Travel back 19,000 years with Meadowcroft Director Dave Scofield to learn more about this National Historic Landmark.

Imagine yourself in the footsteps of the very first Americans. Standing where they stood 19,000 years ago. Using ancient technology to live off the land.

Meadowcroft Rockshelter, the oldest site of human habitation in North America, provides a unique glimpse into the lives of prehistoric hunters and gatherers. This National Historic Landmark, located in Avella, Washington County, Pa., features a massive rock overhang used 19,000 years ago for shelter by the first people in North America. The enclosure at Meadowcroft Rockshelter provides visitors with a unique, never-before-seen perspective into the oldest and deepest parts of this internationally-renowned archeological excavation.

During Meadowcroft’s open season, daily tours of the Rockshelter begin at the Visitors Center. Tour times vary and last approximately one hour. Please contact Meadowcroft directly at 724-587-3412 for more information.

In addition to ancient history at the Rockshelter, visitors to Meadowcroft can also step back in time to experience rural life over the past 500 years through a series of interpretive villages, including a 16th century Eastern Woodland Indian Village, an 18th century log cabin and open-sided trading post, and a 19th century village that includes a church, one-room schoolhouse, and blacksmith shop.

Bring a picnic lunch, relax, and enjoy Meadowcroft’s beautiful rural setting for the afternoon. Plan to spend at least three hours if you want to see all that Meadowcroft has to offer.


For more information about planning your next visit, please contact Meadowcroft at 724-587-3412 or meadowcroftinfo@heinzhistorycenter.org.

Thank you to the Observer-Reporter for being Meadowcroft’s media sponsor.


What to See at Meadowcroft

Dig into archaeological evidence that reveals the earliest signs of human habitation dating back 19,000 years.

Experience everyday 19th century rural life in Meadowcroft’s carefully recreated Historic Village.

Go back 400 years and explore a recreated 16th century Monongahela Indian Village.

Two 1770s era structures help to spotlight the similarities and differences between European settlers and Eastern Woodland Indians.

The Trails to Trains exhibit transports visitors through time, exploring the evolution of transportation in Southwestern Pennsylvania using five vehicles from the collection.

Video Gallery

For more videos from Meadowcroft, see our playlist on YouTube.