We just took a day trip to Scranton, PA as a “roughly halfway” place to meet our son. Although it wasn’t high on either of our lists, we had a pleasant day and a nice cheesesteak lunch to boot.

Our first activity was a walk around Steamtown National Historic Site, a railway museum dedicated to the steam engine period. It has a beautiful modern building centered around a turntable / roundhouse, and a rail yard with an assortment of train cars and engines. Many of the indoor displays are currently closed due to Covid, but the park is free, and there were no crowds on the day we visited.

The turntable

One of the open buildings is a repair shop with a boardwalk that lets you get close to (but not actually inside or touching) several of the engines.

Repair shop

The train yard outside is a mixed bag, with some well-restored trains and some that show their age. Train buffs will enjoy it. We liked it, and felt that about an hour was the right amount of time.

Our day also featured Nay Aug Park, a good-sized municipal park centered around a gorge. (“Nay Aug” means “roaring brook”.) It has hiking trails that range from smooth and paved to steep, narrow, rocky paths that descend to near the gorge bottom. Large, unfriendly signs warn hikers to stay on the trail, with threats of fines and video surveillance. All trails are fairly short, with the longest reaching about a mile.

In the gorge. The person in the middle did not follow the signs.
Covered bridge over the gorge. Note video camera top right.

One of the overlooks features a photo of someone who earlier this year jumped off that spot into what appears to be deep water. It was the last thing he did. (Signs are there for a reason, folks.)

The park’s signature attraction is the David Wenzel Treehouse, reached by a boardwalk bridge.


Besides hiking trails, the park has a few nice playgrounds, a swimming pool with waterslides, a rose garden, and picnic areas. It’s rightfully a highlight of the area.

We rounded off our day with a walk through downtown. We walked a lot because we like to, and because indoor activities seem unwise during the pandemic. Scranton has some nice architecture, particularly the interesting Lackawanna County Courthouse. I thought I had pictures of this, but I find that I don’t. Oh well.