Posts Tagged With: huntingdon county

The Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center

Every year, more than 20,000 people pass through the Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center inside Raystown Lake’s Seven Points Recreation Area near Hesston, Pennsylvania.  The Visitors Center is home to the US Army Corps of Engineers Raystown Lake Project Ranger Staff as well as the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau.  The two organizations work closely together in the building’s operation and programming.

New seating area in the lobby of the Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center courtesy of Park Furniture of Huntingdon (Photo by Vickie Smith)

New seating area in the lobby of the Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center courtesy of Park Furniture of Huntingdon (Photo by Vickie Smith)

This cooperation was evidenced this morning as Park Furniture of Huntingdon delivered some beautiful lodge furniture as a donation for a new seating area in the main lobby.  Park Furniture is a member of HCVB, and has been very generous in providing the furniture, which they intend to rotate as styles change.

Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center Exhibition Area (photo by Bruce Cramer)

Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center Exhibition Area (photo by Bruce Cramer)

In addition to having a great and comfortable place to relax in air conditioning on a hot afternoon, the Visitors Center features exhibits, displays, and public restrooms, as well as one of the best overlooks of Raystown Lake, all free of charge.

The staff of the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau is always willing to answer questions, give directions and recommendations for things to do, places to eat, places to stay, places to shop, and more at the information counter.

Vickie Smith, HCVB Visitors Center Manager, assisting customers with directions. (Photo by Abram Eric Landes, aelandesphotography.com

Vickie Smith, HCVB Visitors Center Manager, assisting customers with directions. (Photo by Abram Eric Landes, aelandesphotography.com

The Visitors Bureau also operates the Raystown Reflections Gift Shoppe, where you can grab a quick snack, Raystown Lake souvenirs, local artwork and crafts, books about local history, other works by local authors, and more.

The Visitors Center is also a trail head for the Hillside Nature Trail and as of May 2012 for the Allegrippis Trails, and soon to be for a loop trail connecting all of the campsites within the Seven Points Campground to the Visitors Center, picnic areas, Seven Points Beach, and Seven Points Marina.

From now through August 14th, every Tuesday morning HCVB hosts a Wake-Up Reception that includes displays and door prizes from area attractions, restaurants, and shops, continental breakfast, and a featured guest.  Tuesdays Mid-June through Mid-August 9:30-10:30 AM.

Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center, Hesston, PA (Photo by Abram Eric Landes, aelandesphotography.com)

Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center, Hesston, PA (Photo by Abram Eric Landes, aelandesphotography.com)

Next time you’re in the area, stop in to the Visitors Center and say “Hi!”

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Cindy Ross

ImageImage
( A version of this appeared in the July/August issue of Pennsylvania Magazine)

We circle the smoking cone, looking for “the eye of the fire-” a gaping hole with intense heat pouring out. Inside the dirt and duff covered pile of stacked logs, the charcoal “pit,” the temperature soars, turning the wood into charcoal. The hole or “mull” glows in the dark night and when we poke a stick in, there is an empty space, 12 inches deep. As the wood shrinks, it collapses in. Mulls tend to be on the windward side. Before oxygen can get in and burn up the wood inside at a rapid rate, we need to close it up and fast.

We hurriedly stuff in dried leaves and dirt, tamp it down with the back of a shovel and go back to our seats at the picnic table here at Greenwood Furnace State Park. We chat…

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Area Fireworks Displays Start Tonight

Fireworks over Raystown Lake by Kevin Mills

Fireworks on the Lake at Lake Raystown Resort Lodge and Conference Center, Entriken, PA. Photo by Kevin Mills, picturesbykevin.com.

With Independence Day falling on a Wednesday, the Raystown Lake Region will be celebrating all week with fireworks displays, beginning tonight, Sunday, July 1st, at the Lake Raystown Resort Lodge and Conference Center after dusk (9:00 PM-ish).  If you don’t want to find a place to park to watch them (it’s illegal to stop on Route 994 in the area of Entriken Bridge), and you aren’t confident enough to boat at night, Seven Points Marina still has tickets to view them from the deck of The Princess Lake Cruiser.  The cruise on The Princess departs from the marina at 7:00 PM.  A limited number of tickets are still available.  We recommend calling 814-658-3074. ASAP to reserve.

Fireworks at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, State College, PA by Matt Price

Fireworks following a State College Spikes Minor League Baseball Game at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, State College, PA on the Penn State University campus. Photo by Matt Price

Also tonight, tomorrow night, and Tuesday night, the State College Spikes Minor League Baseball team will be having fireworks displays following each game in their series versus the Batavia Muckdogs.  Game times are 6:00 PM tonight, and 7:00 PM on Monday and Tuesday at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, on the Penn State University campus, State College, PA.

Tuesday night, July 3rd, also brings a community fireworks display to Huntingdon.  The fireworks are launched from atop Flagpole Hill, and visible from nearly everywhere in Huntingdon Borough and Smithfield Township.  For those of you not familiar with Huntingdon, Flagpole Hill is located at the top of 5th Street (look for the giant American Flag).

Of course the actual Independence Day holiday falls on July 4th, and that’s when the big mortars come out.  Working from South to North along Interstate 99, look for the Independence Day Firestorm fireworks display at Altoona’s Lakemont Park, and another display following the Altoona Curve Minor League Baseball game against the Reading Phillies at PNG Field, Altoona.  One of the largest, most renowned, professional fireworks displays in Pennsylvania happens at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park with its annual Summer Thunder 4th of July Fireworks.  Farther north on Interstate 99, State College’s Central PA 4th Fest will be happening in the area of Medlar Field at Lubrano Park and Beaver Stadium.  This display is the largest all-volunteer fireworks display in the  world.

The fireworks don’t end with Independence Day, though.  The Altoona Curve will have fireworks following each game against the Reading Phillies, July 4th, 5th, and 6th, and Saturday and Sunday night games against the Binghamton Mets.  Game times on Wednesday-Saturday are 7:00 PM and Sunday at 6:00 PM.

If you were counting, that’s 13 fireworks displays in 8 days, including at least one every night!  Be safe, have fun, and don’t drink and drive or drink and boat!

God Bless America!


 

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Free Visitor WAKE-UP Reception July 3

The HCVB Visitor Wake-Up Receptions continue each Tuesday morning from 9:30-10:30 a.m. through August 14, 2012, at the Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center in the Seven Points Recreation Area.

The Wake-Up Reception series is a great place to learn all about the fun things to do and great places to visit in the Raystown Lake Region. The series continues with special events planned each week on Tuesdays through August 14.

Each visitor reception typically includes 14-22 displays and door prizes from area attractions, eateries, and shops; free snacks while supplies last, a door prize drawing for a free pass for two to take Seven Points Marina’s Sightseeing Tour aboard the Princess Lake Cruiser on Tuesday afternoon.

Tuesday, July 3:
  • Special guest poet Gabriel Welsch reading from his book
    “The Death of Flying Things”
  • Food sponsor Standing Stone Coffee Company
About “The Death of Flying Things”
Welsch’s third collection of poems, The Death of Flying Things moves through three seasons in Pennsylvania’s breathtaking center. Within, read what it feels like to ride the oldest roller coaster in the world (located in Altoona), hear the roiling tensions at the bar near Malcolm Cowley’s birthplace (in Cambria County), consider the threat and fragility of flowers, hear what smoke means in November in Pennsylvania, and note the unlikely combination of black walnuts and baseball.

Upcoming Wake-Up events:

Tuesday, July 10 

Special guest TBD
Food sponsor: Walmart of Huntingdon
Tuesday, July 17
Special guest artist Leah Davis Dell of Vintage Art Glass and The Foxy Grape with “Stained glass treasures of Huntingdon County”
Food sponsor Hoss’s Steak & Sea House Huntingdon
Tuesday, July 24
TBD

Tuesday, July 31

Special guest Standing Stone Coffee Company discussing “Coffee from bean-in-the-field to cup-in-your-hand”
Food sponsor TBD
Tuesday, August  7
Children’s Book Author Amanda Jenkins with her book “The Italian Hand Story”
Tuesday, August 14
Special guest TBD
Food sponsor Fairfield Inn & Suites Huntingdon Raystown Lake
Categories: Dining, Events, HCVB News, Shopping, Things to Do, Tourism Industry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Few Words About Our Partners

Although the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau is the lead agency for promoting the Raystown Lake Region to tourists, we certainly don’t do it in a vacuum.  We are a small agency with only three full-time, one part-time, and two seasonal part-time employees.  We work cooperatively with a number of organizations that deserve recognition for what they do for us!

The Brand USA and their website designed to promote the United States of America to foreign travelers,  DiscoverAmerica.com is a new partner for the Raystown Lake Region.  The mission of Brand USA is to encourage increased international visitation to the United States and to grow America’s share of the global travel market. In doing so, they aim to bring millions of new international visitors who spend billions of dollars to the United States, creating tens of thousands of new American jobs.

The Pennsylvania Tourism Office within the Department of Community and Economic Development is our state marketing partner at VisitPA.com.  While the state funding for this office has been drastically cut over the last five years, VisitPA.com and it’s social media affiliates, as well as the state travel planner and Pursuits magazine are still great resources for all things tourism in Pennsylvania.

The Alleghenies Tourism Council is a nine-county tourism region in south-central Pennsylvania, and is administered by the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission.  This region has two websites promoting its tourism assets.  TheAlleghenies.com is targeted toward the individual outdoor enthusiast with lots of great resources for hiking, fishing, boating, bicycling, motorcycle riding, winter recreation, ATV riding, and more.  TourAlleghenies.com is an itinerary planning tool targeted toward groups large and small that are interested in experiencing the region.  A “group” could be as small as a single family, or as large as a convoy of buses.

Within Huntingdon County, we are involved with another promotional alliance called the Huntingdon Area Information Partnership.  This group, consisting of the Visitors Bureau, Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce, Huntingdon County Business and Industry, Huntingdon County government, J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital and Juniata College, works together to provide reliable information about the county, and provides a central virtual gateway to that information at HuntingdonArea.info.

There are dozens more organizations and media outlets that we affiliate with or buy into, but those listed above are our true partners in promoting the Raystown Lake Region as a destination for tourists.

Thank you!

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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!

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TEMPORARY DETOUR AND TRAFFIC FLOW CHANGES AT WHIPPLE DAM STATE PARK

On June 11, 2012, Laurel Run Road, Jackson Twp. Huntingdon County will be closed to thru traffic for approximately two weeks for road work. This road closure will impact traffic entering and leaving Whipple Dam State Park and the start time is weather dependent. Detours and traffic changes will be posted. Drivers will not be able to access Laurel Run Road from the park.

Traffic entering and exiting Whipple Dam State Park must use Whipple Road. Within the park, motorists are advised to use caution when travelling the road around the breast of the dam to access Beach Road, as the road is narrow and with limited sight distance.

Beach Road will be closed at the far end. Traffic will be two-way on Beach Road, requiring drivers to turn around at a designated area and exiting along the same road. During the road closure, there will be a shortage of parking near the beach, as parking will only be allowed along the lake side of the road. Additional parking is available on the winter entrance road and on the north shore area.

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Rockhill Trolley Museum to Continue Operating in 2012

The Rockhill Trolley Museum has been associated with the East Broad Top Railroad and the Kovalchick family since 1960. It was in October of that year that Johnstown Traction Company # 311 was moved to Rockhill Furnace and became the first trolley in what is now known as the Rockhill Trolley Museum.

During 2012, the trolley museum will continue to operate on its normal schedule of weekends only, starting Memorial Day weekend through the end of October. The winter holiday events will take place in late November and early December. Additional special events will be held throughout the year. Please check our website at www.rockhilltrolley.org for a complete listing of all of our 2012 events.

While associated with the EBT Railroad for over fifty years, the trolley museum is a separate non-profit corporation operated by Railways To Yesterday, Inc. The Rockhill Trolley Museum is deeply grateful for the many years of support from the East Broad Top Railroad and the Kovalchick family. We are looking forward to many more years of mutual help and cooperation. The trolley museum is staffed entirely by volunteers that are responsible for all aspects of the museum. We are deeply disappointed to hear that the EBT will not operate during 2012. The Rockhill Trolley Museum looks forward to the operation of East Broad Top Railroad in the future.

Rockhill Trolley Museum photo by David Schwartz

The Rockhill Trolley Museum will continue normal operations on weekends Memorial Day Weekend through the end of October 2012, as well as special holiday events in late November through December! (photo by David Schwartz)

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Welcome to the Water!

Publisher’s Note:  As we kick off another summer season with Memorial Day Weekend, we thought it would be a good time to share an excerpt from our 2002 Raystown Lake Region/Huntingdon County Visitors Guide.

Raystown Lake Recreation Area

We are proud to offer the largest lake within the state. With it’s 118 miles of shoreline, 8,300 acres of clean, clear water and 30 miles (as a bald eagle flies) of lake, there is plenty of room to enjoy all kinds of water activity. What most people like about the lake is that except for just a few miles that are developed, nature’s beauty is the backdrop. The US Army Corp of Engineers manages the lake; they operate campgrounds in the Seven Points Recreation Area, Nancy’s Camp and Susquehannock. Eight launch ramps are available for boaters, the lake has no size or horsepower restrictions, and personal watercrafts are welcome. Picnic Pavilions are available for rent and weekend events are provided at the Seven Points Amphitheater. Hiking trails have been developed in 4 areas of the facility. There are four private concessions on the lake, which offer a wide range of services including camping, restaurants, marinas, amusements, entertainment and accommodations.

Shallow water is really not an issue for general running on the lake, the average depth is 80 feet, and some have graphed depths upwards of 200 feet.  Although some structures do exist, the rumor that a town was flooded is just that, a story.

For swimmers, skiers and personal watercraft users, wet suits are common until the end of May, beginning of June.  In July and August surface temps are 75-80 degrees. Visit the Raystown Lake Visitors Center in the 7 Points Recreation Area for more information, plus a gorgeous view of the lake!

WATER ACTIVITIES

BOATING

Raystown Lake glassy at Seven Points Marina photo by Abram Eric Landes, aelandesphotography.com

Early in the morning, Raystown Lake is calm, and the waters are glassy. (Photo by Abram Eric Landes aelandesphography.com

The PA Fish and Boat Commission enforce rules and regulations; a license is required for all motorized vessels. Persons using Personal Watercraft must have a certification.

Boating on Raystown Lake

All sizes of boats are welcome on Raystown Lake; there are no restrictions of horsepower.  During the busy weekends in July and August, it is suggested that those using small boats consider using Weavers Falls, Aitch, James Creek and Snyders Run areas, which have easy access to the abundant no-wake areas.  There are 8 public boat launches, since our lake rarely freezes completely; boaters can usually enjoy the lake year round. Boat rentals, and launch and park services are available at the marinas; water trampolines are also available.  The US Army Corps of Engineers no longer charges a launch fee at the 8 public launch ramps.

SWIMMING

Seven Points Beach photo by Kevin Mills, picturesbykevin.com

Seven Points Recreation Area Beach on Raystown Lake (Photo by Kevin Mills picturesbykevin.com

The public beaches at Seven Points and Tatman Run at Raystown Lake offer refreshing relief on a dog day afternoon. For those who boat, we encourage swimming in the “no-wake” areas, rather than the main stream. Three of our state parks offer swimming as well.  Greenwood Furnace State Park offers a 300 foot sand beach on Greenwood Lake from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Whipple Dam offers guarded beaches and cool waters for swimming in a beautiful environment. Cool off in our clean water resources!

WATER SKIING

Water Ski Magazine recently named Raystown Lake as a water ski haven. On the Lake, serious skiers find glass!  For those with little time to explore, try the mountainside of the lake between mile markers 25 & 26; 10 & 8; 4& 2; 2&1. You’ll find the best skiing during the week, and on weekends try VERY early morning and after 5pm.  Ski and toy rentals are available at the boat dealers around the area, just use the guideto find your options.

Water skiing on Raystown Lake photo by Kevin Mills, picturesbykevin.com

Water skiing is a popular activity on Raystown Lake (photo by Kevin Mills, picturesbykevin.com)

Categories: 2002 Visitors Guide, Lifestyle, Past Visitors Guides, Things to Do | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

High Iron Hiatus

We learned late last week that the East Broad Top Railroad will not be operating in 2012.  The historic narrow-gauge railway has been in operation for around 140 years, including the last five decades as a tourist railroad.  Operating a tourist attraction using century-old equipment in century-old buildings, on a century-old right-of way presents a unique set of challenges.  We don’t know all of the details of the decision why not to operate this summer, but we know that some significant investments are needed to keep the steam operation running smoothly and safely for the general public.

Railroad officials have stated on their Facebook page, that they still hope to be back up and running full-steam in 2013.  There are several organizations who support the East Broad Top Railroad, its preservation and promotion, including the Friends of East Broad Top, Broad Top Area Coal Miners Historical Society, East Broad Top Preservation Association, Railways To Yesterday (operators of the Rockhill Trolley Museum), and the Kovalchick family, who have owned the railroad since 1956, just to name a very important few.

Tours of the railroad shops in Rockhill will continue to be available to groups of 20 or more people this summer.  These tours are amazing in and of themselves.  The twin communities of Rockhill and Orbisonia will continue to hold their homecoming and Christmas in Our Hometown events, and the Rockhill Trolley Museum will continue its weekend operations beginning this Memorial Day weekend.

In other words, there is still a lot of history and activity to be explored in the Rockhill-Orbisonia area.  Please don’t let the absence of steam excursions keep you away!  If you’d like help planning your trip, give the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau a call at 888-729-7869.

Categories: Events, Group Travel, HCVB News, History, Things to Do, Tourism Industry | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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