Shop Small & Support the Arts on This Self-Guided Tour
A ride along Route 6 is like a road trip through Pennsylvania’s heritage. For about 400 miles, this historic route rambles though Northern Pennsylvania from the Great Lakes region in the west to the rolling Pocono Mountains in the east. Small towns, sweeping vistas, bucolic farmland and historic landmarks line the entire way. It’s no wonder the route has been called “one of America’s most scenic drives” by National Geographic and “Pennsylvania’s best touring route” by Harley-Davidson.
Part of the Americana charm is the region’s commitment to craftsmanship. Small, locally owned shops line the streets, and people still take pride in making goods by hand. Arts, culture and creativity are simply tradition in Northern Pennsylvania, and you can experience it for yourself on the PA Route 6 Artisan Trail.
The Artisan Trail was created by the PA Route 6 Alliance, a nonprofit that preserves, promotes and enhances the 11-county region of the Route 6 Heritage Corridor. Every year, the organization releases a self-guided tour featuring galleries, museums, shops, theaters, arts organizations and more.
The PA Route 6 Alliance unveiled the 2022 Artisan Trail map earlier this spring. This year’s lineup is the biggest yet, including several stops right here in NEPA. Download a free digital map and hit the road!
The 2022 Artisan Trail Features Over 70 Stops
The Artisan Trail debuted in 2004, just a year after the PA Route 6 Alliance was formed. Over the years, it’s grown from a handful of regional artists and makers to an expansive network all across the state.
This year’s map showcases over 70 businesses and organizations across Pennsylvania. The trail highlights all styles and mediums, from the fine arts to handmade goods to craft products like beer and wine.
“Especially nowadays when everything is from a big-box store, the draw to the area is that we have so many little shops, galleries, musical venues and things like that,” said Erin Morey, PA Route 6 Artisan Trail Coordinator. “People can come and enjoy and support the local people in these communities.”
Aside from larger cities like Erie and Scranton, Route 6 is mainly rural. The trail raises awareness about the local gems in these smaller communities
“For the people who live in those communities and in those areas, this is their livelihood,” explained Morey. “By shopping in their businesses and supporting their creativity, we’re making this whole area stronger.”
Plan a NEPA Road Trip
If you want to explore the Artisan Trail, you can get started in your own backyard. A portion of Route 6 crosses right through NEPA.
The road meanders through the scenic Endless Mountains. Marvelous architecture meets the natural beauty of the Susquehanna River in towns like Tunkhannock.
Route 6 then dips into Lackawanna County. It passes Scranton and heads toward Up Valley communities like Carbondale, a hotspot for railroading and coal mining history.
From there, Route 6 continues through the northern Pocono Mountains of Wayne and Pike counties. The road runs through destination towns like Honesdale and Hawley before dipping down toward Lake Wallenpaupack. Eventually, the route takes you to the state line in Milford, an adorable town on the Delaware River.
Pick out a few stops and make a day out of it, or take a road trip for a close-to-home getaway. No matter where the open road takes you, you’re sure to discover the creative spirit of Route 6.
Ready to Hit the Road?
Before you head out, make sure to download a free digital copy of the Artisan Trail map. Follow the PA Route 6 Alliance on social media for exciting announcements and updates on the trail. Later this summer, the organization plans on launching a mural and public art trail with even more adventures on Route 6.
The PA Route 6 Artisan Trail welcomes new members. If you’re an artist, business or organization on the Route 6 Corridor, you can apply to be part of the trail. Contact the PA Route 6 Alliance at [email protected] or visit their website. Membership includes several perks and promotions. An annual membership drive normally kicks off in November.