Submitted by CrownStarr t3_11phkng in Pennsylvania

I’m driving up there for work next month, so I won’t have much spare time to stop and do things, but I do love a good scenic drive and I don’t mind adding some time to my trip to get one. Google maps is suggesting 15N from Frederick MD to Harrisburg, then 81N to 80E. I’ve never spent much time in this part of PA so I’d appreciate any suggestions!

EDIT: Thanks all! Super useful information.



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invisiblearchives t1_jbxyx5l wrote

15 north to 81 isn't incredibly scenic, just some normal rustic woodlands. Standard PA stuff. Probably still prettier than going anywhere near the philly sprawl.

As a Harrisburg resident, I really do think the river crossings near the city are quite beautiful, and you'd be driving right through there.

Plus, if you can manage a few hours, Gettysburg is right off of 15 and well worth the trip if you're a civil war buff.


IamSauerKraut t1_jc2dw45 wrote

Waze will take him up 15 to 581 to 83 to 81. If there is an unscenic, traffic heavy route, that is it. He needs to take 581 west to meet up with 81 by Wertzville so he can go across the George Wade instead of the south bridge (83). Still a shitload of traffic (especially trucks) until the 81-78 split.


PACubsFan23 t1_jbxvi2w wrote

That route will be mostly 4-6 lane highway…and is quite boring. If you don’t mind some highway, head through Baltimore up 95 to Philadelphia, then take 611 North to Stroudsburg. Depending on where in the Poconos you’re going, you can grab 80 there. The drive from Philly to S-Burg up 611 is awesome


Allemaengel t1_jbxwndn wrote

Route 611 through DWG is currently closed for months by PennDOT to stabilize the cliff face after a big rock slide there. If coming from the south towards Stroudsburg, going to need to use Route 33 to cross the mountain at Wind Gap.


PACubsFan23 t1_jbxx6zc wrote

Ah, thanks for the update!


Allemaengel t1_jbxyccx wrote

No problem. Last I heard, it was going to be closed through the majority of next summer.

Business owners in Delaware Water Gap borough are understandably pissed since it had just reopened after an earlier road collapse that required like 400+ segments of Jersey barrier to reinforce the roadway.

Apparently getting approval from the National Park Service to work on the cliff face in the Rec Area's going to take PennDOT some time.


BEHodge t1_jbxwtpp wrote

611 is closed between Easton and Stroudsburg, but they could take 33 up from Easton. Scheduled to be reopen by September.


IamSauerKraut t1_jc2e6j2 wrote

611 from 95 is one long line of traffic lights. A really long haul going 15 mph.


ktappe t1_jby4597 wrote

How far off the beaten path are you willing to go? I ask because I can get you a drivethrough of the Brandywine Valley that will be gorgeous. But it will involve you going on single lane roads for about half an hour once you hop off I-95 in Delaware and drive north.

If you're willing, take I-95 into Delaware and exit at Route 141 North, before you get to Wilmington. Take 141 North until you turn left on Route 100 North. That will take you through Winterthur, an old Dupont estate. Make sure to turn left to stay on 100 instead of going straight onto 92.

This will take you up past the the Andrew Wyeth estate and Brandywine River Museum. It's a PA bicycle route, so watch out for riders.

This road runs into Route 1 which you can then take to 202 to the PA Turnpike and Route 611 North, which others have suggested. You'll just hit 611 a bit further north than Philly, which is a good thing.

Let me know if interested and I'll try to map it up on Google for you.


CrownStarr OP t1_jbyapio wrote

Nice, thank you! That’s plenty of detail to figure it out, I ran through it and it looks like it would only add about an hour to my drive.


thisoldbroad t1_jc0rruj wrote

But Rte 100 T-bones into Rte 309, at the northern end. From there, take 309 S to 873 N, which will take you through the Lehigh River water gap, through Tannersville, up to Pocono Township.


IamSauerKraut t1_jc2e0hz wrote

Delaware? To see one place and then encounter all that heavy Philly traffic?


ktappe t1_jc2vub9 wrote

I’m specifically taking them around Philly traffic.


IamSauerKraut t1_jc45uu6 wrote

Philly traffic is not just inside the City limits. There's quite a bit of traffic out where you suggest OP go. 202 around West Chester, Goshen and up to Exton is about as ugly as any place except maybe Rt. 1 west of Philly. And traffic there is a bumper-to-bumper race from one traffic light to the next.


ktappe t1_jc4kfe4 wrote

Depends on the time of day. You’re definitely right at rush hour, but if OP drives through around noon time it should be absolutely fine. That’s what I inferred they were doing considering they are looking to sightsee.


cintune t1_jbxw0lc wrote

SR325 from Dauphin to Tower City runs up a nice wooded valley with a reservoir, adds a little time but avoids the worst section of 81 truck/traffic-wise.


vogelsyn t1_jbymw1f wrote

ahhh.. 15N and the "FUTURE I-99" roads.

15 goes thru gettysburg. and williamsport. and mansfield. then to Elmira NY.


vasquca1 t1_jbz5kmn wrote

81 N, Virginia, goes through George Washington Forrest and parallel to Shenandoah which you could detour through.


CltAltAcctDel t1_jby9gf3 wrote

15 is a nice drive. 81 sucks but there are some nice views as you go through Schuylkill County (starting around MP 112). You can jump off 81 at McAdoo (rt 309). Follow 309 south for a short stretch then turn left at the first light. You’ll be on Ben Titus/Quakake Rd. That will take you to Weatherly. Follow signs for White Haven and you’ll be able to pickup RT 940.

Ben Titus/Quakake Rd is really nice. It’s a mainly flat and straight road that runs through a narrow valley.

Adding some more… take the first exit in PA off of 15 and head north on Emmitsburg Rd. That will take you straight through the battlefield and into the town of Gettysburg. Travel through the center of town and follow Business rt 15. You can follow that up to rt 394 where you can jump back on 15

Here’s the route. Godspeed


alinerie t1_jc1efff wrote

We tired of the truck traffic on Rt 81 traveling from Harrisburg north to our old residence in Susquehanna county. We enjoyed taking the extra time and following Rt 22 to Rt 11 north along the Susquehanna river. You can hop on Rt 80 outside Danville PA for a quick ride east to the Poconos.


Maleficent_Bee_9092 t1_jc2a3je wrote

I-81N to I-78E to PA 61N to PA 895E to PA 248N to US 209W(or S?) to PA 903N to PA 115N to I-80E. That's a VERY convoluted route but takes you thru some pretty nice Pocono's & farmstead scenery - the Schuylkill gap, parallel to the Blue Ridge on the north side, which is very rural, along the Lehigh River in a spectacular gorge, thru historic Jim Thorpe PA, up the Pocono's Escarpment, thru the Pocono's Plateau scrub brush forest country. You might hit tourist traffic around Jim Thorpe if you're traveling on a weekend, especially a big weekend like Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July or Labor Day. This will also take SIGNIFICANT more time, although it's still generally in the same alignment as the major interstates. I grew up in Philly & my parents retired up that way in the late '70's ("Ashfield PA") so am fairly familiar with the area.


IamSauerKraut t1_jc2db4t wrote

Take the 15 north out of Frederick. When you get to Thurmont, take 550 north. This road takes you up thru deep woods and along crackling creeks. You'll hit some hollows with farms and then you'll end up in Sabillasville. At the St John UCC (and park), take a right onto Harbaugh Valley Road. Stay on that until you hit Rt. 16.

Follow Rt. 16 east for a very short while, then turn left (north) onto Jacks Mountain Rd. That will bring you by the ski place (Ski Liberty in Carroll Valley). That road joins up with Rt 116 and you'll go thru Fairfield. Turn left onto Carrolls Tract Rd (State 3011). Follow that into Ortanna where the road joins with Ortanna Road, which joins with old Rt. 30. Turn left.

Follow old Rt. 30 until you get to the traffic light at highway Rt. 30. Cross over to Rt 234. Follow that for miles until you get to the traffic light in Biglerville at Rt. 34. Turn left. (If you turn right you can get into downtown Gettysburg.)

Follow 34 until it T's into Rt 94. Turn left and enter Mt. Holly Springs. Keep going. It's still Rt 34. Follow 34 thru Carlisle, thru Carlisle Springs (dont miss the turn onto Carlisle Springs Rd at the railroad tracks!) and then go up the 1st Mountain.

At the top of the mountain is an annoying roundabout. It's new and people still do not know how to drive around it. You can take the 2nd right or continue on down 34. Either way, you'll end up on Rt 850. If you go down 34, you'll hit another roundabout at 850. If you go down Mountain Rd, 850 is a right turn. Can't miss it either way.

850 dumps you out into Marysville at Rt. 15. This is Perry County's first ever traffic light. You can go south (right) and pick up 81 just a few miles down. Or you can go north (left) and follow the big river to Duncannon (N. Market St.) to 322 south. (Or follow 15 up to Rt. 80).

If you decide to go across the Clarks Ferry Bridge, immediately take Rt 147 north. Follow that into Millersburg to 209 east. 209 intersects 81 above Pine Grove. Or...

You can hop off 209 at Joliet and get onto Rt 125 north. That will take you thru coal country up to Shamokin and Rt. 61. Take 61 east from there into Ashland. Jump onto Rt 54 east. If you get onto 54 in Strong you will miss sniffing the air in Centralia. Follow 54 to get on 81. By then you'll be ready for the highway. Or...

Follow 54 into Hometown and pick up Rt 309 north from there. That'll take you up to Wilkes-Barree, but 309 goes thru a million traffic lights in dingy Hazelton and most of it is anything but scenic.