Author Archives: raystowned

Trailing the big catch…

One of the Greatest Fishing Experiences in the Northeast:
Bass, muskies, walleye, trout & channel cats
By Sandie Corbin Biddle

SparkyPrice_IMG_0030wwwCPSparky Price has been fishing Raystown waters since he was a boy, knee-high to the champion stripers he’s landed during his career. Owner of Trophy Guide Service for 35 years, Sparky has been asked every question about the lake and its fish hundreds of times. Maybe thousands. He’s lost count. And he knows all the answers.

Recently he pulled out with a boatload of fishermen from Philly and after puttering a few feet into the lake, stopped, reversed, slowed, and, looking very serious, said, “Let’s get this out of the way first.” After an expectant pause, he continued with a smile, “Raystown Lake is the largest lake contained in Pennsylvania. It’s about 30 miles long with 118 miles of shoreline. It’s an average of 100 feet deep, 180 in some places. And the stripers are not the hybrids, they’re the real saltwater species that adapted to fresh water. Now, did I answer all your questions?

They smiled and one man said with a laugh, “That was everything on my list!”

“Then let’s go fishin’,” Sparky said. It was another great day on Raystown Lake.

Easily one of the greatest fishing experiences in the northeast, the lake has more species of fish than most U.S. lakes, including stripers, muskies, lake trout, large- and small-mouth bass, channel cats, walleyes, brown trout, white and yellow perch, crappies, carp, bluegills, and, well, you get the idea.

Sparky still holds the PA record for a striper at 53 lb. 12 oz. Call them stripers, striped bass, or rockfish, they are Raystown’s biggest fishing attraction. Though you’ll find them in other PA lakes, all the state records were caught here. Sparky’s set four state records himself.
Stripers from March to December

Lucky for us, Sparky decided to lend plenty of his wisdom for this article. Read on for a fighting chance at landing your own big ones at Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania.

Stripers can be caught from March through December by targeting your approach.

Early spring casting lures on the shallow flats on the southern end of the lake will produce the year’s first stripers.

By mid-May, the entire lake is active. Live bait such as alwife, shad, trout, and shiners are the baits of choice.

Late May through the summer months, the Seven Points area and north to the dam is the area to fish for stripers.

The easiest place to catch bait is in the Snyder’s Run Boat Launch area, from 3 a.m. until daylight. Sparky says you’ll need a light, a throw net, and a good bait tank.

In the summer, beginners will do best around the dam and mile marker #1.For serious striper fishing, go out on summer nights for the 30- to 50-pounders. This takes down riggers, a vast variety of lures, and an extreme knowledge of the lake, because of all the underwater standing trees.

Muskies & Walleyes & Trout, oh, boy!

Huge stripers, 40-pound muskies, and walleyes over 15 pounds are caught at night every summer.

“The fall is always exciting, from mid-September until Thanksgiving,” Sparky said. “Anything can happen anywhere.” Now it’s all daylight fishing. Bait fishing, trolling deep diving lures, or umbrella rigs will all work.

Sparky’s TGS clients have caught huge muskies more than 50 inches and 40+ pounds – at night in the summer or daytime on the fall. The big ones are caught by trolling. Sparky said, “Fall can be intense!”

Lake trout can be caught all year from Seven Points Marina to the dam. Both downrigger fishing with spoons or bait fishing work well.

The large- and small-mouth bass are Raystown’s structure-oriented fish. Trees, weed beds, and rocky points are all favorable targets. The entire lake is good bass fishing, but the southern half offers easier fishing because of water clarity. Early morning and evening fishing with surface-style bait will work. During the day, he recommends deeper in the underwater weeds and trees.

Panfish and channel cats hang out all through the lake. Mile marker #12 to the southern end of the lake seems to be much easier to fish for these. “To catch a lot of catties, use cut bait and stink baits,” Sparky advises.

The most commonly stocked fish are stripers, lake trout, and walleyes. Along with panfish and catties, they’re all good eating. The bass should be released to replenish the lake for future fishermen.

Quit wishin’ & let’s go fishin’

Raystown hasn’t hosted any large national striper tournaments since the conclusion of the National Striper organization. However, if you like competition fishing, there are a number of local clubs that hold tournaments. Sparky notes that most of the pros and full-time striper guys don’t sign up so everyone “gets a fair chance to compete and have fun.”

Sparky believes that Raystown is one of the best fisheries in the U.S. “But it can also be very humbling!

“I want everyone to enjoy Raystown as I have all my life. May God bless all your visits to beautiful Raystown Lake.”

Sparky Price is owner of Trophy Guide Service, 814-627-5231, http://www.trophyguide.com

Categories: 2016 Visitors Guide, Outdoor Recreation, Past Visitors Guides, Things to Do, Wildlife | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Terrace Mountain Trail views

The view from the Terrace Mountain Trail at Raystown Lake. Photo by Ed Stoddard, Raystown.org

The view from the Terrace Mountain Trail at Raystown Lake. Photo by Ed Stoddard, Raystown.org

The crisp fall day was beautiful and just perfect for a short hike. It was my first time on this section of the Terrace Mountain Trail — and I was glad that Raystown Park Ranger Gwinn had suggested this part of the trail. Our destination was the overlook directly across from Raystown Lake navigation marker MM7.

Our adventure began with a short boat shuttle from Seven Points to the area near lake navigation marker MM8. (At mile 19 of the Terrace Mountain Trail – TMT19.)

The Terrace Mountain Trail is well-maintained and defined. Photo by Ed Stoddard, Raystown.org

The Terrace Mountain Trail is well-maintained and defined. Photo by Ed Stoddard, Raystown.org

The trail was well-maintained and defined as we left the shoreline and moved upwards towards the TMT20 overlook. The trail follows the contour of the land well — so the ups and downs that are unavoidable on trails in Pennsylvania did not seem so bad. You go up a ways and then switch back to keep climbing on the “bowl” of each hollow. Not so bad. I was hiking with a small group of friends. Our spirits were high and laughter rang through the trees often as we chatted and walked.

We walked about 1 mile in from the shoreline. The overlook was everything that had been promised — a rocky outcropping and open space that gave us nice views to the south of Raystown Lake and across the lake to Susquehannock Campground.

The view from an overlook on Terrace Mountain Trail. Photo by Ed Stoddard, Raystown.org

The view from an overlook on Terrace Mountain Trail. Photo by Ed Stoddard, Raystown.org

The Terrace Mountain Trail is maintained by volunteer efforts on public lands. I have done trail work and appreciated how clear that the trail was that day. We tried to do our part by moving a few small fallen branches along the way. If you are interested in volunteering at Raystown Lake in any capacity — please get in touch with Park Ranger Alicia Palmer at (814) 658-6812. We will all appreciate your efforts.

— Ed Stoddard, Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau, Raystown.org

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Candy Lake game takes over the Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center!

1000х1000The Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau and Raystown Reflections Gift Shoppe invite you to imagine a world where all of your surroundings are made of candy, cookies and other treats. For the week of December 7-13, 2015, the Raystown Lake Region Visitor Center has been transformed into Candy Lake.

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Inspired by a popular childhood board game, Candy Lake is an imaginary lake featuring islands where the landscape and structures are made of sweet treats. Visitors to Candy Lake follow a colorful path to visit each island display. The islands have been designed by area businesses and organizations along a candy theme. Attendees can choose to play the life-sized game, or simply stroll through the displays on their own.

At the end, guests are invited to make a free-will donation to vote for their favorite island. Each organization and business presenting an island has chosen a charity that will benefit from the cash votes, and at the end of the week, the Raystown Reflections Gift Shoppe will match the public contributions to the charity that receives the most.

The first 100 children aged 12 and under will receive a stocking and a small toy courtesy of the Raystown Reflections Gift Shoppe and Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau.

#PAHolidays

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You can see more photos at:
Candy Lake event at the Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center

Participating businesses and organizations include: Rockhill Trolley Museum, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Huntingdon County, Fairfield Inn and Suites benefiting Habitat for Humanity, Juniata College, Thompson’s Candle Co. benefitting Huntingdon House, Perma-Chink benefiting Habitat for Humanity, Gage Mansion Bed & Breakfast benefiting Huntingdon Landmarks, Standing Stone Coffee Company benefiting St Vincent de Paul and Isett Heritage Museum benefiting Huntingdon House.

December 7-13, 2015
Monday 8am-2pm, Tuesday-Wednesday 8am-4pm, Thursday-Saturday noon-8pm, Sunday noon-4pm

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Touring the Raystown Lake Region by helicopter

Seven Points Recreation Area at Raystown Lake as viewed from Pine Bottom Aviation helicopter tour. Photo by Michelle McCall, Raystown.org

Seven Points Recreation Area at Raystown Lake as viewed from Pine Bottom Aviation helicopter tour. Photo by Michelle McCall, Raystown.org

I was filled with excitement as I watched the helicopter land. I climbed aboard and adrenaline began pumping through my veins and then…suddenly…we were off the ground! As we rose higher and higher into the sky, I couldn’t help but enjoy the feeling of freedom and awe of the miraculous beauty below. For the first time in my life, I was able to see Raystown Lake just the way the bald eagles which inhabit the area do. What a view!

As we flew, I became speechless taking in all that mother-nature had to offer me on that bright and sunny autumn day. Our 30 minute tour provided by pilot and owner of Pine Bottom Aviation Services, Dan Lipko, showed us many unique features of the Raystown Lake area. We saw Trough Creek State Park, Seven Points Marina, and Lake Raystown Resort to name a few. The leaves on the trees were so magnificent and I felt blessed to be in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania!

Pine Bottom Aviation Services offers aerial tours of the Raystown Lake area in a unique and memorable way. Flights may accommodate up to 3 passengers depending on weights. Pilot and owner, Dan Lipko, has 20+ years’ experience as a helicopter pilot. He is very knowledgeable of the area and offers a fantastic experience you will never forget! For more information on Pine Bottom Aviation Services visit PineBottomAviation.com. For pricing or to book your tour, contact Dan at (814) 793-4548 or dan@pinebottomaviation.com.

–Katrina Hawn, Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau, Raystown.org

Seven Points Marina and the Seven Points Recreation Area at Raystown Lake, PA. Photo by Matt Price, Raystown.org

Seven Points Marina and the Seven Points Recreation Area at Raystown Lake, PA. Photo by Matt Price, Raystown.org

Pine Shelter and the Seven Points Recreation Area at Raystown Lake, PA. Photo by Matt Price, Raystown.org

Pine Shelter and the Seven Points Recreation Area at Raystown Lake, PA. Photo by Matt Price, Raystown.org

Lake Raystown Resort - An RVC Outdoor Destination. Photo by Matt Price, Raystown.org

Lake Raystown Resort – An RVC Outdoor Destination. Photo by Matt Price, Raystown.org

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Hillside Nature Trail at the Raystown Lake Region Visitor Center

An early morning misty view from the Hillside Nature Trail at the Seven Points Recreation Area, Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania. Photo by Ed Stoddard, Raystown.org

An early morning misty view from the Hillside Nature Trail at the Seven Points Recreation Area, Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania. Photo by Ed Stoddard, Raystown.org

The sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky the day I ventured on to the Hillside Nature Trail. The half mile loop was all I needed to clear my thoughts and give me a sense of total escape. As I walked, I witnessed chipmunks scampering across the forest floor, birds singing in the trees, and butterflies fluttering from one flower to the next. The sights I had seen and the small upward grade of the trail was very recipe I needed to feel refreshed and renewed.

The Hillside Nature Trail is a short walk for those who are looking to get out in to nature but want something a little less difficult and rugged. The neatly trimmed path offers stress free walking from overgrown vines, large rocks, and fallen trees. The trail meanders through forest and a bird sanctuary.

The Hillside Nature Trail is located just behind the Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center in the Seven Points Recreation Area of Raystown Lake. Maps of the Hillside Nature Trail can be found inside the lake’s visitor center.

Here is the link for the Hillside Nature Trail at Raystown Lake on the USACE website:
http://bit.ly/HillsideNatureTrailRaystown

— Katrina

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‘Travel is __________.’

Raystown Lake is often called "8,300 acres of fun" -- there is a lot of water to enjoy! Photo by A.E. Landes Photography www.aelandesphotography.com

Raystown Lake is often called “8,300 acres of fun” — there is a lot of water to enjoy! Photo by A.E. Landes Photography http://www.aelandesphotography.com

Celebrating What Travel Means to the USA,
the Raystown Lake Region and You

Going on an adventure. Relaxing. Meeting new business partners. Learning. Supporting local businesses and jobs. These are just a few examples of what travel means to people and to communities.

This year, to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) 2015, May 2-10, the tourism and hospitality industry is underscoring how travel affects us all with the theme: “Travel is ___________.”

Travel is vacationing. Travel is making memories. Travel is essential to the U.S. economy. Travel is a job creator. No matter how you complete the sentence, the bottom line message is that travel is vital to our country and our lives, and it has meaning for everyone.

There are many studies out now that tell us we all need time “away”. It is important to decompress, de-stress and de-light in life…for your well-being! Go visit somewhere new. In the Raystown Lake Region or elsewhere – go have some “moments” and make some memories. Studies show that you’ll be glad that you did.

National Travel and Tourism Week is the perfect time to celebrate what travel means to you. Through nationwide events— from rallies to media outreach to proclamations from local governments—NTTW champions the power of the tourism industry for this week and beyond. Travel and tourism professionals, from communities small and large, come together to promote the incredible contributions their markets and travel-­related businesses make to strengthen the economy and our workforce.

The theme “Travel is __________.” customizes the unique impact of the U.S. travel industry on the fabric of America. Destinations, including ours here in the Raystown Lake Region of Pennsylvania, are defining travel as it specifically contributes to our local economies, businesses and lives.

We encourage you to comment with your thoughts and take part in NTTW by sharing what “Travel is __________.” to you during May 2-10, 2015. You might choose to write a guest column for your local newspaper. Contact a member of Congress. Or just follow along on social media, via @USTravel and #NTTW2015. Remember to tag @Raystown_Lake or use #Raystown (if it fits with your posts) … because your conversation is important to us.

Categories: Group Travel, HCVB News, Tourism Industry, Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

100 Mile Journey to Raise Awareness of Pennsylvania Tourism Industry

Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau Executive Director Matt Price is leading this trip on the Juniata River and Susquehanna River. You can follow the journey at www.PaddleForPATourism.org. Paddlers are welcome to join the trip — especially for the last leg into Harrisburg. Launch for the first day of the trip Riverside Park, Mapleton Depot, PA at 9 a.m. on Monday, April 27, 2015. Launch for the last leg is from Riverfront Campground, Duncannon, PA at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 2, 2015. Here are the details released to media:

Paddle for PA Tourism launches on 100 mile waterway journey 4/27/2015

Matt Price is leading a 100 mile paddling trip to raise awareness of PA Tourism. Launching 4/27/2015. Photo by Ed Stoddard, http://www.paddleforpatourism.org

MAPLETON DEPOT, PA: Beginning on the morning of April, 27, 2015 a group of Pennsylvania travel industry professionals and advocates will embark on a 100-mile journey down the Juniata and Susquehanna Rivers from Mapleton to Harrisburg, arriving on Saturday, May 2nd, the day before the annual Pennsylvania Tourism Summit.

The goals of the trek are to build awareness of Pennsylvania’s travel and tourism industry and to raise funds for TravelPAC, the official Political Action Committee of the Pennsylvania Association of Travel and Tourism (PATT). TravelPAC uses funds to directly support political candidates for elected positions in Pennsylvania government who have demonstrated a commitment to support one of the state’s largest revenue generating and job creating industries—Travel and Tourism.

The through-paddlers include PATT President/CEO Rob Fulton of Harrisburg, Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau Executive Director Matt Price of Huntingdon, Seven Points Marina Tour Boat Captain Steve Prosser of Hesston, and Miles Partnership Senior Vice President Jay Salyers of Boulder, CO.

The group will experience a variety of lodging types on their journey ranging from a public Leave-No-Trace camping island managed by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to a luxurious bed and breakfast located at one of Pennsylvania’s wineries, and many options in between.

The paddlers will be blogging about their experiences at http://www.PaddleForPATourism.org, which is also where supporters can make a contribution to TravelPAC. According to Pennsylvania law, TravelPAC may only accept contributions from personal accounts or credit cards, and may not accept contributions from corporate or partnership entities, including not-for-profit organizations. Organizations, corporations or partnerships that would like to support Paddle for PA Tourism may contribute as a sponsor for the event through the Pennsylvania Association of Travel and Tourism.

The group invites anyone with an interest in PA’s travel and tourism economy to join them for single-day segments of the trip, and would like to get as many paddlers as possible for the final leg on Saturday, May 2nd from Duncannon to City Island in Harrisburg. Rental equipment and shuttle services are available from local outfitters. Check http://www.VisitPA.com for outfitters in the appropriate area. Details on joining the event can be found at http://www.PaddleforPATourism.org.

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It is a sweet day coming up August 10 in the Raystown Lake Region

Lake Raystown Resort is celebrating the 4th Annual National Smores Day on Sunday August 10, 2014 starting at 2:00 pm.

You know that campfire gatherings were the original social network?

Campfire1_HelenaKotolaPhotoWWWcpGather your family and friends for the fourth annual National S’more’s Day! This fun-filled, S’more themed event will be located in Lake Raystown Resort’s Conference Center on August 10th. The event will feature s’more themed activities and refreshments for all ages. You will even get a chance to indulge in our ultimate S’more eating competition! Best of all, the event is completely free of cost to all participants! Yes, that is right…free s’mores!

Come and enjoy everyone’s favorite summer snack while watching our candy themed feature film! Our ultimate s’more eating and building competitions will be open to anyone who wishes to participate, and prizes will be awarded to the winners for both events. The winning S’more in past years included things such as gummy worms, pretzels, sprinkles, and more. So be sure to come out and show of your creativity! The entire day will be filled with tasty treats, and lots of sweet memories, so much so that you will be left wanting S’more!

Schedule of Events:
2:00 pm – Registration and Movie Begins
3:30 pm – Games and Activities
4:00 pm – Ultimate S’more Building Competition
4:30 pm – Ultimate S’more Eating Competition
5:00 pm – Winner’s Circle and event concludes

For more information call Lake Raystown Resort, An RVC Outdoor Destination at (814) 658-3500 or visit http://smoresday.weebly.com

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