Raystown Lake, a staple in central Pennsylvania, is the largest inland lake in the commonwealth and attracts about 1.5 million people each year, said Matt Price, executive director at the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau.
This year, the 8,300-acre man-made lake is celebrating its 40th year with a ceremony in June.
From June 6-8, there will be a full weekend of activities to celebrate this anniversary at the Raystown Dam, about five miles southeast of Huntingdon.
Price said former Vice President Gerald Ford first introduced the dam in 1974.
During this year’s celebration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees the grounds, will hold dam tours followed by fireworks.
The lake stretches roughly 28 miles, from Huntingdon to Saxton in Bedford County. In some places, it extends to a mile wide, Price said.
The heart of Raystown Lake can be found in two locations, Price said — Seven Points Recreation Area near Hesston and Lake Raystown Resort near Entriken.
Price said the lake’s most popular activity is swimming at two public beaches and a private beach near Lake Raystown Resort. The public beaches are located at Seven Points and near Tatman Run Recreation Area.
The next most popular recreational activity is water skiing, Price said.
The lake is open year-round for activities with rental stations around the lake for canoeing, kayaking and more, Price said.
Those rental stations can be found at Heritage Cove Resort, Lake Raystown Resort and Rothrock Outfitters at Seven Points.
The lake also allows unlimited horsepower boating, but Price suggests not sailing on the lake.
“It’s not great for sailing,” Price said. “It’s in such a deep valley that the wind isn’t consistent on the water surface.”
Two boat tours are offered daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day through Lake Raystown Resort and another through Seven Points.
This summer, the lake will host its annual amphitheater series, which will have live bands on Fridays and Saturdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The events are free to the public.
“It’s the kind of place you want to come to enjoy the outdoors,” Price said.
Things to do ...
• Proud Mary Showboat: Lake Raystown Resort, Entriken. Held May to September. Public cruise on Raystown Lake.,www.raystownresort.com
• Princess Lake Cruises: Seven Points Recreation Area, Hesston. Two-hour daily cruise on Raystown Lake. Times vary,www.7pointsmarina.com
• Pine Bottom Aviation Services, Martinsburg. Helicopter tours around the Raystown Lake area,www.pinebottomaviation.com
• Swigart Antique Automobile Museum, Huntingdon, open from Memorial Day to Oct. 31. The oldest auto museum in America,www.swigartmuseum.com
• Lincoln Caverns and Whisper Rocks, Huntingdon,www.lincolncaverns.com
• R&C SCUBA, Hesston. Full-service dive center with certified scuba instructors,www.rcscuba.net
While you’re in town ...
Central Pennsylvania Rodeo, Huntingdon,www.centralparodeo.com
Creation Music Festival: Agape Farm, Mount Union. Largest Christian Music Festival in central Pennsylvania,www.creationfest.com
Keystone Country Cruisin,’ Huntingdon. Car show,www.hcvb.us/keystone-country-cruisin
Huntingdon County Fair,www.huntingdoncountyfair.com