Posts Tagged With: birding

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

Categories: Group Travel, Things to Do, Weddings | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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.

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

Wednesday Walking Tour to Feature River Ecology

HUNTINGDON, PA: The 4 and More Cultural District partnership continues its weekly Wednesday morning walking tours with a walk exploring the ecology of the Juniata River on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. The tour will meet at Merchant’s Park on the corner of Sixth and Penn Streets in downtown Huntingdon at 10:00 AM. The hour-long walking tour will be led by Mike Makufka, executive director of the Juniata Clean Water Partnership. The tour is free of charge, but donations to the Juniata Clean Water Partnership are welcome.
Upcoming Wednesday Walking Tours include:
July 3: A History of Stained Glass
July 10: River Ecology
July 17: History and Architecture
July 24: Public Art
July 31: Civil War History
August 7: A History of Stained Glass
August 14: River Ecology
All tours begin at 10:00 AM at Merchants Park on the corner of Sixth and Penn Streets in downtown Huntingdon.  Ample free parking can be found in the borough parking lot across the street.
About 4 and More: The 4 and More Cultural District partnership is an initiative of Huntingdon Landmarks, Inc. to promote downtown Huntingdon as a hub of cultural learning and creative entrepreneurship, centered on the activities of four non-profit organizations on 4th Street: Huntingdon County Historical Society, Huntingdon County Library, Huntingdon County Arts Council, and Huntingdon Health and Wellness Association. For more information like 4 and More Cultural District on Facebook at facebook.com/4andMoreHuntingdon.
About the Juniata Clean Water Partnership: The Juniata Clean Water Partnership (JCWP) is dedicated to enhance, restore and protect the natural resources of the Juniata River watershed. JCWP is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization based in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. More information can be found at JCWP.org.
Categories: Events, Things to Do | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Last Minute Fathers Day Ideas

Okay, you’ve only got four days to plan something for dad! What do you do?

We have some ideas for you that dad is sure to appreciate, all of which you still have time to pull-off!

    1. Weekend getaway in the Raystown Lake Region:  If dad loves the water, why not rent a houseboat from Seven Points Marina  or Lake Raystown Resort Lodge and Conference Center?  It is impossible to find accommodations any closer to Raystown Lake than a houseboat!  These are perfect for the dad who loves to fish, swim, kayak, grill, and/or drive a boat.  Plus mom and the family get the comforts of home with fully equipped kitchens, and bathrooms, not to mention comfy beds!  Other types of accommodations are also available this weekend from camping to bed and breakfasts, cabins and vacation homes.  Visit Raystown.org/places-to-stay to hone in on exactly the type of lodging you are looking for!
    2. Nostalgia and Ice Cream: Is dad the guy who loves cars, or is he the guy who has fond memories of riding the streetcar through his hometown?  Why not treat him to a visit to the Swigart Automobile Museum, and take him for a ride and an ice cream treat at the Rockhill Trolley Museum? Other great places to reminisce are the Isett Acres Museum, Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum, and the Broad Top Area Coal Miners Historical Society Museum.
    3. The Bird’s Eye View: Take dad on a road trip he’ll never forget.  Stop at Jo Hays Vista on Route 26 for a bird’s eye view of Happy Valley, then let him interact with raptors at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.  After that, head south to Ridenour Overlook and Hawn’s Overlook for great views of Raystown Lake.  Get back on Route 26 south then turn right onto 164 west to check out the views from atop Tussey Mountain on your way to a surprise helicopter tour of Raystown Lake or the Horseshoe Curve with Pine Bottom Aviation!  Check out this Google Map for directions and suggested places for eating along the way!
    4. Buck the System: Admit it, there’s something mesmerizing to almost all dads about cowboys riding bucking broncos and bulls!  If this describes your dad, then you need to get him tickets to the Central Pennsylvania Rodeo this weekend! Add in some great vittles, and dad can settle into the grandstand at the Huntingdon County Fairgrounds, and have a mighty fine time!  Yee Haw!
    5. The Old Standbys with a Different Twist: So, the old standby is more your speed for a Fathers Day gift…The RLR has you covered there too!  Want a sweater or socks?  Then check out Terrace Mountain Alpacas for great Alpaca wool products.   New camping gear? Rothrock Outfitters and Bear Creek RV have your back!  Dinner and a show?  Check out some great places to eat and the Clifton 5 or Playhouse at  McConnellstown!
    6. A Gift from the heART: Gifts of art are always appreciated.  The RLR has some great places to find the perfect piece of work for your favorite piece of work, I mean dad!  Check out the Log Cabin Gallery Shop, Vintage Art Glass and the Foxy Grape, Li’l Deb’s Custom Stained Glass, Reeve’s Gift Boutique, Raystown Reflections Gift Shoppe, and Family Treasures, all have great artwork for sale!

If you are still at a loss, then give us a call at 888-729-7869, and we’ll help you out!

Happy Fathers Day!

Categories: Dining, Events, Shopping, Things to Do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And So It Begins…

Today is the official opening of the Seven Points Campground at Raystown Lake, which surrounds our office at the Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center!  The campground is being managed this year for the first time by the Friends of Raystown Lake, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to help promote and protect the environmental and recreational missions of the Army Corps of Engineers Raystown Lake Project by engaging in partnerships to further those missions.  As the recreation mission of the Corps continues to deal with decreases in the federal budget, organizations like the Friends of Raystown Lake are finding creative ways to keep a good thing going at Army Corps projects around the country.  We applaud them for that!

Although we have a good number of campgrounds, vacation homes, B&B’s, and hotels that are open year-round in the Raystown Lake Region, there is a general consensus that April is the “soft opening” of our tourism season.  By the end of April almost all of our places to stay and attractions are open for business (there are a handful that won’t  open until Memorial Day Weekend).  Here are a few reasons why April is a great time to visit the RLR.

  • The Fish! Trout season begins in Huntingdon County on April 14th.  Even if you don’t like to fish, it is always an amazing drive along route 26 between McAlevy’s Fort and  Huntingdon to see the linear tent city that develops beginning Friday, April 13th.  For the local trout stocking schedule, click here.  We have world-class trout streams in the Little Juniata River, Spruce Creek, Standing Stone Creek, Shavers Creek, Great Trough Creek, and Blacklog Creek.  We also have great fishing for species other than trout in Raystown Lake, and on the Juniata River.  Check out our partner site at The Alleghenies for great fishing options in the region.
  • The Blossoms! From yellow forsythia, white apple, soft pink pear, hot pink redbud, lilac, rhododendron, and white mountain laurel, the blossoms on our native trees and shrubs is gorgeous during April (some started blooming with an early warm spell in March).  Spring in our niche of The Alleghenies is equally as beautiful as our autumn leaves.
  • The Birds! Whether you are a novice who marvels at the sight of a bald eagle, or a seasoned ornithologist with a life list of songbirds, we’ve got the place for you!  For a guaranteed look  at raptors, check out Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, where their raptor center features a variety of live birds of prey that due to injury, would not likely survive in the wild.  For a great place to view and hear songbirds, check out the Hillside Nature Trail at Seven Points Recreation Area at Raystown Lake.
  • The Shows! April in Huntingdon County, brings with it a lot of great shows.  The Playhouse at McConnellstown opens its season with Belles in April as Juniata College closes its season with fantastic student performances in theater and music.  April also kicks off a great season of outdoor concerts with the live music at Mayfest of Huntingdon!  Shows also include minor league and NCAA baseball, as well as Penn State Football‘s annual Blue-White Game.

So whatever your passion is this spring, bring it to the Raystown Lake Region, and stop in and see us at the Visitors Center while you’re here!

Categories: Events, HCVB News, Things to Do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dam & Eagle Tour

Publishers note: This article first appeared in the 2007 edition of the Raystown Lake Region/Huntingdon County Visitors Guide.  The location of the eagles’ nest visible from the breast of the dam has changed, as the winter of 2010-2011 caused the dead tree supporting it to fall.  The pair of eagles that built that nest is rebuilding in the same area.  This tour is still our most popular driving tour from the Visitors Center.

Old eagles' nest near Raystown Dam, Huntingdon, PA by Vickie Smith

This photo is of the former eagles' nest described in this article near Raystown Dam. The pair of eagles is building a new nest near this location since the tree fell destroying the nest pictured. (Photo by Vickie Smith)

By Pam Prosser

Gather the friends/family for a great tour
Grab Binoculars
Wear half decent walking shoes (easy walking)
Pick up lunch or dinner/ or wine and hors d’oeuvres at your favorite place
Go! 

The Dam & Eagle Tour is a winning combination of scenic drive, vistas, catching a glimpse of our resident American Bald Eagles home, a short hike through 4 eco-systems and opportunities to picnic and kayak if you wish.

Your adventure starts from the Raystown Lake Visitor Center and will last from 2-4 hours, depending upon how you design the trip for your group. Although my favorite time is first thing in the morning, the scenery and overlooks can be beautiful & romantic for a sunset tour.

Traveling from the Visitors Center to Huntingdon via Piney Ridge Road is truly a scenic drive if you like mountain views, on the right you’ll see Terrace Mountain which parallels Raystown Lake; and to the left you’ll see Tussey Mountain, the towns of McConnellstown, Smithfield and eventually Huntingdon. The ‘ridge road’ has plenty of ‘S’ curves so take it easy, enjoy the view. When you begin to descend the mountain, again, use caution; see if you can guess which set of guard rails gets the most company by locals and visitors.

Smithfield (US Rt 22) and Historic Huntingdon (access from 4th St) are your best bets for grabbing picnic food or arranging for a canoe/kayak delivery service should you choose to paddle the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River while on this tour.

Once you turn onto Snyders Run Road, just follow the signage and cue sheet provided. Note: the gate to the overlooks is open 9AM to dusk from Mid April to Mid December, you are permitted to hike in, just please don’t block the gate. Take some time at the overlooks to observe the actual dam and an incredible mountain view beyond the dam a Ridenour Overlook. Once you’ve enjoyed this, you MUST walk the 300 yards to Hawn’s Overlook, this view was featured on the front cover of the PA Visitors Guide a few years back, it is one of the most photographed places in The Alleghenies. If you want to add romance to this tour, this is the place to be around sunset. You may want to come back to this spot again and again, it is just that magnificent.

From the overlooks, drive a short distance to go over that dam structure you just saw at Ridenour. Once you go over the dam (thinking about how this earthen structure is holding back 8,300 acres of water) and park, look towards the mountain from which you just came (you can see the clearing at Ridenour overlook). With the dam on your right; find 7 while buoys close to the shoreline of the mountain.  Count, from the dam, to the 2nd and 3rd buoy; between these two buoys, move your binoculars ¼ of the way up the mountain to see the nest. It is in a dead tree so you can see it even when foliage is full. Of course, in the spring, one of the pair is in or around the nest, after the eaglets fledge, you’ll see them more often below the dam.

As you drive on Point Road parallel to the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River, be sure to have your eyes (unless you are the driver) glued to the opposite side of the river; between the dam and Corbin’s island, look for sycamore trees; the eagles often perch on the dead snag to fish below the dam.   As an extra bonus, there is often our resident great blue heron in these waters as well.

Options for other activities along Point Road are kayak/canoe/float trip, picnic, and a short nature trail.  Corbin’s Island Recreation Area offers picnic tables and a ramp for those who may wish to float the Raystown Branch of the Juniata. This area also offers picnic tables and rest room facilities.

According to the hiking professionals at the US Army Corp of Engineers, “The Riverside Nature Trail offers a rare opportunity to observe four distinct ecosystem communities during a hike of just ½ mile. You’ll return along the same path making a total journey of one mile through riverine, wetland, successional forest and open field ecosystems.” If you have children, you will want to pick up the trail map and have the kids complete the scavenger hunt; when complete bring to visitor center for a certificate of completion.

For those who plan the float trip, you’ll find the PA Fish and Boat Commission ramp at  “The Point”; continue on Point Road which will bring you back to Rt 22.

After such a great day, time to think about lunch or dinner or shopping to finish out the day; make sure you have our ‘Where to Eat, Where to Shop” brochure which will describe all your opportunities.

Cue Sheet for Dam & Eagle Tour

 

From the Raystown Lake Visitor Center Mileage
Right from Visitor Center Parking Lot to 7 Points Road

2.9

Right on Piney Ridge Road

6.9

Right on Crooked Creek RD

0.3

Right on US Rt 22

0.5

Right on Snyders Run Road

0.4

Straight on Henderson Overlook Rd

0.4

Right on Henderson  Overlook Rd

2.5

Slight left at stop sign to overlooks

1

Park at Ridenour Overlook park
Walk 300 Yards to Hawn’s Overlook walk
From Parking lot to Right on Stone Bridge Hollow Rd

1.5

Right on Stone Bridge Hollow Rd

1

Right on Point Road driving over the dam

0.4

Point Road to Corbin’s Island Recreation Access Area

1.1

Point Road to Riverside Nature Trail Parking Area

2.2

Point Road to Henderson Hollow & Snyders Run Road

3.8

Straight to intersection with US Rt 22

0.4

Left on US 22 West to Crooked Creek Rd

0.5

Left on Crooked Creek Road to Piney Ridge Road

0.3

Left on Piney Ridge Road to 7 Points Road

6.9

Left on 7 Points Road to Visitors Center

2.9

Categories: 2007 Visitors Guide, Group Travel, Things to Do | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Birding Opportunities Abound

Publisher’s Note: The following article appeared in the 2005 Raystown Lake Region/Huntingdon County Visitors Guide.  Some links that are no longer active have been removed from its original form.  Lake Perez that is mentioned in the article has since been drained, although the Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center and Stone Valley Recreation Area that were once on its shores, are still going strong!

by Chet Clark, AmeriCorps Member, Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps

Information provided by:

Robert Criswell, PA Game Commission; Chuck Yohn, Juniata College; Jeff Krause, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Dave Kyler, Juniata Valley Audubon Society member

Whether it’s a trip to a known birding hotspot or an afternoon watching out the window at home, bird watching as a hobby is on the rise. In fact, in a recent survey, bird watching was at the top of the list for fastest growing activities in the country with an increase in participation of 232 percent since 1983. This increase in popularity is evident in many ways; for example, more than 500,000 copies of The Sibley Guide to Birds have been printed since its release in October 2000, making it the fastest selling bird book ever. Birding festivals are on the increase around the nation as well. In the early 1990’s only a dozen or so existed in the U.S., now about 200 take place annually.

The number of birding trails also is increasing. One unique birding trail was developed in Texas, and over half the states in the nation have followed its lead, including Pennsylvania. These driving trails incorporate stops along the open road at sites chosen for their great birding opportunities. One such trail has been developed in the Susquehanna watershed, which includes the Juniata watershed. The trail stretches across 27 counties (including Huntingdon County) and features 200+ bird and wildlife sites, trails, and scenic drives. Along with the development of this trail, a guide, titled Susquehanna River Birding and Wildlife Trail (available at the Raystown Lake Visitor Center), was created identifying the individual sites. With this guide bird watchers have directions to the best spots to enjoy the many beautiful species of avifauna found in the Raystown Lake Region.  Over 25 sites lie within the Juniata River watershed and adjacent areas of the region.

A good place to start your search for our feathered friends is at one of the Important Bird Areas (IBA). These areas were designated by Audubon as such for their abundance and/or diversity of avifauna. One such spot is the Frankstown Branch of the Juniata River, situated in northern Huntingdon County, just off Water Street. “Lower Trail,” part of the Rails-to-Trails system which runs for 16 miles along the river, takes you into some excellent ridge and valley riparian forest habitat. This site is one of Pennsylvania’s most important Cerulean Warbler breeding areas. There are an estimated 50-60 breeding pairs of this illusive warbler along the trail. The Cerulean Warbler is a small bluish-colored (black streaks in the blue above with a white underside) warbler, with a habit of remaining in the high, dense tree canopies. Despite the difficulty of sighting them, their song (rapid buzzes followed by a longer drawn out buzz, zray, zray, zray, zreeeee) can usually be heard throughout the day. Excellent concentrations of other breeding riparian species also are found here. Neotropical migrants (such as the Northern Parula with its bold yellow chin and yellow and chestnut breast with a slate-colored body) are typically much higher in number in this area during the early portion of the spring migration (late April-early May), due to early leaf-out along the river.

Another IBA is Canoe Creek State Park. This area hosts an incredible array of birdlife due to its exceptionally diverse habitat. There are 220 species that occur, with 110 breeding at the site. The habitat types include: large tracts of unfragmented forest (that attract forest-interior neotropical migrants); forested wetlands with many small beaver ponds; laurel thickets; riparian forest; unspoiled emergent and shrub wetlands; native grassland and old-field habitat; and a 160-acre lake. The lake attracts migrating waterfowl in the spring. In the forest interior look for the brilliantly colored Scarlet Tanager. The male Tanager is a beautiful, rich scarlet-colored bird with black wings and tail. The female of the species is an olive shade with gray wings.

The Stone Valley Recreational Area is located across the 70-acre Lake Perez from Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center. Both areas present opportunities to view spring and fall waterfowl and passerine migration species. The tall white pines of the Stone Valley Recreation Area attract Pine Warblers in the spring and summer. At the Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, visitors find plenty of bird watching opportunities as well as many public programs to take part in. The environmental center also allows for a close up look at many raptor species living there due to injuries too serious to allow for their release. Hiking trails abound and meander through habitats such as hemlock riparian areas, hardwood forest, and open meadows.

The Raystown Lake area also offers some unique birding opportunities. Two active eagle nests provide sighting opportunities all around the lake, with the best spot appearing to be just downstream of the Raystown Dam. This area is fairly reliable for catching a glimpse of the magnificent birds, as they are usually found perched across the river. The Fouses Crossing wetland site has access restrictions for waterfowl propagation between March 15 and August 15 but provides some unique spring and summer birding opportunities. Newly created wetlands along agricultural and moist soil habitat provide great spots to view wading birds such as Herons and Egrets, along with various waterfowl in the spring. The lake also provides winter and early spring viewing opportunities for a variety of waterfowl that utilize the lake as a resting spot during migration. This site is a waterfowl enthusiast’s dream with many species present at one time or another. Common species such as Ring-necked Ducks and Common Mergansers to the not-so-common Black Scoter and Ring-necked Grebe can be seen. One good vantage point is a large cove just south of the Seven Points Recreation Area, that can be accessed from various campground roads. Additionally, the warmer discharge waters of the dam and the dense riparian cover of the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River make the four-mile stretch between the dam and the Point Access a great area for winter bird viewing. Recent hacking programs to reintroduce Osprey at Raystown make them a common, late summer find in the James Creek area of the lake. The many trails at Raystown Lake also provide great opportunities for viewing breeding birds in a variety of habitats. Maps of the trails are available at the Raystown Lake Visitors Center.

If the raptor is your bird of choice, then the Jo Hays Vista is the site for you. This IBA is located over 2,000 feet above sea level atop the Tussey Mountain Ridge. The hawkwatch  is known for its high numbers of spring migrating Golden Eagles (more are seen at this site than any other east of the Rocky Mountains), which peaks in the first three weeks of March. Counts of up to 150 annually have been recorded. Along with Golden Eagles, spring counts of up to 6,500 from 15 other species of diurnal raptors have been recorded at the site. Good numbers also can be seen during fall migration. The surrounding area provides good habitat for many breeding birds. Due to the lack of fragmentation throughout the ridge, many forest-interior species are found here. Some representatives include the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, several warblers, and the Scarlet Tanager.

These are just a few of the birding opportunities in Raystown Lake Region. Explore www.pabirdingtrails.org for more information on these and other birding sites in the area. To learn more about birding, contact the local Juniata Valley Audubon Society Chapter. Other interesting information can be obtained by checking out the following websites:

http://www.scbirdcl.org/

http://www.shaverscreek.org

http://www.birding.com/wheretobird/pennsylvania.asp

 

Categories: 2005 Visitors Guide, Things to Do | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: