May 16, 2021

Down In The Mines

Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine
Ashland, PA
Yesterday afternoon, we went on a tour of a coal mine that hasn't been in operation since the Great Depression.  It's called the Pioneer Tunnel, and it's located in Ashland, Pennsylvania.  It's a horizontal drift mine with a tunnel that runs about 300 feet deep and 1800 feet into the side of the Mahanoy Mountain.

I didn't know what to expect when we got here - just wanted to go on a little adventure, but I'm very glad that we did.  Our tour guide was an awesome dude whose father and uncle worked in the coal mines, and he really made the experience come to life.

They say that every sign has a story.  If that's true, I would love to hear what prompted the need to have this posted at the entrance of the mine.

You might think that this is a claustrophobic kind of experience, but I didn't find it to be.  I'm sure it was for the folks who used to work the mine, but there's plenty of room to move around comfortably, and the folks who run the tours couldn't possibly be nicer or more accommodating.  

The temperature inside of the coal mine is approximately 49 degrees, so you definitely need a coat, but it's something I would strongly recommend to anyone who is interested in history, or if you're just looking for something different to do.

There's even a little park outside of the coal mine where you can relax and have a picnic lunch if you want.  There were a bunch of squirrels and blue jays out yesterday.  Unfortunately, this blurry photo of a lone bird is the only evidence I have, but there were at least a dozen of them bopping around.