If you're looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life -- just over a couple hours away from several major cities, including Baltimore and Washington DC -- then look no further than lovely Raystown Lake.
Located on over 400 acres of waterfront property, Lake Raystown Resort is a great place to immerse yourself in nature (while still enjoying a few of the comforts of home we've come to depend upon).
The largest lake (entirely) in PA, Raystown Lake offers you more than 27 miles snaking through the mountains to explore.
The original lake was built as a hydroelectric project, but was significantly enlarged in 1973 with a new, larger dam by the Army Corps of Engineers, primarily to control floods, provide electricity, and support recreational activities -- boating, fishing, kayaking and fun outdoorsy stuff like that.
What makes Raystown Lake so unusual is that almost the entire lake is undeveloped, because the surrounding countryside is almost entirely owned by the Army Corps of Engineers. That's why most of vacation homes are near the lake rather than on the waterfront.
Besides boating -- one of the primary activities associated with Raystown Lake, for sure -- there's a water park, kayaking or paddle-boarding, swimming, fishing (although the brown carp are reported to taste like mud), hiking along the trails, mountain biking...
You can camp in your own RV, rent a yurt, rent an Appalachian log cabin or cottage, or stay in the resort itself (which is where I got to enjoy two very pleasant days). But the resort also offers cottages, rustic cabins, and beachside bungalows which can sleep up to eight. There are a variety of options, with or without heat, with or without linens, and so forth.
There's also camping -- tent, camper or RV -- or yurt! available at the resort.
One way you can enjoy the lake is by enjoying a cruise on the Proud Mary, a simulated river paddle boat. At the marina, you can get tickets to ride the Proud Mary Showboat for a your choice of public sightseeing, breakfast and dinner cruises.
If you're looking to treat yourself after a hard day of living large on Raystown Lake, then head straight into Huntingdon to check out one of the delightful restaurants.
Consider getting Muddy Run Tavern's signature Piggy Back Burger, enjoy delectable Greek (or Latin American) fare at Little New York -- you always have time for a taste of baklava! -- (and grab a movie at The Clifton 5) since you're, literally, right there. Or grab a meal in the Stone Town Tavern.
I really dug the trendy hippy vibes at Wildflower Cafe, where we enjoyed a fresh feta and walnut salad, loaded with strawberries and blueberries, but the lunchtime menu includes a variety of sandwiches, soups and salads to pick from.
Getting there: Lake Raystown Resort is located at 3101 Chipmunk Crossing, Entriken, PA
Look for upcoming articles about the Lake Rayston area:
- East Broad Top Railroad
- Rock Hill Trolley Museum
- Swigert Automobile Museum
- Seven Points Marina