Raystown Lake is Huntingdon County's playground. The deep, winding lake, which covers 8,300 acres, is a dream come true for anyone who enjoys the water. Surrounding the water is 21,000 acres of forested public lands.
Seven public launches along the lake's 30-mile length provide access for boaters. Also along the shoreline are two marinas: the Seven Points Recreational Complex and Lake Raystown Resort. Found at both developments are campsites, marinas with dockage and rentals, tour boats, picnic grounds, restaurants, and beaches. In addition, the resort has a motel, a waterpark and a miniature golf course. Seven Points is the site of an amphitheater and the park's headquarters. Raystown Lake is owned by the federal government and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Huntingdon is surrounded by a rich landscape of farms and forests. The county is home to three state parks in addition to Raystown Lake. Abundant public lands and waterways are the setting for most of the area's recreational opportunities. Approximately 135,000 acres—roughly 24 percent of the county—are available to the public for outdoor activities including camping, picnicking, hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, and cross-country skiing.
In addition to the natural recreational areas, the county boasts excellent facilities for bowling, golfing, swimming, body building, target shooting, tennis, racketball, and handball. There are sports leagues for youth and adults, and nearby amusement parks for children of all ages.
Three of the Pennsylvania's most attractive state parks are located in Huntingdon County. Trough Creek State Park, near Raystown Lake, is a beautiful, serene refuge for hikers, picnickers, anglers and campers. Whipple Dam State Park, Rothrock State Forest and Greenwood Furnace State Park are in the northeastern corner of the county. Both parks offer swimming in stream-fed lakes, picnicking, fishing,and hiking. Greenwood is located on the grounds of a former iron-making community, and the park's staff uses exhibits, demonstrations, and structural remnants from the community to describe the iron-making process and life in an iron-making community.
A short distance from Whipple Dam and Greenwood Furnace is the Stone Valley Recreation Area, approximately 1,500 acres of forest and wetlands managed by Penn State University. The recreational area offers hiking, picnicking, non-motorized boating, boating lessons, fishing, and camping. Within the recreational area is the Shavers Creek Environmental Center, which sponsors exhibits and educational programs with environmental themes. Also, the center operates a rehabilitation center for injured birds of prey.
The Bureau of Forestry welcomes the public to visit its approximately 66,345 acres of woodland in Huntingdon County. The bureau manages several picnic and "natural" areas within its holdings, including the Alan Seeger Natural Area in the northeastern corner of the county. Alan Seeger is a primeval track of white pine and virgin hemlock surrounded by towering stands of rhododendron. Some of the mammoth trees there are over 500 years old.
Hunting and Fishing
Deer, turkey and bear are just a few of the game species hunted in the county. Hunting is allowed in the state forests, in sections of the Raystown Lake reservation, and on approximately 32,500 acres of state game lands managed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. An additional 30,000 acres of farmland are open to hunters through cooperative agreements with the game commission.
For those who prefer shooting targets, one of the largest skeet shooting ranges in the nation is located near McConnellstown. The club also has outdoor rifle and archery ranges. Indoor archery ranges are located in Huntingdon and Orbisonia.
Those who shoot with a camera instead of a gun will find a diverse population of animals to photograph. The bird population, in particular, is varied because the county is located along a major migratory corridor. Raystown Lake is a regular winter stopover for several of the majestic birds of prey.
Trout, bass, striped bass, walleye, muskie, perch, carp, and Atlantic salmon are a few of the many warm- and cold-water species living in the county's waterways. Raystown Lake, with its multiple thermal layers, is home to a fish population as diverse as you'll find anywhere else in the state. Recent catches at the lake include a 47 lb. 13 oz. striped bass, a 17 lb. 14.5 oz. brown trout, a 10 lb. 6 oz. Atlantic salmon and a 46 lb. muskie. President Jimmy Carter is among the many anglers who have wetted lines in the natural trout streams in the northern part of the county. Huntingdon County is home to several fishing clubs. Tournaments, both public and private, are regularly scheduled.