Posts Tagged With: Shaver’s Creek

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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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!

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Girl Scout Centennial

Today marks the anniversary of Juliette Gordon Low’s first meeting of Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia, 100 years ago.  Since that first meeting of 18 young ladies, the Girl Scouts have grown into a worldwide movement with 3.2 million adult and youth members.  The Girl Scouts have been building character, confidence and courage in girls for a century, and are well positioned to be doing that for the next century and beyond. (http://www.girlscouts.org/who_we_are/facts/).

The first Girl Scout troop in our local Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania Council area was organized in Harrisburg in 1917.  In Huntingdon County, a group of attractions has been working together for the past 4 years to develop and promote programming specifically for Girl Scout groups.

Camp Golden Pond is a Girl Scout camp located just north of Petersburg, near Rothrock State Forest.  The camp has year-round facilities and summer programming for Girl Scouts.

 

Scout Out Huntingdon County 100 Miles of Heritage patch with all five segments.

Scout Out Huntingdon County: 100 Miles of Heritage is a biking, hiking, and paddling trail system that is designed to be completed in five weekends, or if your group prefers, tackle any three contiguous legs of the trail to earn the 50-Miler Award.  This program features a central patch and a segment for each leg of the system.  As your Scouts complete a leg, they earn the appropriate segment.  The trail utilizes existing trails, rivers, and minor roadways to link interactive attractions, natural sites, historic sites, and campgrounds, giving the Scouts a unique learning adventure that is appropriate for their skill/achievement level.

Badge Programs are offered by a number of attractions in Huntingdon County, and nearby.  Some of our attractions specifically cater to Scout groups.  Here are some that we highly recommend:

  • Lincoln Caverns, 3 miles west of Huntingdon, offers unique programming for all levels of Girl Scouts that explore the geology and natural world of caves.  Lincoln Caverns also offers primitive camping to youth groups at its Warrior Ridge Campground.
  • Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, located about half-way between Petersburg and Pine Grove Mills also offers Scout programs for all ages.  With it’s Raptor Center, nature trails, pavilions and regular programming, this is a great place for Scouting weekends any time of the year.
  • Fort Roberdeau, located in the Sinking Valley section of eastern Blair County offers the unique opportunity for Scouts to live and dress like soldiers and citizens would have during the Revolutionary War.  The historic site is also a county park with nature trails, a visitors center, pavilions and more.
  • Old Bedford Village, located north of Bedford, offers Scouts the chance to experience 18th and 19th century life in Pennsylvania.  Group programs include period appropriate trade immersion and crafts.
  • Indian Caverns, located along Route 45 east of Spruce Creek, offers badge programs for grades 2-3, the “Eco-Explorer” Try-it and the “Watching Wildlife” Try-it. For grades 4-5, the “Wildlife” Badge and the “Rocks Rock” Badge.  One unique program at Indian Caverns lets the Scouts actually spend the night in the cave!

Many other sites in the Raystown Lake Region provide opportunities for Scouts to advance, or complete partial requirements for

badges.  If you would like to learn more about bringing your Scouts to the area, call the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau at 888-729-7869.

Happy Scouting!

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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

Happy Anniversary to the Boy Scouts of America!

This week, the Boy Scouts of America celebrate their 102nd anniversary.  In its century plus of existence, the BSA has molded millions of young men with its aims of developing character, citizenship and fitness. If you are involved in Scouting, as a scout, leader, employee, parent, or volunteer, we salute you.  We’d also like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the programs that Huntingdon County offers to Scout groups.

Scout Out Huntingdon County heritage trail award patch

When Scouts complete any leg of the Scout Out Huntingdon County heritage trail system, they are eligible to earn the central patch, and the appropriate segment.

Scout Out Huntingdon County: 100 Miles of Heritage is a biking, hiking, and paddling trail system that is designed to be completed in five weekends, or if your group prefers, tackle any three contiguous legs of the trail to earn the 50-Miler Award.  This program features a central patch and a segment for each leg of the system.  As your Scouts complete a leg, they earn the appropriate segment.  The trail utilizes existing trails, rivers, and minor roadways to link interactive attractions, natural sites, historic sites, and campgrounds, giving the Scouts a unique learning adventure that is appropriate for their skill/achievement level.

Merit Badge Programs are offered by a number of attractions in Huntingdon County, and nearby.  Some of our attractions specifically cater to Scout groups.  Here are some that we highly recommend:

  • Lincoln Caverns, 3 miles west of Huntingdon, offers unique programming for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers, and all levels of Girl Scouts that explore the geology and natural world of caves.  Lincoln Caverns also offers primitive camping to youth groups at its Warrior Ridge Campground.
  • Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, located about half-way between Petersburg and Pine Grove Mills also offers Scout programs for all ages.  With it’s Raptor Center, nature trails, pavilions and regular programming, this is a great place for Scouting weekends any time of the year.
  • Fort Roberdeau, located in the Sinking Valley section of eastern Blair County offers the unique opportunity for Scouts to live and dress like soldiers and citizens would have during the Revolutionary War.  The historic site is also a county park with nature trails, a visitors center, pavilions and more.
  • Old Bedford Village, located north of Bedford, offers Scouts the chance to experience 18th and 19th century life in Pennsylvania.  Group programs include period appropriate trade immersion and crafts.
  • Indian Caverns, located along Route 45 east of Spruce Creek, offers merit badge programs in Native American lore, as well as geology and others.  One unique program at Indian Caverns lets the Scouts actually spend the night in the cave!

Many other sites in the Raystown Lake Region provide opportunities for Scouts to advance, or complete partial requirements for merit badges.  If you would like to learn more about bringing your Scouts to the area, call the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau at 888-729-7869.

Happy Scouting!

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