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How to Get to Centralia, PA

  1. Follow I-81 to the exit for Frackville.
  2. Follow Rt. 61 North through Frackville into Ashland.
  3. Rt. 61 will go up a long hill in Ashland. Make a right turn at the top of the hill and continue following Rt. 61.
  4. Follow Rt. 61 about 2 miles into Centralia. Just before you get into Centralia the road will make a sharp turn off to the right. That is the closed section of highway with the crack in it. It's easier to get to from the top of the hill.
  5. Continue following Rt. 61 up the hill. You will get to Locust Avenue, the main street that runs North-South through Centralia and goes through the center of town. You can park in the unpaved lot on the right side of the road at the top of the hill, then walk down the closed section of highway to the crack.

Things to See in Centralia, PA

On the south side of Centralia is a section of four-lane divided highway which was closed in the 1980s. The reason: A huge crack in the southbound lanes, with smoke billowing out of it from the mine fire below. From the center of town, head south up the hill to the big yellow arrow signs. Park and walk down the closed highway about five minutes. You can't miss it.

(NOTE: Due to the presence of toxic gases from the mine fire, proceed at your own risk.)

In my experience the residents have been interesting to talk to, but I'm not sure how they feel about all the attention their town has been gotten. If you see any of them in the park in the center of town and want to talk to them, be polite and remember you're a visitor there.

In Ashland (the town just south of Centralia) is the Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine. Your chance to tour an abandoned coal mine in the original mine carts and learn all about coal mining. A fun and educational tour; I highly recommend it.