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Persistent Paths: Trails, Tracks, and Turnpikes Across the Alleghenies
Grade Level: High School
Discipline: Geography; History
Historical Period: Worlds Meeting-Beginnings to 1600; Colonization and Settlement - 1601-1760; New Nation - 1761-1800; Expansion and Reform - 1801-1855; Civil War and Reconstruction - 1856-1876; Development of the Industrial Pennsylvania - 1877-1900; The Emergence of Modern Pennsylvania - 1901-1928; The Great Depression and World War II - 1929-1945; Post-WWII Pennsylvania - 1946-1974; Contemporary Pennsylvania - 1975 to Present

Students will discover that Native American paths were the blueprints for modern transportation routes throughout Pennsylvania, and in particular, in crossing the Allegheny Mountains. They will analyze a series of maps to determine geographic barriers associated with crossing the mountains and will establish how Native Americans and later travelers overcame these barriers. Journal entries from a traveler will be read and analyzed to provide a first hand account of what it was like to travel across the Allegheny Mountains in the early 1800s. A historical overview of transportation will be provided and students will discover how geographic features provided the foundation for Native American paths, as well as modern transportation routes.

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