Find your personal playground at Pennsylvania’s Raystown Lake

Michelle & Karl Teel

via Brett Levy on Flickr

Just south of the heart of central Pennsylvania lies a gem of a vacation spot known as the Raystown Lake Region in Huntingdon County. For many, it’s the gateway to adventure, heritage, and the road less traveled.

The signature attraction, Raystown Lake — completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1973 to control flooding and provide hydroelectric power — is the largest lake entirely located in Pennsylvania.

via Brett Levy on Flickr
via Brett Levy on Flickr

With 8,300 acres of beautiful waters, this lake has some of the best unspoiled scenery in the state. The vast majority of the shoreline has not been tainted by development and remains pristine.

But, there’s more to the area than the lake: It’s also home to the country’s oldest automobile museum, historic trolley rides at the Rockhill Trolley Museum, underground caves, fantastic hiking trails, railroad history, trout streams, and some terrific small towns filled with charm.

Visit raystown.org and see if any of the 1,000 or so annual events coincide with your vacation dates.

You can also see online live-streaming video from various locations in the area.

Lodging offers a host of opportunities, but our favorite is a houseboat on the lake itself. You don’t need any experience; they will train you at Seven Points Marina. Imagine being able to float around, find your ideal secluded cove for fishing, relaxing, or swimming, and drop anchor for a peaceful night.

Just about everywhere will offer beautiful sunset views over the water as you relax with a glass of wine and perhaps a steak on the grill sizzling away.

Spend a day on a kayak and explore the coastline; solo or guided rentals are available. RV enthusiasts will enjoy spectacular views overlooking the lake from above. A variety of cabin rentals and chalets can be found online as well. And, of course, there are the more traditional hotel/motel options, too.

Hikers and bikers will be amazed at the plethora of options available to them. The most notable is the Allegrippis Trail, designed by mountain bikers and built by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. It’s the premier single-track mountain biking venue in the region. Don’t miss DirtFest 2016, May 20–22.

There are also ATV trails in the area for the off-road enthusiasts and their four-wheelers. There are literally thousands of miles of trails to explore on foot, bike, or ATV.

Huntingdon County has Pennsylvania’s largest concentration of caves and caverns. More than 150 known karst sites, landscapes formed from the dissolving of soluble rocks, are characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves. The Raystown Lake Region plays host to one-third of all of the caves in Pennsylvania. Try one of the commercial show caves with a guided tour of Indian Caverns, Lincoln Caverns, or Penn’s Cave.

Learn more:

Huntingdon Co. Tourism: raystown.org

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