildings and structures. From the Luzerne County Courthouse to Wilkes-Barre City Hall; from churches and synagogues to restored... More

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8

Wilkes-Barre River Common

River Common is a twenty three million dollar park, located along the eastern bank of the Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Situated to either side of the Market Street Bridge, the park is host to a 750 person amphitheater, paved... More

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