Visit Sites on the Perry County Heritage Trail
The map and descriptions of historical sites of interest on this site provide a virtual guide to the exploration of one of Pennsylvania’s most unique counties.
Perry County is almost half the size of the State of Rhode Island, but with 1/20th the population. Largely countryside, with small towns, the county has a population of 45,000. Mountains wrap themselves around the county on the south, west and north sides with the picturesque Susquehanna River creating the eastern border. To the south and south east of the county are the most populous regions of south central Pennsylvania including the State Capital of Harrisburg.
Perry County is the beginning of the ridge and valley geographical section of the Commonwealth, a mountain barrier in the 18th and early 19th centuries to settlement. Hence, much of the interior of the county is composed of large farms in the valleys and vast woodlands in the higher hills and mountains. Here one will find state forests, a state park, hiking trails and miles of scenic and enchanting byways and scenery.
Ironically, Perry County has more major river frontage than any other county in Pennsylvania. The broad and shallow Susquehanna River is the eastern border of the county, with a major tributary, the Juniata, bisecting the county. The Susquehanna and Juniata, the transportation arteries of the region, became the location of the county’s larger towns – Marysville, Duncannon, Liverpool, Newport and Millerstown.
What will you find on the Heritage Trail Map?
- The Heritage Trail map grows every month with new sites and locations. If you are a genealogist, a history buff, an outdoors person or a family with a few hours together, you can explore and discover a delightful bucolic county of 19th Century towns, covered bridges, National Register Historic structures, historic markers (both state and of the Bicentennial), lush valleys, master and legacy farms, river and state parks and hiking trails.
- To access the Heritage Trail map , venture to the Sites and Locations menu and learn about what you are seeing or plan to see. If you are standing by a Bicentennial Historical Marker, click on the QR code and you will be provided with even more information and photographs of this significant venue of Perry and Pennsylvania history.
- Click on Newport and Duncannon locations and explore their Heritage Trail and Trail of Time. Both river boroughs, whose centers avoided 20th century urban renewal, are time capsules of 19th Century architecture. Most of Newport is on the National Register of Historic Places!
So welcome again to Perry County and its place in U.S. history. Whether you are passing through or have the time to wander, our friendly residents will greet you and your family warmly, and welcome the opportunity to share a word on this unique part of Pennsylvania.
The Bicentennial Committee is indebted to the Perry Historians for the courtesy of historical photographs and the utilization of a Perry County valued institution – the Lenig Library and Archives. The archives contain books, maps, manuscripts, materials, government records, microfilm and photographs of the history of Perry County.
In addition, many citizens and other entities have shared pictures and manuscripts and have given oral interviews. To all who advance our knowledge of the past, the Committee expresses its appreciation.