Posts Tagged With: tours

Touring the Raystown Lake Region by helicopter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.
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Main Stem Madness: A Day on the Juniata River Sojourn

By Mike Makufka, Juniata Clean Water Partnership

With the smell of breakfast gently filling the air with pleasing aromas, the group of campers hastily finishes packing their tents and breaking camp to begin another day on the river. This group (officially called sojourners), numbering a little over 100, are on the first day of what will be a seven day adventure on the Juniata River. Each person is here for different reasons, but they all share a love for the outdoors and the beauty of the river. Some are veterans of many a trip but there are also a number who are experiencing this event for the first time. Once breakfast is done and vehicles packed; people begin assembling along the river’s edge that is lined with canoes and kayaks of many different colors. They are checking equipment, filling water bottles, and putting on their personal floatation device in anticipation of the day’s adventure. All are anxious to hit the water as they say. What you may be asking is this madness that  overcomes normally sane people? It is the annual Juniata River Sojourn and it happens every year during the second week of June.

Photo by Matt Price

Mapleton’s Riverside Park will be the starting point of the 2013 Juniata River Sojourn on the Main Stem of the Juniata River.

The Juniata River Sojourn is a multi-day floating trip down the river that combines beautiful scenery, a touch of history, and great friendship into a fulfilling vacation.

Any trip on the river, whether one day or several days is technically called a sojourn, the Juniata River Sojourn is an organized
event in which all participants float together, eat together, and camp together. It is a bonding experience with like-minded people. An added feature we provide is that the trip uses professional outfitters provided by Rothrock Outfitters who know the river well and can offer help with paddling and always stress safety first. You kind of leave the driving to us. All of your comforts are met. Well almost all; sometimes showers are at a premium and port-a-potties are the norm. But as far as outdoor adventure goes, I can promise that meals are good and hot and the campsites are usually cozy. But the best feature of all is the fact that the trip is family oriented and is the perfect place for parents, children and sometimes grandparents to enjoy the outdoors together.

All this begs to ask “what is a typical day like? ” A typical, if there is really such a thing, begins with a six AM wakeup. For all you sleepyheads; you do get used to it. The first order of business is breaking camp and packing gear which all needs to be done before seven AM. At seven, breakfast is served. Each day catered meals are provided and every effort is made to accommodate people with
special dietary needs. All you need to bring are eating utensils and an appetite. Once breakfast is Getting started A Hazy Morning
concluded at eight AM, drivers of all vehicles assemble in a convoy to shuttle gear and vehicles to the next campsite. A bus awaits them there to shuttle people back to the launch site. Once everyone is ready to go, a brief safety talk is conducted and we are on the water. Just the sight of so many boats in one place is inspiring.

The dew hanging low on the water in the early morning gives peacefulness to the beginning trip. As boats slowly drift downstream the excitement of what lies ahead and the pure freedom that you feel is hard to duplicate anywhere else. Paddling along with people you only met yesterday or with old friends from many a sojourn past, you begin to form bonds that sometimes last a lifetime. Sharing the sight of a bald eagle soaring aloft or the splash of a river otter as it slips into the river makes you appreciate the natural beauty the river has to offer. But wildlife is not the only sight that awaits you.

Photo by Matt Price

Paddling is a favorite pastime on the main stem of the Juniata River in Huntingdon County.

You are also floating through history. The Juniata River and its three branches, the Raystown, Frankstown, and Little Juniata are steeped in history. From Native American trails and old campsites to the Main Line Canal to the railroad; the Juniata River helped shape American history. The remnants of bygone days are there for the viewing if you know where to look. A journey as part of the Juniata River Sojourn group can help you discover these glimpses into the past. Each section of the river offers a wide-ranging visit back into history. You may drift under an iron truss bridge in Huntingdon County (circa 1870), the partially restored structure of a woolen mill (circa 1800’s), numerous historic foundry buildings, structures from the canal days, or covered bridges the Juniata River
offers it all. Float the Raystown Branch and you can see the remnants of the double covered bridge near the site where British soldiers forded the river and you feel yourself drift back in time.

After several hours on the river when the sun is high in the sky; it is time for lunch. Lunch is usually a catered affair at a pre-determined stop with each day’s menu different from the next. After the meal a short program is offered. The program is always tied into a unique feature of that area. Occasionally though, lunch is on the river and then the group decides where and when to stop. In that case, you can revel in the surroundings or take a dip in the cool refreshing water. After lunch it’s back in the boats for the
afternoon’s adventure.

The afternoon float offers similar experiences as the morning but it also has something that is just a whole lot of fun; and that is water fights and rope swings. There are many places along the river for opportunities to swim, swing off of rope swings, or just play. The Juniata Sojourn certainly provides many chances to do just that.

The days on the river are very relaxing and the outfitters allow plenty of time for enjoying the wonderful experiences the river provides. So kickback and allow the stress of everyday life to drift away.

As the afternooon fun begins to wane, the day’s trip is nearing its end. The evening’s campsite comes into view and tired but happy people crawl out of their boats and begin to setup camp. Tents are erected, clothes are changed and the wet ones are hung out to dry. If available, Old railroad bridge near Cypher Water Battles showers are in order. Nothing feels so good as a shower after a day of playing in and along the river. On most days the float ends around three-thirty or four PM. Since dinner is at six, there is time to relax have a few beverages and talk about the day’s events. And there is always plenty to talk about. At six o’clock dinner is served and a hot meal
along with cold drinks and desserts replenishes the body and tops off a good day. Or so you think. The evening provides still another surprise. An evening program, maybe a campfire talent show, or exploring the hidden treasures near the campsite await you. Evening programs start at seven PM and a varied in nature. Previous programs included history talks, local geology, environmental presentations, flyfishing lessons, swimming, first aid, wilderness survival, storytellers and music. There is something for
everyone.

Nighttime brings an air of silence and peace. The full day of activities and great food leaves a person satisfied and sleepy. Those tents sure look inviting and the sleeping bags bring relief to tired muscles. Sleep comes quickly and as nature’s nighttime sounds fill the air, dreams of the what lies ahead tomorrow fill your head. Just another day on the Juniata River Sojourn.

The 2013 Juniata Sojourn will be held June 8 thru 12, 2013 on the main stem of the Juniata River. Registration will open on April 8 and can be accessed at www.jcwp.org.

You do not have to be an experienced canoeist or kayaker to join the fun. Just remember that everyone had to start sometime and what better place to learn than with experienced guides/teachers and a group of friendly helpful people. If you do not have a boat, Rothrock Outfitters (814-643-7226) will gladly offer rentals to fit your needs. Ask for Tony, Paul or Evan and they will put you in business. If you are looking for new adventures or taking up kayaking again, a sojourn is just the ticket for you.

If your interest is peaked than call Mike at 814-506-1190 and I can answer any questions you may have. I look forward to seeing you on the river.

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Vote Now for the Juniata River to be Pennsylvania’s 2013 River of the Year!

The public again is invited to vote online for the 2013 Pennsylvania River of the Year, choosing from among six waterways nominated across the state.

Photo by Matt Price

Mapleton’s Riverside Park will be the starting point of the 2013 Juniata River Sojourn on the Main Stem of the Juniata River, a candidate for River of the Year.

They are: Juniata River and Swatara Creek in south central Pennsylvania; Kiskiminetas River and Monongahela River in the southwest; Lackawanna River in the northeast; and Schuylkill River in the southeast.

Vote here!

“Individually, each of these waterways showcases unique natural resources and recreational potential,” said Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard J. Allan. “Collectively, they demonstrate just how blessed Pennsylvania is with its wealth of rivers and streams.”

Nomination of the six waterways was based on their conservation needs and successes; as well as well as celebration plans should the nominee be voted 2013 River of the Year. Visithttp://pawatersheds.org/vote to read the nomination statement for each and to vote. Voting ends Friday, Jan. 18, 2013.

“This is the third year that our selection process is through public voting,” said Allan, “and we know the spirit of competition rallies community support around our waterways and puts deserving rivers and streams in the limelight.”

DCNR and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, or POWR, administer the River of the Year program. Nominations were made by local groups.
Pennsylvania’s River of the Year is an honor designed to elevate public awareness of specific rivers and recognize important conservation needs and achievements. River of the Year designations have been presented annually since 1983.

“We are excited to partner with DCNR for a third year of public voting on River of the Year,” POWR Executive Director Janie French said. “The River of the Year program is a great way for us to highlight the opportunities and challenges facing the state’s waterways. As part of the larger river sojourn program, the River of the Year helps connect thousands of Pennsylvanians to the water.”

After a waterway is chosen, local groups implement a year-round slate of activities and events to celebrate the river, including a special extended paddling trip known as a sojourn. These water-based journeys for canoeists, kayakers and others raise awareness of the environmental, recreational, tourism and heritage values of rivers.
The Pennsylvania Sojourn program, jointly run by DCNR and POWR, is a unique series of a dozen such trips on the state’s rivers. For more information about the sojourns, visit http://www.pawatersheds.org.

POWR and DCNR also work with the local organization to create a free commemorative poster celebrating the River of the Year.
Pennsylvania’s 2012 River of the Year is the Stonycreek River, flowing through Cambria and Somerset counties.

To learn more about DCNR’s Rivers Program, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us (click on “Conserve,” then “Waterways”).

Download this press release (Word document).

Photo by Matt Price

Paddling is a favorite pastime on the main stem of the Juniata River in Huntingdon County.

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Monday Meander Volume I – VeeCee Trail on the Allegrippis

Yesterday was the first of what will be a series of outings for the staff of the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau called Monday Meanders. With the blessing of our board of directors (thank you) and the Army Corps of Engineers, from now through the middle of May, we will be closing the HCVB offices in the Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center at 3pm on Mondays.  The purpose of this early closure is to give our staff the opportunity to get out and experience the area, its recreational assets, and our member businesses, in order to better serve all of our customers.

With a year-round staff of four employees, we are each taking a turn during the month to plan the outing.  For our inaugural Meander, I took on the planning task.  Our missi0n: to experience a new trail leading from the Visitors Center to the Allegrippis Trailsstacked-loop system on mountain bikes.

The VeeCee Trail on the Allegrippis Trails at Raystown Lake

The VeeCee Trail connects the Raystown Lake Region Visitors Center in the Seven Points Recreation Area to the stacked-loop Allegrippis Trails.

First, some background:  The Allegrippis Trails at Raystown Lake opened with much fanfare in May, 2009.  The 32-mile trail network was designed by mountain bikers and built through the cooperation of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Appalachian Regional Commission, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and others.  The right-of-way for the trails on the USACE Raystown Lake property is leased by the Friends of Raystown Lake, a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to enhance the environmental and recreational resources of the lands and waters of the Raystown Lake Project.  The Friends contracted with the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Trail Solutions crew to construct the trail network, and augmented the machine work with volunteers to put on the finishing touches.  The result is a fast, flowing, fun network of trails that can accommodate riders or hikers of nearly any ability level.  The trails were also constructed in a way that minimizes erosion.

Originally, trailhead parking lots were available along Seven Points Road, and Bakers Hollow Road.  Both trailheads were shared with the existing Old Loggers Trail.  It became evident immediately that additional parking capacity was needed.  The Corps approved a plan by the Friends to expand the lot along Bakers Hollow Road, and that helped, but still more parking was needed for a popular trail network that has exceeded all expectations of its ability to attract users.  The Friends proposed a few other options for expanding parking, but none of them met with the approval of the Corps until the idea emerged to connect the trails to existing parking at the Visitors Center.  This idea proved to be a win-win by connecting the developed part of the Seven Points Recreation Area with the trail network, and requiring minimal clearing of plant and animal habitat when compared to creating a new parking lot.

Fast-forward to May 2012.  The 1.3-mile VeeCee Trail opened with the financial support of the Friends, Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau, and Specialized.  The trail connects the lower parking lot at the Visitors Center with Dark Hollow Trail by following a path around the end of Seven Points Campground’s Ridge camping loop.

Now, back to yesterday’s  Meander…  Evan Gross from Rothrock Outfitters met us in the parking lot about 3pm with four Scott mountain bikes.  He took the time to adjust the bikes for us, pump the tires, and give us instructions for shifting gears and a few other helpful tips like making sure to put your outside pedal in the down position when negotiating a bend in the trail.  Why?  Because if the inside pedal is down as you lean into a turn, it is likely to catch the ground and cause an accident.  For some of us it was the first time on a bike since we were teenagers (we’re all in our thirties, forties or fifties).  We did a few laps around the parking lot to get comfortable with the bikes, shifting, braking, etc., before we crossed Seven Points Road to the trail.

We discussed a few tips we had learned from trail reviews, one of them being not to over-brake on the downhills, because you’ll want that momentum on the uphills.  Another tip being almost counter to the first one.  These trails will propel you faster than it may seem, and faster than you may be comfortable with – don’t let it get out of hand.  The result of these pieces of advice turned out to be that we over-braked on the way out, and wound up pushing the bikes up a few of the hills.  And at least twice on the return trip, I let momentum carry me out of my comfort zone resulting in some near-misses with trees.

In the end, we got to experience an asset that we talk to a lot of visitors about, nobody got hurt, and we all had fun.  Mission Complete!

Next week it’s Vickie’s turn to plan something for her and Katrina to do.  Ed and I both have the day off to head to a Pittsburgh Pirates game with our families.

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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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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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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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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.

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Open House at C. Barton McCann School of Art

April 28th and 29th 1-4pm

Featured Exhibition:
The JV Re-Creation Project is a creative performance designed to celebrate the arts and encourage environmentally sustainable practices. For this project, students and faculty members from the campuses of the Juniata Valley School District and Juniata College came together in the spring of 2012 to explore local sources and personal gifts. These sources and gifts informed the participants’  re-creations in the form of sculpture, poetry, dance, film, vocal and percussive performance, photography, storytelling and fashion.  Participants performed in early April on both the high school and the college campuses, promoting a celebration of cultures, introspection, and service. In addition to highlighting our local farming and hunting cultures, the Re-Creation Project 2012 expanded the audience’s cultural experience by featuring the music, stories and dress of The Gambia, West Africa. All proceeds supported the Juniata College club, Power Up Gambia, organized to raise funds to purchase solar panels and technical training for Gambian hospitals without electricity. All in all, the JV Re-Creation Project served to enrich participants and audiences alike.

Designers:
Kitana Downs and Anna Sajeski

C. Barton McCann School of Art
4144 Miller Road, Petersburg, PA 16669
814-667-2538 
admissions@mccannart.org
www.mccannart.org
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