2012 Visitors Guide

Is a destination wedding in the Raystown Region right for you?

By Susan Penning

Destination weddings, which are essentially getaways that combine both the wedding and honeymoon, are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional weddings.

Wedding at the Gazebo at Lake Raystown Resort. Photo by Lisa Rhinehart.

Wedding at the Gazebo at Lake Raystown Resort. Photo by Lisa Rhinehart.

There are many reasons why more and more couples are choosing destination weddings.

  • They have family all across the country (or world) and most guests will need to travel regardless of where the wedding is located.
  • They yearn for a more intimate gathering. The guest list of a destination wedding is typically smaller, which allows a couple to indulge in extra luxuries for closest friends and family.
  • They are looking for something unique as this is a second marriage – or they are renewing their wedding vows.
  • They want to save themselves the money (and stress) associated with planning a large wedding and they would prefer to elope somewhere picturesque and relaxing.

For couples desiring a spectacular and memorable destination wedding experience, the Raystown Region may be the perfect spot. The area offers dozens of locations for both indoor and outdoor weddings and receptions as well as countless choices for romantic honeymoon accommodations.

For example, weddings are a specialty at the elegant Lake Raystown Resort, Lodge and Conference Center, which overlooks beautiful Raystown Lake – known as the crown jewel of Pennsylvania. With multiple indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception sites and a variety of lodging options for the wedding party and guests, the resort is a popular place where marriages begin, or are rekindled.

The C. Barton McCann School of Art, situated on 250 pristine acres between Huntingdon and State College, is a unique event venue that boasts one of central Pennsylvania’s most spectacular backdrops. The soon-to-be bride and groom may choose from five indoor or outdoor facilities with several different configurations to suit their needs.

Other popular wedding sites in the Raystown Region include Hawn’s Overlook at the Raystown Lake Recreation Area, the Huntingdon Country Club, Lincoln Caverns and Whisper Rocks, Seven Points Marina and the Stone Valley Recreation Area.

For more information on these destinations and more, visit www.Raystown.org and click the “plan a wedding” link.

 

Photo by Lisa Rhinehart.

Photo by Lisa Rhinehart.

 

About the Author: Susan Penning writes the blog Living Rich on Less, and resides in Hesston.

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Categories: 2012 Visitors Guide, Weddings | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Seize the moment…to shop!

By Pat Kepple

You came to Raystown Lake to get wet, splash around in the lake, feel the spray on your face as your boat glides across the glassy water. But wait, that spray is not coming from the boat’s wake, it is dropping from the sky!

Yes, it does rain at Raystown Lake, just as it does everywhere there is a lake. But don’t despair. Seize the moment . . . and the shopping bag . . .  and head to Huntingdon.

Reeves Gift Boutique_AELandesPhotography_0909040035Let’s start our shopping with Sweet Annie’s Herbs, Huntingdon’s original herb apothecary. Sweet Annie’s is a small shop with a large selection of herbal and other natural supplements, many formulated by Annie Wishard herself, as well as fresh spices, dried flowers, bohemian skirts and blouses, and, well, let’s just say it’s a shop you don’t want to miss.

For a totally fun experience, check out Whisper Rocks Souvenirs and Gifts at Lincoln Caverns, the largest gift shop in the Raystown Lake Region A distinctive feature of Whisper Rocks is, well, its rocks. There is a vast array of very reasonably priced rocks, fossils, and gemstones for the rock enthusiast. And for the bat lover, Whisper Rocks has all the information you need.

Originally known as Grove’s Office Supplies, this is a store that knows how to add and subtract. The store has added a JC Penney Catalogue Center; a new line of American made handbags known as Cinda b to complement its large collection of Vera Bradley bags; and Kameleon jewelry, also made in the USA, to accompany the Chamilia charms and beads already in-house. Groves recently expanded its online presence with a new website that offers office supplies, scrapbooking needs, rubber stamping products, art supplies, and vintage antique and collectible items, in addition to tutorials for crafting. What did Groves Office Supplies subtract? The words “office supplies” is gone because the store has evolved into so much more.

Laney’s Feed Mill is another place you don’t want to pass up. You can buy Outback Chair Company hammocks and chairs, Carhart clothing, and Beaumont pottery. Grab a bag of Laney’s store-made specialty bird seed blends to go into one of their beautiful Audubon bird feeders. In 1998 the store changed hands and there have been a few modifications but one thing hasn’t changed—it is still a great place to shop.

Whether you are looking for cookbooks, cocktail napkins, or classy readers; Ginger Yaps or gift baskets; artsy clothing or aprons for the chef, you’ll be delighted at the variety in Reeves Gift Shop. And if shoes are your love, you’ll find everything from pictures of shoes to books about shoes to actual wearable shoes embellished with glitter and animal prints at this quaint little shop.

If none of the above floats your boat (ok, I just couldn’t resist that one), how about taking a journey along the heART of The Alleghenies Artisan Trail. Discover the Log Cabin Gallery Shop, a modest log structure filled with a variety of arts and crafts. Also on the trail is Vintage Art Glass with its remarkable inventory of beads, custom stained glass, and blown glass. Of particular note is the custom-made jewelry created by owner Leah Davis Dell. This is the place to go for a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry from a one-of-a-kind artist. Raystown Reflections Gift Shoppe located at the lake’s visitor center offers a mix of local crafts and gift items as well as the usual t-shirts and coffee mugs with Raystown Lake branding, providing the shopper with a taste of the area.

Need to furnish your vacation home in the Raystown Lake Region? Check out Park Furniture and Appliances offering appliances (and appliance repair), audio and video equipment, furniture, bedding, flooring and home security systems. Park also is a Weber Grill dealer. And Sears Hometown Store offers all brands of appliances, big screen televisions, home and garden tools, and the best customer service you’ll find anywhere.

For the outdoor enthusiast, visit Rothrock Outfitters and Saxton Outdoor Supply. Both are filled with everything you need for your outdoor adventure, rain or shine. Don’t forget to pick up your Allegrippis Trails map for some very excellent biking; as well as Purple Lizard Raystown Lake and Purple Lizard Rothrock State Forest maps.

With this many shopping opportunities in Huntingdon, you might just start praying for more rain at the lake!

Reeves Gift Shop. Photo by A.E. Landes.

Reeves Gift Shop. Photo by A.E. Landes.

 

Categories: 2012 Visitors Guide, Shopping, Things to Do | Leave a comment

Never A Dull Moment!

By Julie Price

Most people familiar with the Raystown Lake Region could tell you about the picturesque landscapes and recreational opportunities in the area.  But, not everyone knows about the unique events that pack the RLR’s calendar all year long.  Here’s a sample of what you could experience on your next visit:

-Stroll through downtown Huntingdon during Mayfest, which takes place during the last weekend of April, and see six different historical time periods come to life.  You could witness a joust, join in a hula hoop contest, or take an old-fashioned covered wagon ride around town.

Dirt Rag DirtFest at Raystown Lake photo by Ed Stoddard

Dirt Rag Dirt Fest comes to Susquehannock campground every May.

-Pedal with mountain bikers from all over the east coast on the Allegrippis Trails overlooking Raystown Lake as part of Dirt Fest, sponsored by Dirt Rag Magazine and the Raystown Mountain Bike Association.  The Allegrippis Trails were named one of the Top 4 best bike trails in North America by Mens Journal in 2009. Dirt Fest takes place the weekend before Memorial Day every year.

-Chase the thrill of the Wild West, while the big boys try to go 8 seconds on an ornery bull at the Central PA Rodeo held at the Huntingdon County Fairgrounds the second weekend in June.  Hear the sound of pounding hooves, and watch the dirt fly in this high-intensity performance.

-Listen to championship-caliber musicians from all parts of the country perform at the Central Pennsylvania Ragtime Festival in Rockhill Furnace during the third weekend in June.  The 2011 festival featured Adam Swanson, the three-time junior champion of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest, and Frederick Hodges, hailed by the press as one of the best jazz and ragtime pianists in the world.

-Sing, dance, and worship at Creation – one of the largest Christian music festivals in the United States – on the Agape Farm in Mount Union.  This four-day festival in late June features Christian bands, speakers, and authors.  Some estimates say as many as 100,000 people attend the show each year.

-Stare in awe at one-of-a-kind vehicles, as well as “Herbie the Love Bug,” and a Delorean DMC-12, just like the one in “Back to the Future,” at the Swigart Automobile Museum Meet in Huntingdon.  The meet is co-hosted by the Allegheny Mountain Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America, and takes place in early August.

-Learn from artists who hand-craft their wares right before your eyes at Hartslog Day in Alexandria during the second weekend of October.  The 2014 festival will be the 39th year for this event, and includes activities for all ages, live music, and food vendors.

-Feel the hair on the back of your neck stand up as you brave haunted houses, haunted Ghost and Goblins cave tour (and haunted hayride and haunted trail) at Lincoln Caverns, and walking tours by lantern light in Hauntingdon.  The “Coolest Small Town in PA,” as voted in 2009 by readers of BudgetTravel.com, turns into the “Ghoulest Small Town” during the month of October, and features a variety of scary and not-so-scary activities for adults and families.

-Get transported to a magical place filled with sparkling lights and animated displays during the Rockhill Trolley Museum’s Polar Bear Express in Rockhill Furnace during late November/early Decemeber.  Ride aboard an authentic electric trolley car to Blacklog Narrows.  An open-air trolley is available for the more adventurous folks.  Warm up in the cafeteria with some hot chocolate and snacks after your trip.

 There’s never a dull moment in the Raystown Lake Region!

Enjoying the Rockhill Trolley Museum in the fall.

Enjoying the Rockhill Trolley Museum in the fall.

Categories: 2012 Visitors Guide, Things to Do | Leave a comment

Boating on Raystown Lake and The Perfect Storm?

By Captain Stephen Prosser

There are days on the water at Raystown Lake that I recall a scene in the movie, “The Perfect Storm”.  Captain Billy Tyne is talking to another boat captain, Christine.  It goes like this.

The fog’s just lifting. Throw off your bow line; throw off your stern. You head out to South channel, past Rocky Neck, Ten Pound Island. Past Niles Pond where I skated as a kid. Blow your air-horn and throw a wave to the lighthouse keeper’s kid on Thatcher Island. Then the birds show up: black backs, herring gulls, big dump ducks. The sun hits ya – head North. Open up to 12 – steamin’ now. The guys are busy; you’re in charge. Ya know what? You’re a swordboat captain! Is there anything better in the world?”

Princess_DSC_6022cp (800x538)Some of you know what I am talking about as Raystown Lake has 118 miles of shoreline and is 28 miles long.  Maybe you put in at the southern end where the lake is more like a lazy river winding through the mountains or James Creek where you can go back to the Brumbaugh Homestead and party cove.  We all have our favorite spots like Pee Wee Island or a cove that you and the family always seems to end up at on your weekend adventures.  I have mine but would never tell you about them, you have to find your own.

Raystown has about 10,000 acres of water and there is room for you to discover what we all know about this special place, located only one day’s drive from one third of the entire population of the United States.  Your vacation or get-a-way is waiting to happen with support from Seven Points Marina, voted as the best marina in the country on the northern end and Lake Raystown Resort on the southern end.  The Corps of Engineers at Raystown Lake manages seven (7) boat launches along the length of the 28-mile lake. They are, from the northernmost end to the southernmost end:Snyder’s RunSeven PointsAitchJames Creek,Tatman RunShy Beaver and Weaver Falls.  Check out the Corps of Engineers web site to learn more and to get directions.

Everybody seems to write about their vacation spot as being special, I suppose, and claim it only rains at night and everyone is always happy and the food explodes in your mouth with flavor.  Ok, I get it, everyone wants you to visit.

All I know is that there are times when I throw out the bow and the stern line and head out past the wave break.  Then comes the public beach and I blast the air horn at the kids playing in the water.  We head north toward the dam, push it up to 22 and we’re throwing a wake now.  The sun hits the water and it seems to come alive, dancing in front of us to the sound of the radio playing softly in the background.  We pass jet ski’s and cruisers, and everyone seems to be enjoying the day.  Water people always seem to be at their best when they are on the water again.  Way back in the no wake zones people either tie up together with friends or stay by themselves.  There is plenty of room for everyone.I ask the mate for another beverage and our guests are busy enjoying their first glimpse of the Lake aboard the tour boat, The Princess.  Ya know what?  I’m a tour boat captain on Raystown Lake.  Is there anything better in the world?

Princess Lake Cruiser on Raystown Lake by Kevin Mills, picturesbykevin.com

Princess Lake Cruiser on Raystown Lake by Kevin Mills, picturesbykevin.com

About the author:  For the past five years Steve has been the Captain of the tour boat, The Princess that docks at Seven Points Marina.  He is a United States Coast Guard licensed captain, 100 tons.  Although he has a BA in religious studies, along with a masters degree in Education and another masters degree in Business, water is his first love.

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Raystown Natural Resources – the foundation of your Raystown Region Experience

By Jeff Krause

Common sights at Raystown Lake include fishermen trolling for stripers, bikers on the Allegrippis trails, sun bathers on the beach and campers sitting by the fire ring.  These recreational activities are shared among the 1.5 million visitors each year who travel to Raystown to escape their busy lives.  Although not often mentioned, there is one common bond between all these recreational activities – the beauty and diverse natural resources that make the Raystown Region special.   After all, would visitors still come if the green forest mountains and clear, fish filled waters were replaced with paved parking lots and unclean, unfishable waters.  We must remember that our natural resources are the foundation for the outdoor recreational experiences we enjoy so much.

SONY DSCSome of the unique offerings at Raystown include a world class two story fishery that provides common warm water fish such as black bass and walleye while also offering trophy size striped bass and lake trout.   Hundreds of annual fishing tournaments and the PA state record striped bass are testaments to the great fishery created by clean water.

The availability of fish have also made Bald eagles common place at Raystown and may be considered the favorite for wildlife viewing.  Numerous nesting locations have produced almost 60 young nestlings in the past 13 years and hot spots below the dam and near the Entriken bridges are good viewing locations from December through March.

The rock outcrops common at Raystown contain important shale barren habitat and great natural beauty.  These barrens which can exceed 100 degrees in early April provide a rare environment that host both plant and animals that only inhabit the extreme conditions.  Observing the evening primrose’s yellow bloom close to the water’s edge is one offering of this unique habitat.

The most dominant natural feature of Raystown is the nearly 18,000 acres of forest land surrounding the lake providing a landscape of mountains, valleys and ridges that surrounds the lake.  The plant and wildlife resources utilizing the adjacent forest and habitat include over 20 species of concern such as the bald eagle, osprey, several species of bats, golden -winged warblers and cerulean warblers.     Visitors may also see a river otter sliding down a bank, a fisher searching for food, a fence lizard scurry down a tree or one of the American chesntut seedlings attempting to re-establish itself from a century of blight.

When you pause to allow your adrenaline levels to drop after that adventure on the Allegrippis,  catching air under your personal watercraft or a ride on the zip lines, take a look around and take note of the supporting natural beauty of the Raystown Region that adds that breathtaking landscape to your experience.

Greenwood Furnace in Winter by Abram Eric Landes, aelandesphotography.com

Greenwood Furnace in Winter by Abram Eric Landes, aelandesphotography.com

About the Author: Jeff Krause is a Wildlife Biologist in his 19th year with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and has spent the past 15 at Raystown Lake.

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2012 Raystown Lake Region/Huntingdon County Visitors Guides Available

2012 Raystown Lake Region/Huntingdon County Visitors Guide Cover

The Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau is pleased to announce the release of the 2012 edition of the Raystown Lake Region/Huntingdon County Visitors Guide.  The guide, titled “Raystown Moments,” is the result of a collaboration between the bureau and AdOne Advertising and Design of Sunbury, PA.  “Over the past few years, we have made a conscious migration from a directory publication to more of a magazine feel, while still giving the reader the convenience of property listings,” stated Matt Price, executive director of the bureau.  Price added, “The title Raystown Moments was the brainchild of AdOne, inspired by our tagline A Moment Away.

The bureau staff was inspired by the title, and worked with volunteer writers to craft articles around the theme that would engage readers, and encourage them to visit the area.  An article by Susanne House, bureau board member, and co-writer Kerry Miller, a Juniata College alumna and former bureau employee, sets the stage encouraging the reader to “Find Your Raystown Moment.”

A pair of articles by Juniata College first couple, president Tom Kepple and wife Pat Kepple, point out the benefits of retiring in the Huntingdon County area and its hidden gems in the retail environment.  Susan Penning, a local blogger and director of member services for Valley Rural Electric Cooperative, penned an article about destination weddings in the region, and Princess Lake Cruiser captain Steve Prosser equated the boating experience on Raystown Lake to the movie The Perfect Storm (the part of the movie before the storm, of course).  Wildlife biologist, Jeff Krause speaks of Raystown’s natural environment, and Julie Price, director of operations for Sweet Annie Herbs highlights several major events in the region.

“The number one draw for our visitors is our scenery,” stated Ed Stoddard, bureau membership services director, “therefore, it is always necessary to feature great photography of the region.”  The bureau worked with professional photographers Kevin Mills of Huntingdon, Abram Eric Landes of Washington, DC, and Lisa Rhinehart of Shippensburg, and bureau staff photographers Stoddard, and Vickie Smith, to showcase that scenery.  Many member businesses also enhanced their directory listings with photographs.

“To keep the directory portion of the guide fun and interesting, and to further develop the ‘Raystown Moments’ theme, we have placed quotes from famous people using the word ‘moment’ throughout the guide,” added Stoddard.  The guide also uses quotes from past visitors to Huntingdon County locations to add the authenticity of a user review.  In the summer of 2011, the bureau partnered with the Huntingdon County Arts Council to launch a poetry contest called Haiku Huntingdon.  Haiku poems from contest winners Nancy Caples-Rhodes of James Creek and Tom Henrie of Huntingdon are also featured in the guide.

“We always try to keep our promotions compatible with emerging technology,” said Price.  “This year’s guide expands the use of QR Codes, allowing readers with smart phones to navigate instantly to Raystown.org and member websites for more information.”  Another hi-tech feature of the guide is the on-line flip book version, featuring direct links to advertiser, member, photographer and feature websites.  “2012 marks our third year using an electronic version of the guide.  Each year the virtual guide draws more and more users,” noted Price.

The 2012 Raystown Lake Region/Huntingdon County Visitors Guide can be found at Interstate welcome centers, PA Turnpike travel plazas, and select rest areas, as well as many businesses throughout The Alleghenies.  To order a guide by mail, call toll-free 1-888-RAYSTOWN (1-888-729-7869), or visit Raystown.org/request-a-travel-guide.html.

Categories: 2012 Visitors Guide, HCVB News | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Never a Dull Moment

by Julie Price
Most people familiar with the Raystown Lake Region could tell you about the picturesque landscapes and recreational opportunities in the area.  But, not everyone knows about the unique events that pack the RLR’s calendar all year long.  Here’s a sample of what you could experience on your next visit:

  • -Stroll through downtown Huntingdon during Mayfest (in April), and see six different historical time periods come to life.  You could witness a joust, join in a hula hoop contest, or take an old-fashioned covered wagon ride around town.
  • -Pedal with mountain bikers from all over the east coast on the Allegrippis Trails overlooking Raystown Lake as part of DirtFest, sponsored by Dirt Rag Magazine and the Raystown Mountain Bike Association.  The Allegrippis Trails were named one of the Top 4 best bike trails in North America by Men’s Journal in 2009.
  • -Chase the thrill of the Wild West, while the big boys try to go 8 seconds on an ornery bull at the Central PA Rodeo held at the Huntingdon County Fairgrounds.  Hear the sound of pounding hooves, and watch the dirt fly in this high-intensity performance.
  • -Listen to championship-caliber musicians from all parts of the country perform at the Central Pennsylvania Ragtime Festival in Rockhill Furnace.  The 2011 festival featured Adam Swanson, the three-time junior champion of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest, and Frederick Hodges, hailed by the press as one of the best jazz and ragtime pianists in the world.
  • -Sing, dance, and worship at Creation – one of the largest Christian music festivals in the United States – on the Agape Farm in Mount Union.  This four-day festival features Christian bands, speakers, and authors.  Some estimates say as many as 100,000 people attend the show each year.
  • -Stare in awe at one-of-a-kind vehicles, as well as “Herbie the Love Bug,” and a Delorean DMC-12, just like the one in “Back to the Future,” at the Swigart Automobile Museum Meet in Huntingdon.  The meet is co-hosted by the Allegheny Mountain Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America.
  • -Smell and taste award-winning barbeque cooked low & slow by semi-professional teams at Barbeque at the Beach, Raystown Lake.  Teams at past events have come from as far away as Florida and Canada.
  • -Learn from artists who hand-craft their wares right before your eyes at Hartslog Day in Alexandria.  The 2012 festival will be the 37th year for this event, and includes activities for all ages, live music, and food vendors.
  • -Ride the oldest operating narrow-gauge railroad east of the Mississippi during the East Broad Top Railroad’s Fall Spectacular in Rockhill Furnace.  Originally chartered to haul the coal of the East Broad Top area, the railroad began operations as a tourist attraction in 1960.  The changing leaves and cooler air make for a wonderful ride on an antique steam engine.
  • -Feel the hair on the back of your neck stand up as you brave haunted houses, haunted caves, and walking tours by lantern light in Hauntingdon.  The “Coolest Small Town in PA,” as voted in 2009 by readers of BudgetTravel.com, turns into the “Ghoulest Small Town” during the month of October, and features a variety of scary and not-so-scary activities for adults and families.
  • -Get transported to a magical place filled with sparkling lights and animated displays during the Rockhill Trolley Museum’s Polar Bear Express in Rockhill Furnace.  Ride aboard an authentic electric trolley car to Blacklog Narrows.  An open-air trolley is available for the more adventurous folks.  Warm up in the cafeteria with some hot chocolate and snacks after your trip.


There’s never a dull moment in the Raystown Lake Region!

About the Author:
Julie Price is the Director of Operations at Sweet Annie Herbs and the Gage Mansion, and resides in Huntingdon.
Categories: 2012 Visitors Guide, Events, Things to Do | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Raystown Natural Resources – the foundation of your Raystown Region Experience

by Jeff Krause

Common sights at Raystown Lake include fishermen trolling for stripers, bikers on the Allegrippis trails, sun bathers on the beach and campers sitting by the fire ring.  These recreational activities are shared among the 1.5 million visitors each year who travel to Raystown to escape their busy lives.  Although not often mentioned, there is one common bond between all these recreational activities – the beauty and diverse natural resources that make the Raystown Region special.   After all, would visitors still come if the green forest mountains and clear, fish filled waters were replaced with paved parking lots and unclean, unfishable waters.  We must remember that our natural resources are the foundation for the outdoor recreational experiences we enjoy so much.

Some of the unique offerings at Raystown include a world class two story fishery that provides common warm water fish such as black bass and walleye while also offering trophy size striped bass and lake trout.   Hundreds of annual fishing tournaments and the PA state record striped bass are testaments to the great fishery created by clean water.

The availability of fish have also made Bald eagles common place at Raystown and may be considered the favorite for wildlife viewing.  Numerous nesting locations have produced almost 60 young nestlings in the past 13 years and hot spots below the dam and near the Entriken bridges are good viewing locations from December through March.

The rock outcrops common at Raystown contain important shale barren habitat and great natural beauty.  These barrens which can exceed 100 degrees in early April provide a rare environment that host both plant and animals that only inhabit the extreme conditions.  Observing the evening primrose’s yellow bloom close to the water’s edge is one offering of this unique habitat.

The most dominant natural feature of Raystown is the nearly 18,000 acres of forest land surrounding the lake providing a landscape of mountains, valleys and ridges that surrounds the lake.  The plant and wildlife resources utilizing the adjacent forest and habitat include over 20 species of concern such as the bald eagle, osprey, several species of bats, golden -winged warblers and cerulean warblers.     Visitors may also see a river otter sliding down a bank, a fisher searching for food, a fence lizard scurry down a tree or one of the American chesntut seedlings attempting to re-establish itself from a century of blight.

When you pause to allow your adrenaline levels to drop after that adventure on the Allegrippis,  catching air under your personal watercraft or a ride on the zip lines, take a look around and take note of the supporting natural beauty of the Raystown Region that adds that breathtaking landscape to your experience.

About the Author
Jeff Krause is a Wildlife Biologist in his 19th year with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and has spent the past 15 at Raystown Lake.

Categories: 2012 Visitors Guide, Things to Do | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Boating on Raystown Lake and The Perfect Storm?

By Captain Stephen Prosser
There are days on the water at Raystown Lake that I recall a scene in the movie, “The Perfect Storm”.  Captain Billy Tyne is talking to another boat captain, Christine.  It goes like this.
“The fog’s just lifting. Throw off your bow line; throw off your stern. You head out to South channel, past Rocky Neck, Ten Pound Island. Past Niles Pond where I skated as a kid. Blow your air-horn and throw a wave to the lighthouse keeper’s kid on Thatcher Island. Then the birds show up: black backs, herring gulls, big dump ducks. The sun hits ya – head North. Open up to 12 – steamin’ now. The guys are busy; you’re in charge. Ya know what? You’re a swordboat captain! Is there anything better in the world?”
Some of you know what I am talking about as Raystown Lake has 118 miles of shoreline and is 28 miles long.  Maybe you put in at the southern end where the lake is more like a lazy river winding through the mountains or James Creek where you can go back to the Brumbaugh Homestead and party cove.  We all have our favorite spots like Pee Wee Island or a cove that you and the family always seems to end up at on your weekend adventures.  I have mine but would never tell you about them, you have to find your own.
Raystown has about 8,300 acres of water and there is room for you to discover what we all know about this special place, located only one day’s drive from one third of the entire population of the United States.  Your vacation or get-a-way is waiting to happen with support from Seven Points Marina, voted as the best marina in the country on the northern end and Lake Raystown Resort on the southern end.  The Corps of Engineers at Raystown Lake manages seven (7) boat launches along the length of the 28-mile lake. They are, from the northernmost end to the southernmost end:Snyder’s RunSeven PointsAitchJames Creek,Tatman RunShy Beaver and Weaver Falls.  Check out the Corps of Engineers web site to learn more and to get directions.
Everybody seems to write about their vacation spot as being special, I suppose, and claim it only rains at night and everyone is always happy and the food explodes in your mouth with flavor.  Ok, I get it, everyone wants you to visit.
All I know is that there are times when I throw out the bow and the stern line and head out past the wave break.  Then comes the public beach and I blast the air horn at the kids playing in the water.  We head north toward the dam, push it up to 22 and we’re throwing a wake now.  The sun hits the water and it seems to come alive, dancing in front of us to the sound of the radio playing softly in the background.  We pass jet ski’s and cruisers, and everyone seems to be enjoying the day.  Water people always seem to be at their best when they are on the water again.  Way back in the no wake zones people either tie up together with friends or stay by themselves.  There is plenty of room for everyone.
I ask the mate for another beverage and our guests are busy enjoying their first glimpse of the Lake aboard the tour boat, The Princess.  Ya know what?  I’m a tour boat captain on Raystown Lake.  Is there anything better in the world?
About the author:
For the past five years Steve has been the Captain of the tour boat, The Princess that docks at Seven Points Marina.  He is a United States Coast Guard licensed captain, 100 tons.  Although he has a BA in religious studies, along with a masters degree in Education and another masters degree in Business, water is his first love.
Categories: 2012 Visitors Guide, Things to Do | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

From This Moment: Is a destination wedding in the Raystown Region right for you?

by Susan Penning
Destination weddings, which are essentially getaways that combine both the wedding and honeymoon, are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional weddings.
There are many reasons why more and more couples are choosing destination weddings.
  • They have family all across the country (or world) and most guests will need to travel regardless of where the wedding is located.
  • They yearn for a more intimate gathering. The guest list of a destination wedding is typically smaller, which allows a couple to indulge in extra luxuries for closest friends and family.
  • They are looking for something unique as this is a second marriage – or they are renewing their wedding vows.
  • They want to save themselves the money (and stress) associated with planning a large wedding and they would prefer to elope somewhere picturesque and relaxing.
 For couples desiring a spectacular and memorable destination wedding experience, the Raystown Region may be the perfect spot. The area offers dozens of locations for both indoor and outdoor weddings and receptions as well as countless choices for romantic honeymoon accommodations.
For example, weddings are a specialty at the elegant Lake Raystown Resort, Lodge and Conference Center, which overlooks beautiful Raystown Lake – known as the crown jewel of Pennsylvania. With multiple indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception sites and a variety of lodging options for the wedding party and guests, the resort is a popular place where marriages begin, or are rekindled.
The C. Barton McCann School of Art, situated on 250 pristine acres between Huntingdon and State College, is a unique event venue that boasts one of central Pennsylvania’s most spectacular backdrops. The soon-to-be bride and groom may choose from five indoor or outdoor facilities with several different configurations to suit their needs.
Other popular wedding sites in the Raystown Region include Hawn’s Overlook at the Raystown Lake Recreation Area, the Huntingdon Country Club, Lincoln Caverns and Whisper Rocks, Seven Points Marina and the Stone Valley Recreation Area.
For more information on these destinations and more, visit http://raystown.org/weddings.html.  
About the Author:
Susan Penning is Director of Member Services for Valley Rural Electric Cooperative, and resides with her husband in Hesston.
Categories: 2012 Visitors Guide, Weddings | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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