The tourism authority for the Alleghenies region of south-central Pennsylvania has produced a top 10 list of outdoor-recreation activities in the region this summer.
From on- and off- road cycling to fishing and boating to kayaking and canoeing to birding and nature watching, The Alleghenies boasts that it offers extensive opportunities for outdoor recreation.
“All eight regions in The Alleghenies offer unique experiences for visitors,” says Adrienne Eichenlaub, regional tourism program manager. “Whether you’re looking for the thrill of gliding down a zip line, a unique festival with family activities, or a relaxing walk through historical Pennsylvania towns, these experiences and more can be found in the region.”
In no specific order, the region’s tourism body lists this summer’s top 10 reasons to visit and explore The Alleghenies as:
1. Raystown Zip Lines (Raystown Lake Region): This new zip-line park is good as a family destination. With five zip lines — the longest being 450 feet — riders will have a safe and fun experience located close to Raystown Lake.
2. Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park (State College Region): This 16-room inn, opening this summer, has an environmental and energy-efficient design. The lodge features locally-quarried stone, Pennsylvania hardwoods, interpretive messages about conservation and wildlife, and expansive wildlife viewing opportunities. It is the first facility of its kind in a Pennsylvania state park.
3. Railfest 2010 (Altoona Region): This annual event will be held on June 27 at the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum. Highlights include the 50th anniversary celebration of the East Broad Top Railroad, Horseshoe Curve daily activities, as well as shared celebrations between all three facilities.
4. Thunder in the Valley (Johnstown Region): Johnstown’s annual Thunder in the Valley (June 24 to June 27) is one of America’s top motorcycle rallies. Featured events and activities include the 6th Annual Wheels & Wings Car & Bike show, live music, various vendors and “Hot Nights/Cool Lights Bike Night Parade.” The Alleghenies has eight scenic motorcycle touring routes as well.
5. Town Treks (Bedford County Region): This “guided” walking tour features the history of downtown Bedford and takes about 75 minutes to complete. Town treks can be downloaded to an MP3 player and are also available for Johnstown. A town-trek guide is also coming soon for downtown Huntingdon.
6. Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic (State College & Raystown Lake Region): This seven day mountain-bike stage race will be held from May 30 through June 5 in and around State College. The seven stages will be comprised of singletrack interspersed with rolling mountain roads showcasing the excellent off-road riding in the region, including Pennsylvania’s only IMBA EPIC ride.
7. Mystery Tours (Altoona Region): Mystery Tours began in 1964 to share with local residents and visitors “hidden treasures” off the beaten path in The Alleghenies. The mystery is what new treasure will be uncovered along the ride/drive. Tours this summer include Faith & Our Fathers (June 20) and Early Settlers of the Alleghenies (July 18).
8. Mount Davis Century (Laurel Highlands Region): For outdoor adventure enthusiasts one of the most exciting on-road cycling rides in The Alleghenies is riding 100-miles in a day to the highest point in Pennsylvania, Mount Davis. This route, in Somerset County, offers both climbing and rolling country roads and is recommended by the Laurel Highlands On/Off Road Bicycling Association.
9. Juniata RiverFEST (Juniata Region): This free, family-friendly Independence Day celebration on July 3rd will feature a 5k run, raft regatta, craft vendors, family activities and fireworks. RiverFEST celebrates the community through arts, entertainment, and recreational activities.
10. Strawberry Festival (McConnellsburg Region): The Fulton County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism’s 20th annual Strawberry Festival will take place on June 11 and June 12. Highlights of the event include epicurean tastes of all things strawberry, children’s activities and a hot-dog-eating contest.