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Chesapeake Bay News

Aug
14
2012

Tributary Tuesday: Raystown Lake (Huntingdon County, Pa.)

About 100 miles west of Harrisburg Raystown Lake is nestled in the mountains of south central Pennsylvania. This time of year, the 8,000 acre lake is draped in greenery and is bustling with swimmers, boaters and fishermen. At dusk, lightening bugs illuminate the water and bats descend to the lake’s surface, looking for dinner.


A colorful sunset over Raystown Lake
Image courtesy shjohns2/Flickr

The lake is created by the Raystown Dam on the Juniata River, a river that starts in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains and flows east into the Susquehanna River. The Juniata was dammed in 1973 to control flooding on the Juniata and Susquehanna. The result is the largest lake in Pennsylvania. With 12 public access sites, campgrounds, picnic areas, hiking trails, hunting, fishing, boat launches and even scuba diving, there is no reason why this lake shouldn’t be explored by all!

Just east of the lake, hiking trails cut through a scenic mountain gorge at Trough (pronounced “troff”) Creek State Park. Be prepared to brave steep and rocky areas, and keep an eye out for waterfalls!


Two people in a tube get pulled by a boat on Raystown Lake.
Image courtesy Levy4u/Flickr


More from Raystown Lake:

  • Park hop! There’s an abundance of state parks in the Raystown Lake area. Depending on which direction you are coming from, some of these places may be on your way home!
  • Visit a place where cars roll uphill and water flows the wrong way. No one knows why Gravity Hill defies the laws of gravity, but you may have your own theory once you visit!
author
About Caitlin Finnerty - Caitlin Finnerty is the Communications Staffer at the Chesapeake Research Consortium and Chesapeake Bay Program. Caitlin grew up digging for dinosaur bones and making mud pies in Harrisburg, Pa. Her fine arts degree landed her environmental field work jobs everywhere from Oregon to Maryland. Now settled in Baltimore, she is eagerly expecting her first child while creating an urban garden oasis on her cement patio.


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