19,000 Years of History, All in One Day

Take your family on a day-long adventure at Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, located in Avella, Washington County, Pa.

A National Historic Landmark, Meadowcroft features a massive rock overhang – the Rockshelter – used 19,000 years ago for shelter by the region’s first inhabitants. Take a tour of this internationally-renowned archeological treasure and learn more about the lives of Western Pennsylvania’s prehistoric hunters and gatherers.

At Meadowcroft’s interpretive villages, you can step back in time to encounter rural life over the past 500 years. Explore a wigwam and test your aim with a spear thrower at the 16th-century Eastern Woodland Indian Village, experience an 18th-century log cabin and open-sided trading post, and watch a blacksmith forge red-hot iron or take a lesson in a one-room school house at the site’s 19th-century Historic Village.

Hours & Location

Meadowcroft is open seasonally from May through October. Meadowcroft is located in the town of Avella in Washington County, Pa., about a one-hour drive from downtown Pittsburgh.


May Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Memorial Day to Labor Day Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Labor Day to October 29 Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Adults $15
Senior Citizens (65+) $14
Children ages 6-17 $7
Children ages 5 and under FREE
Students with a valid school ID $7
History Center Members FREE
Retired & Active Duty Military Receive $2 off admission
Teachers FREE this May

Free Museum Admission for Teachers This May

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Month, the Heinz History Center and its family of museums will offer free admission for teachers throughout May. All educators – including preschool, K-12, and university teachers – will be admitted without charge from May 1 through May 31.

Educators are strongly encouraged to reserve their spot in advance by registering online. A valid teacher ID and email address must be presented upon arrival. Please note, this offer includes one free admission to each museum, and does not apply to school groups, field trips, or other large groups.

Blue Star Museum

The Heinz History Center, Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Fort Pitt Museum, and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village are proud to be Blue Star Museums. From Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 18, 2024 through Labor Day, Monday, September 2, 2024, all active-duty military personnel will receive free admission for themselves and up to five family members. The program is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and thousands of museums across the country.

The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military—Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and Space Force, members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), DD Form 1173-1 ID card or the Next Generation Uniformed Services (Real) ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.

Daily Tours

During Meadowcroft’s season, tours of the Rockshelter are offered daily and last approximately one hour. Times vary. Please check in at the Visitor Center to sign up for a Rockshelter tour, or call 724-587-3412 for more information.

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.

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.

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

What's On at Meadowcroft?

Exhibits & Events

Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village

Learn more about Meadowcroft’s upcoming public programs and everyday offerings.