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Huntingdon Pennsylvania may be best known as the home of Raystown Lake, an 8,000 acres reservoir that has become a summer hot spot for vacationers from the region and beyond. But there is much more to Huntingdon (which is both the name of a town and the county) than boating, fishing, camping, and getting in touch with nature. 

Sure you can do all of those things if you want but you don’t have to. There are so many fun and interesting things to do in Huntingdon that you don’t have to ever see the lake if you’re not interested (but you should). Here are just a few of the many activities available to visitors to Huntingdon and the Raystown Lake region.

Photo by Joseph A, License under Creative Commons License

**Disclaimer: This was a hosted stay, however, all opinions are my own. I strive to provide my readers with my most authentic sentiments.

Huntingdon PA History

Huntingdon, Pennsylvania is a town with a rich and fascinating history, dating back to its origins as a Native American settlement. The town’s location on the Juniata River made it a natural transportation hub, and it quickly became an important center of industry and commerce in the 1700s and 1800s.

This part of the state enjoys a long and storied history in the mining industry. The area is rich in natural resources, including coal, iron ore, and limestone, which were essential to the development of the region’s industrial economy.

The coal mines of Huntingdon and its surrounding areas were once a major source of employment and economic activity, with many of the town’s residents working in the mines or in related industries. At its peak, the Broad Top coal region, located just outside of Huntingdon, produced more than three million tons of coal per year and employed thousands of workers.

One of Huntingdon’s most significant contributions to the region’s economic development was its role as a transportation center. The Pennsylvania Canal, which ran through Huntingdon in the mid-1800s, was a vital link between the eastern and western regions of the state, allowing for the efficient transport of goods and materials. Huntingdon also played a key role in the development of the railroad industry, with the construction of the Huntingdon and Broad Top Mountain Railroad in the 1850s.

During the Civil War, Huntingdon was an important strategic location for the Union Army, serving as a supply depot and base of operations. The town’s central location made it a valuable target for Confederate forces, and it was the site of several skirmishes and battles during the conflict.

In the late 1800s, Huntingdon became a center of education and culture with the founding of Juniata College, a small liberal arts college that has since become one of the town’s most important institutions. Today, the college is known for its academic excellence and its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.

Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. (2023, April 21). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntingdon,_Pennsylvania

In the early 1900s, Huntingdon experienced a period of decline as the coal and railroad industries that had sustained the town began to decline. However, the legacy of the area’s mining history can still be seen in its landscape and in the stories of its residents. 

Fortunately, Huntingdon has experienced a resurgence in recent years. Today the town boasts a growing tourism industry and a thriving downtown area. The town’s historic architecture, charming small-town atmosphere, beautiful Raystown Lake, and other natural areas make it a popular destination for visitors.

Downtown Huntingdon PA
Photo by Joseph A, License under Creative Commons

Where is Huntingdon PA

Huntingdon Pennsylvania is located in Huntingdon County, approximately 3-½ hours from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and DC. And just over 2-1/2 hours from Pittsburgh. Centrally located within the state it is most often associated with Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania’s largest lake wholly within the state. Additionally, Huntingdon is approximately one hour from State College PA, the home of Penn State University and the Nittany Lions. The nearest city is Altoona, PA.

How to Get to Huntingdon PA

Huntingdon PA is easily accessible by car and an easy and scenic drive from regional airports in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and even DC and Baltimore. Additionally, Huntingdon is a stop on Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian Line. Meaning it is easily accessed by train from New York City, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Latrobe, and Johnstown. All have commercial airports.

Amtrak Pennsylvanian Line
Pennsylvanian. (2023, April 8). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvanian_(train)

Take a Stroll Around Downtown Huntingdon

Visit Juniata College

Huntingdon is home to Juniata College, a small (my high school was much larger) liberal arts school. The college has a beautiful campus with several historic buildings, including Founders Hall and the Cloister, and hosts concerts, plays, and other cultural events.

Nathan Hall, Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA
Juniata College. (2023, April 6). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juniata_College

Do a Coffee Cupping at Standing Stone Coffee

I encourage you to schedule a coffee cupping at Standing Stone Coffee Company (1229 Mifflin Street).  If you are not familiar with this, it is similar to wine tasting but with coffee. You will learn about the different coffee beans, processing, and roasting techniques. You will leave with an understanding of how each influences the flavor of the coffee you drink.  

Standing Stone Coffee Company is a  locally owned, community-focused coffee house and roaster. They are committed to building strong relationships within the local community and the greater coffee-growing circle.

Standing Stone Coffee Company Adventure Blend, Huntingdon PA

They are a small-batch, craft coffee roastery. Their beans are ethically sourced and sustainably grown. The owners maintain a direct-trade partnership with their coffee growers. You will find a range of coffees from single-sourced coffees to flavorful blends. I encourage you to try the Adventure Blend. 

Coffee is roasted at their Mifflin Street location. If you are lucky enough to visit while they are roasting, then pop in the back and meet the roast master. I found him to be a wealth of information and more than happy to talk about coffee. 

Roasting coffee at Standing Stone Coffee, Huntington PA

If you find that you enjoy their coffee then join the Coffee Club and get Standing Stone Coffee shipped to your door. Or if you are in need of a thoughtful gift, try one of their gift baskets that are sure to please the most discriminating coffee-lover.

Indulge your Sweet Tooth

Make a stop at Sweethearts Confectionery on Washington Street and bring home a box of some of the most amazing cupcakes imaginable. They offer delectable and original flavors such as Fluffernutter, Monster Cookie Dough, Strawberry Pretzel Salad, Orange Creamsicle, and many more. I had the Graham Cracker S’mores and it was da bomb!! 

S'mores cupcake from Sweethears in Huntingdon, PA

In addition to amazing cupcakes, they offer custom cakes and cupcakes and a selection of old-fashioned candy. Plus they are a distributor of Asher’s Chocolates, a Pennsylvania original. Don’t leave Huntingdon without paying them a visit.

See a First Run Film in a Vintage Movie Theatre

Originally built in the 1850s as the Huntingdon Opera House, the venue occupied nearly an entire block. People from far and wide would come to see shows at the opera house. But in 1901, the entire building burnt to the ground under mysterious circumstances. It was one of the largest fires in Huntingdon’s history. 

A gentleman from Altoona named Andy Gamble purchased what remained of the theater in 1921 and raised it from the ashes. By this time films with sound (Talkies) were all the rage and Gamble decided not to reopen with live productions but converted the theater to a movie house. Unfortunately due to financial troubles, the theater closed after one year. 

Clifton 5 Theater, Huntington PA
Photo by Joseph A, License under Creative Commons

In the mid-1970s the present owner, David People purchased the theater. People reopened the Clifton with a showing of the box office hit and now classic E.T. During the 1990s People expanded the theater to a multiplex theater offering first-run movies. Today it operates under the label Clifton 5 which harkens back to the owner following Gamble who named the theater after his son Clifton a lieutenant in the military.

Despite multiple owners and modifications, parts of the theater rebuilt by Gamble still exist including the art deco lobby interior and the main staircase. And of course, it is rumored to be haunted!

Since the pandemic, this historic theater has suffered. Support this local treasure! And if you are a fan of the paranormal, they now offer ghost tours.

Enjoy an Imaginative Meal

Wildflowers Cafe

Wildflowers Cafe (516 Washington St.) is a fun and funky cafe serving breakfast and lunch Wednesday through Sunday. The menu consists of breakfast sandwiches, omelets, french toast, and pancakes as well as lunch items such as soups, sandwiches, burgers, and loaded fries.  Be sure to ask about their daily specials. They offer both indoor and outdoor seating. Their cute back courtyard is the perfect spot to enjoy a coffee and one of their amazing baked goods.

Wildflowers Cafe, Huntingdon PA

Stone Town Tavern

The Stone Town Tavern (511 Washington St.) is an artsy local joint serving burgers, wraps, and wings. They even offer a kid’s menu. Additionally, they have added a Vietnamese menu including Pho (noodle soup) and Goi Cuon (spring rolls).

They offer regular entertainment and both indoor and outdoor seating.

Rebelz Food Truck

Catch Rebelz at local events. Owner Karley is both delightful and talented. She adds a creative flair to the most basic foods. Her menu changes regularly but if you can get your hands on her brussel sprout, they are to die for!!

Karley, owner of Rebelz Food Truck, Huntingdon PA

Visit the Huntingdon Farmers Market

Stop by the Huntingdon Farmers Market between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. every Thursday from May through October. Here you will find a wide selection of local fresh fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, eggs, meats, honey, handmade items, as well as artisan baked goods and soap. The market is located at Portstown Park (842 Penn St, Huntingdon) just a short walk from downtown.   

Huntingdon PA Attractions

Take a Cave Tour at Lincoln Caverns and Whisper Rocks

Lincoln Caverns and Whisper Rocks is an exceptional underground attraction located on US Route 22 in Huntingdon. It features two incredible limestone caverns, the original discovered in 1930 and Whisper Rocks unearthed in 1941. Both are filled with a range of extraordinary stalactites, stalagmites, calcite crystal flowers, and other rock formations. A third cavern simply referred to as “The New Discovery” was found on the property in 2005 but has not yet opened to the public.

Flowstone, Lincoln Caverns, Huntingdon PA

Visitors can take guided tours through the caverns, led by knowledgeable and friendly guides, providing a chance to learn about the history and geology of the caverns, and observe unique features up close, such as the “Frozen Niagra,” the largest active flowstone formation on the East Coast and Whisper Rocks’ extraordinary “Cathedral.”

Apart from the caverns, you will find other activities like gemstone panning and a nature trail. Visitors can also buy souvenirs and mementos of their visit at the on-site gift shop.

Bacon Formation, Lincoln Caverns, Huntingdon PA

Lincoln Caverns and Whisper Rocks is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the natural wonders of Pennsylvania and learning about its geological history.

Learn about Railroad History at the East Broad Top Railroad

Experience America’s industrial past at the East Broad Top Railroad (421 Meadow Street, Rockhill, PA), the only surviving narrow gauge railroad east of the Rocky Mountains and the oldest anywhere. The East Broad Top Railroad, a National Historic Landmark since 1956, stands as a testament to the early days of railroading and America’s industrial past. 

Baldwin Locomotive Steam Engine, East Broad Top Railroad Museum

Take a guided tour of the 20th-century belt-driven machine shop complex, the eight-stalled roundhouse, and the railyard. Then follow it up with a one-hour train ride aboard a vintage steam-powered train. Select your seat from the enclosed coach, with large windows and padded seats, an open-air car perfect for enjoying the views, or take up the rear of the train in the caboose.  This 9-mile round trip journey will travel from the train station in Orbisonia through rolling hills, forested areas, and beautiful farmland. 

Finally, make memories you and your kids will cherish for years to come at the East Broad Top Railroad with one of their themed family events including the Pumpkin Patch Express and Christmas in Coal Country.

Museums in and around Huntingdon

Swigart Auto Museum

The Swigart Museum (12031 William Penn Hwy aka US Route 22) is a unique automotive museum located in Huntingdon that showcases an impressive collection of rare and historic cars. The museum was founded by William E. Swigart Jr., a prominent businessman and car collector, in 1920 and is recognized as the oldest antique automobile museum in the United States.

The Swigart’s collection includes over 150 cars, ranging from classic and vintage models to rare and one-of-a-kind vehicles. Each year only 30 to 35 vehicles are displayed and then rotated out to make room for others.  

Antique Automobile at the Swigart Museum in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

Some of the highlights of the collection include a 1916 Stutz Bearcat, a 1936 Duesenberg Model JN, and a 1948 Tucker Torpedo. Visitors of a certain age will enjoy seeing classics from our youth such as Herbie the Love Bug and the DeLorean.

In addition to the cars, the museum also houses an extensive collection of antique toys, including pedal cars, trains, bicycles, and other nostalgic items. The Swigart Museum is open from late May through October. Guided tours and educational programs can be arranged any time of year for groups of 20 or more. 

Herbie the Love Bug at the Swigart Museum, Huntingdon PA

The Swigart Museum is a must-visit destination for car enthusiasts and anyone interested in the history of automobiles. With its impressive collection of rare and unique vehicles, the museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of the American automotive industry. And because of its rotating exhibits, you’ll want to return year after year.

Isett Heritage Museum

The Isett Heritage Museum (11941 Stone Creek Ridge Rd) is a fascinating museum located in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. The museum is named after its founder, John Melvin Isett. He and his wife Beulah (Louder) Isett collected antiques and artifacts for over 60+ years of marriage. The couple eventually amassed a collection of more than 40,000 historical items related to Huntingdon County and the surrounding region.

Image courtesy of the Isett Heritage Museum

The museum showcases a wide variety of Americana objects from the 19th and 20th centuries including antique furniture, clothing vintage automobiles, and farm equipment. Additionally, you will find a sizable collection of cameras and photographic equipment dating back to the 1800s as well as an impressive accumulation of militaria spanning from the Civil War to the present day. 

Old red truck with hood up at the Isett Heritage Museum
Image courtesy of the Isett Heritage Museum

One of the museum’s most popular exhibits is a large collection of antique toys and dolls, which is sure to delight visitors of all ages. Visitors can even explore a recreated 19th-century general store.

It is recommended that you allow a minimum of 2 hours to view the entire collection.

Juniata College Museum Of Art (JCMA)

Located on the campus of Juniata College in Carnegie Hall, JCMA (Corner of 17th and Moore) hosts exhibitions from the museum’s own collection of 1200 objects. Significant pieces in the painting collection include American landscapes from the Hudson River School with works by Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, and Jervis McEntee along with Modern and Contemporary works by Günther Spaltmann, Robert Birmelin, Romare Bearden, and Richard Mayhew. 

Carnegie Library/ JCMA, Juniata College, Huntingdon PA
Juniata College. (2023, April 6). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juniata_College

In addition to its own collection, the museum also features loaned exhibitions. Each year, between three and six exhibitions rotate through including the annual student art show. 

Huntingdon County Historical Society Museum

If you have roots in Huntingdon County or think you might, then head to the Huntingdon County Historical Society Museum (106 4th St). The Society offers a complete catalog of genealogy resources including census information, tax records, marriage and death records, and more. The research library is open to the public and has knowledgeable trained staff available to assist.  

McMurtrie House Museaum and The Huntingdon Historical Society, Huntingdon PA
Photo by Joseph A, License under Creative Commons License

While there visit the McMurtrie House Museum, the home of William McMurtrie a prominent Huntingdon businessman. The museum includes the home’s parlor, hall, and two bedrooms and is decorated with pieces consistent with the period of the 1887 Huntingdon County Centennial.

Rockhill Trolley Museum

Between this museum and the East Broad Top Railroad, you can make a day of riding the rails in Rockhill, Pennsylvania. 

The Rockhill Trolly Museum (430 Meadow St, Rockhill), located adjacent to the East Broad Top Railroad is Pennsylvania’s first operating trolley museum and home to dozens of electric trolleys from around the US and beyond. Step aboard some beautiful historic trolleys. Marvel in the ornate interiors of these public transportation models of yesteryear. 

Trolley at the Rockhill Trolley Museum

However, not all trolleys serve as passenger transportation. Some perform other functions, such as clearing the tracks of snow in the winter. You will see some of these on display at the museum. 

After viewing the collection of trolleys housed in the car barn, take a delightful ride aboard a former Philadelphia trolley. The excursion takes about one hour and is an out-and-back ride. During the ride, you will learn a bit about the iron industry on which the region was built.

State Parks Near Huntingdon

Whipple Dam State Park

This 256-acre recreation and natural area situated within Rothrock State Forest near State College Pennsylvania, offers family fun, educational opportunities, wildlife, hiking, biking, swimming, and more. 

The park’s 22-acre lake is a favorite spot for swimming and fishing. Non-motorized boats are permitted on Whipple Lake.  Plan a family picnic in the day-use area or lace up your hiking boots and hit the nature trails. Or bring the bikes and enjoy miles of off-road biking. Whipple Dam State Park is home to multiple gravel grinder races including the Session I of the Seasons of Rothrock Race Series

Whipple Lake at Whipple Dam State Park
Whipple Dam State Park. (2023, February 12). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whipple_Dam_State_Park

The park offers a wide variety of environmental education and recreation programs. Through hands-on activities, guided walks, and evening programs, participants gain appreciation and understanding and develop a sense of stewardship over natural and cultural resources. Whipple Dam State Park offers tranquility and will restore your connection with nature.

Greenwood Furnace State Park

Greenwood Furnace State Park, located in Rothrock State Forest, offers 423 acres of stunning natural beauty and rich history for outdoor enthusiasts. The park’s historic ironmaking furnace, dating back to the 19th century, is a major highlight, allowing visitors to explore the manufacturing process that fueled the Industrial Revolution.

Greenwood Furnace State Park
Greenwood Furnace State Park. (2023, February 12). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwood_Furnace_State_Park

The park also offers a range of recreational activities, including hiking, with trails for all skill levels offering breathtaking views of the forest and lake. Greenwood Lake is a  six-acre body of water stocked with trout that’s ideal for fishing and boating. Additionally, the lake features a swimming area with a sandy beach, bathrooms, and a concession stand. 

For families and outdoor events, there are several picnic areas, pavilions, and a playground. For an immersive experience in nature, campers can enjoy well-maintained campgrounds, including drive-in and walk-in sites.

Trough Creek State Park

Located approximately 13 miles southwest of Raystown Lake, Trough Creek State Park, is a beautiful destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The park covers an area of 554 acres and is home to several natural attractions, including Balance Rock and Rainbow Falls.

Visitors can hike up to Balance Rock, a massive boulder that appears to be defying gravity. Its impressive size and unusual positioning make it one of the natural wonders of Huntingdon County and a must-see feature of the park. It’s a popular spot for photos.

Balance Rock, Trough Creek State Park
Trough Creek State Park. (2022, May 2). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trough_Creek_State_Park

Rainbow Falls is another highlight of this wonderful state park. This beautiful waterfall cascades down a series of rocks and creates a kaleidoscope of colors in the sunlight. Visitors can hike to the falls and enjoy a picnic lunch while taking in the breathtaking scenery.

In addition to these two attractions, Trough Creek State Park offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and camping. With its stunning natural beauty and unique features, Trough Creek State Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the outdoors.

Penn-Roosevelt State Park

Penn Roosevelt State Park is another amazing natural area located within Rothrock State Forest in neighboring Centre County. The park is situated between the towns of Huntingdon and State College, in the Seven Mountains region, known locally as Stone Creek Kettle. 

One of the highlights of this 41-acre park is its extensive hiking trail system, which offers visitors the opportunity to explore the park’s scenic forests and meadows. The park features over 20 miles of trails including the Mid-State trail which offers diverse terrain for hiking. Other trails range in difficulty from easy strolls to challenging backcountry hikes.

Mid-State Trail Penn Roosevelt State Park
Mid State Trail (Pennsylvania). (2022, November 17). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid_State_Trail_(Pennsylvania)

Plus, with over 100 miles of forestry roads, this state park is a popular destination among gravel riders and mountain bikers. The trail system at nearby Cooper’s Gap has become a Pennsylvania mountain biking destination.

Additionally, the park’s small tranquil lake contains a variety of fish species, including native brook trout and bass. In spring, the stream below the dam is stocked making it a favorite spot for anglers. Finally, the park’s remote location makes it popular with campers looking to get off the grid.

Canoe Creek State Park

Canoe Creek State Park is a picturesque state park located in Blair County, Pennsylvania, just a short drive from Huntingdon. The park is centered around the beautiful Canoe Lake and offers visitors a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities to enjoy.

The park’s 155-acre lake features a large swimming beach and several picnic areas with grills and tables, making it a great spot for families and groups to gather to enjoy a day outdoors. For those looking to spend time on the water, there are boat rentals available, including kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats.

Canoe Creek State Park
Canoe Creek State Park. (2023, February 12). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canoe_Creek_State_Park

In addition to the lake, the 961-acre Canoe Creek State Park offers a variety of hiking trails that wind through the park’s scenic forests and fields. These trails range in difficulty and length, providing options for both novice and experienced hikers.

If it’s wildlife viewing that you seek, the park is home to a wide variety of bird species, as well as deer, bears, and other mammals. The park’s wetlands and streams also provide habitat for several species of amphibians and reptiles.

Hiking Spots Near Huntingdon

Hike Standing Stone Trail

The Standing Stone Trail is an 84-mile-long trail that stretches from Cowans Gap State Park to Rothrock State Forest. The trail connects the Tuscarora Trail in the South to the Mid-State Trail in the North. 

The trail’s name comes from the Standing Stone, a large rock formation located in the Standing Stone State Park. Along the way, hikers can enjoy stunning views of the Pennsylvania countryside, including vistas of the Tuscarora Mountains, the Allegheny Front, and Raystown Lake.

Standing Stone Trail, Alan Seeger Natural Area
Standing Stone Trail. (2023, April 9). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_Stone_Trail

The Standing Stone Trail offers a range of hiking experiences, from easy strolls to challenging climbs. It passes through diverse terrain, including rocky ridges, lush forests, and rugged mountains. The trail is marked with blue blazes, making it easy to follow.

One of the most popular sections of the trail is the Alan Seeger Natural Area, a 486-acre tract of old-growth forest that is home to a variety of rare plant and animal species. The trail also passes by several historic sites, including the remains of the Standing Stone Furnace, a 19th-century iron-making operation, and the ruins of the Ridenour Overlook Hotel, a once-popular mountain resort.

Climb Thousand Steps

Located in Jack’s Narrows, this 3.5-mile trail runs between the old mining towns of Mount Union and Mapleton Depot. Thousand Steps is part of the Standing Stone Trail. Its name comes from the more than one thousand steps (1036 to be exact) built into the mountain.

The steps were originally built in the early 1900s to transport workers to a  sandstone quarry on top of the mountain. Today, the steps provide a challenging yet rewarding hike for those seeking a workout. 

This portion of the trail is just over a half mile with an elevation gain of 1,715 feet. 

Thousand Steps, Standing Stone Trail
Standing Stone Trail. (2023, April 9). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_Stone_Trail

While the 1000 Steps Trail is a steep climb, it leads to the top of Jacks Mountain where you are rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys.

Additionally, Jacks Mountain is a geologically significant place. This glacially carved mountainside developed during the last Ice Age leaving behind fossils and petrified wood. Heavy mining during the first half of the 20th century unearthed these treasures. If you have a keen eye you can easily find them along the trail. 

Thousand Steps was named Pennsylvania’s 2016 Trail of the Year. 

Terrace Mountain Trail

A popular hiking trail located near Raystown Lake, the Terrace Mountain Trail is approximately 27 miles long and makes its way along the entire east side of the lake. The trail features a variety of terrain, including steep climbs, rocky sections, and scenic overlooks. Along the way, hikers will encounter several scenic viewpoints, including the breathtaking Eagle’s Nest Overlook, which offers stunning views of Raystown Lake and the surrounding mountains.

The trail begins at the Seven Points Recreation Area and winds through the lush forests and rugged terrain of Terrace Mountain. Around mile 7, near Tatman Run, you will encounter one of two steep valleys along the ridge. As you continue on you will enter Rothrock Forest, a designated wildlife area protected from future development. 

Terrace Mountain Trail near Raystown Lake, Huntingdon PA
Terrace Mountain Trail. (2022, October 1). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrace_Mountain_Trail

Once the trail crosses Great Trough Creek watch for the ice mine, a great place to cool off on a hot summer day. Typically, you can count on ice being present from spring through August.  

The trail splits around mile 16.5: the upper trail runs along the ridge, and the lower takes you to the lake. While the trail continues from here, according to the Army Corps of Engineers site, the last 10 miles remain under construction. 

Known for its stunning scenery, the Terrace Mountain Trail is also a challenging hike, with several steep climbs and rugged sections. Hikers should be prepared for a strenuous workout and should bring plenty of water and snacks.

Places to Bike Near Huntingdon

Mountain Bike the Allegrippis Trails

Allegrippis Mountain Biking Trails are a system of trails designed by MTB riders and built by the Army Corps of Engineers in conjunction with the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) at Raystown Lake. This trail system is known to be one of the best trail systems in Pennsylvania.  Its 36 miles of trails consist of 24 multi-use trails arranged as stacked loops that offer a flowy ride with moderate to vigorous inclines, stream crossings, and wildlife viewing areas. And you will find some spectacular views of the lake. 

Trek Bike at the Allegrippis Trails overlooking Raystown Lake

Pennsylvania is known for its rocky trails and you will find plenty of them here. The trials are considered to be intermediate level but the loop system progresses from beginner trials to more difficult ones. 

You will find parking and trailheads along Seven Points Road and on Bakers Hollow Road just before the Susquehannock Campground Entrance Station. If you park at the Bakers Hollow parking lot you will work your way down to the lake. From here you can have someone pick you up and shuttle you back to your car. If you are looking for a ride with more climbing, do it in reverse.

Bike Trail at Allegrippis covered in colorful autumn leaves

Perfect Your Technique at the Raystown Lake Skills Park

In 2016, the Raystown Mountain Bike Skills Park opened across from the Visitor Center. The skills park consists of 2 acres of skill features including berms, natural and fabricated features, and some small vertical drops. It’s a nice complement to the Allegrippis Trails. And it is super fun!! But do use caution because you can definitely get hurt. 

Raystown Lake Bike Skills Park

Bike the Lower Trail

The Lower (rhymes with Flower) Trail is a 17-mile out-and-back trail that runs between Alexandria in Huntingdon County and Canoe Creek State Park in Blair County. It is a mostly flat, mixed-use trail made up of 85% crushed rolled limestone and 15% paved surfaces. The Lower Trail offers a pleasant scenic ride with only a minimal grade making it suitable for riders of all ability levels. 

Lower Trail, Wiliamsburg PA

This rail trail runs along the Frankstown Branch of the Juniata River and follows the original towpath of the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal and the old Pennsylvania Railroad. Along the way, you will see remnants of the lock tenders’ houses, as well as the historical Mt. Etna iron plantation. Additionally, a variety of flora and fauna can be found along the route including rare plant species, Bald Eagle and Osprey. 

The trailhead nearest to Raystown Lake and Huntingdon is the Alfarata Station. From US Route 22 turn North onto Main Street toward Alfarata between Waterstreet and US Route 22 bridge crossing the Juniata River, and proceed approximately 0.2 miles; the trailhead is on the right.

Lower Trail, Blair County Pennsylvania

The Lower Trail is a small segment of the 1300-mile multi-use September 11th National Memorial Trail that connects the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville PA. 

Other Fun Huntingdon Activities

Wildlife Watching

Raystown Lake and the greater Huntingdon County are home to many species of wildlife including black bears, white-tailed deer, and wild turkeys. You won’t need to go out of your way to encounter the many species native to the area. Keep your binoculars handy. You’ll want to see these magnificent creatures close up. But not too close-up. Never disturb the wildlife!!

Red Fox

If you want to learn more about the geology, biology, and geography in this part of the state you could visit Penn’s Cave and Wildlife Park where you’ll be entertained and educated during the Farm-Nature-Wildlife Tour. The tour offers opportunities to see species native to North America including bison, red & silver foxes, black bears, elk, whitetail deer, wolves, and mountain lion cubs.

Find Solitude at Juniata College Peace Chapel

Located just off campus in the 170-acre Baker Henry Nature Preserve is  Maya Lin’s Peace Chapel.  This open-air chapel consists of two sites and occupies 14 acres within the preserve. The chapel is meant to represent the connections between peace, art, spirituality, and nature.

The larger of the sites sits upon a hill overlooking Central Pennsylvania’s rolling hills and surrounding forest. It is marked by a 40-foot circle of rough granite stone “pews”.  A series of smooth granite steps lead to the primary site which offers a place of quiet contemplation.

Maya Lin's Peace Chapel, Huntingdon Pennsylvania
Open-Air Peace Chapel, Peace Chapel, Henry Pisciotta, Penn State University Library Architecture and Landscape Architecture

The smaller site is situated on a neighboring hill. It is designated by a circular, smooth, flat piece of granite placed within the forest. Both sites offer fresh air, quiet solitude, and a place for reflection.

The architect, Maya Lin is an American designer and sculptor with a concentration on environmental themes. Some of her other works include The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, in Washington, D.C., Civil Rights Memorial, in Montgomery, Alabama, and The Women’s Table at Yale University.

The parking area for both sites is on Peace Chapel Rd.

Attend Area Festivals and Events

Huntingdon County hosts several festivals and events throughout the year including the Mayfest Arts and Crafts Festival, the Raystown Lake Fall Foliage Festival, and the Huntingdon County Fair along with the Huntingdon County Arts Festival.

Whether you spend a day, a weekend, or a week in Huntingdon there is no reason to become bored. And we haven’t even touched on all the outstanding things there are to do at Raystown Lake.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi! Great article covering our beautiful historic area!! Just wanted to let you know that the Isett Heritage Museum is named after it’s founders J. Melvin Isett and wife Beulah (Louder) Isett. They collected for over 60+ years of marriage. And the photo you have for the Isett Museum is of Jimmy bean car bottles that are actually at/in the Swigart Museum.

    1. Thank you for that additional information regarding the Isett Heritage Museum. I will be sure to add it to the article. Also, I have sent you a direct email regarding the image.

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