When exploring Huntingdon County, you cannot ignore Raystown Lake, the largest lake entirely within Pennsylvania. Serving as the region's prized gem, it offers many leisure and recreational opportunities. While we treasure our lake, there are many other delightful ways to spend your day beyond its waters, and the best part? All these activities come at no cost. With many hiking trails, historic landmarks, and scenic viewpoints, there's something to delight everyone, whether you're a visitor or a local resident. 

Traveling should be hassle-free, and the misconception that enjoyable activities must be expensive needs to be debunked. Consider this guide to the top 8 free things to do during your visit as your ticket to exploring the area affordably!

1.Visit a State Park

The area is home to numerous state parks, such as Trough Creek, Canoe Creek, Warriors Path, Whipple Dam, Greenwood Furnace, and Penn-Roosevelt, all within a short drive of each other. While visiting these state parks you can engage in tons of cost-free activities! Such as hiking, fishing, picnicking, and even observing the wildlife!

Before embarking on your journey, check the facility seasons and hours by visiting:


Trough Creek State Park


2. Attend a local festival or event

Throughout the year, there are a variety of festivals and events, many of which are free to attend. From fairs to seasonal celebrations, there's always something happening in the Raystown Lake Region! A well-known festival is Hartslog Day Heritage Festival, annually the second Saturday of October. This is just one example of all the amazing events that take place in the Raystown Lake Region. Full of arts, crafts, entertainment, food and just all around fun! Get out into the community and take advantage of all the activities the region has to offer. 

For a detailed schedule of events, click HERE. Please note that while many events are free, some may require fees or registration. 

3. Go sightseeing 

In the Raystown Lake Region, there's tons of breathtaking sights and they don’t cost a dime to visit! Experience the  225-foot-high Raystown Dam from Ridenour Overlook, offering a peaceful setting to unwind and take in the majestic Allegheny Mountains. 

A brief stroll from the parking area leads to Hawn's Overlook, showing panoramic views of the lake. Many recommend visiting during the evening, when the sunset enhances the scenery even further. Take advantage of the bench for optimal sightseeing and learn more about the area with informative signage.

Keep your eyes peeled beyond the horizon; you might catch a glimpse of a Bald Eagle or other wildlife that call the Raystown Lake Region home. With overlooks and scenic vistas scattered throughout the region, there's sure to be a stunning view no matter where you go.

Hawns Overlook


4. Ride the trails

Whether you're a avid cyclist or simply enjoy a leisurely ride, the Raystown Lake Region offers a diverse array of trails and pathways to explore. The Allegrippis Trails System at Raystown Lake stands out as a perfect destination for mountain biking enthusiasts. Designed by passionate bikers, these trails offer an exceptional riding experience. With trails rated for varying skill levels, they ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all cyclists. Moreover, access to these trails is entirely free, making them an ideal choice for visitors seeking outdoor biking experiences. 

Another exciting trail opportunity is the Lower Trail, highlighted in Rails-to-Trails. Stretching nearly 17 miles from close to Canoe Creek State Park to Alexandria in Huntingdon County, it offers the perfect route for both cyclists and hikers. Additionally, it’s an ideal choice for families wanting to enjoy outdoor activities with their children, as the trail is mostly flat, making it perfect for kids to ride their bikes.  

Allegrippis Trails


5. Geocaching

Are you passionate about adventuring in nature? If so, you should consider trying geocaching. It's essentially a global treasure hunt where caches are hidden in various locations, ranging from parks to forests. The concept is simple: individuals hide caches worldwide, sharing the coordinates and hints on the geocaching website for others to find. These caches can contain unique items or be more simple. In the Raystown Lake Region alone, there are numerous caches waiting to be discovered. Geocaching offers a fantastic blend of technology and outdoor exploration, and the best part is, it's completely free!


6. Check out public art

The region has many murals and public art pieces that are rich in history, with some serving as ideal backdrops for capturing that Instagram-worthy moment! Exploring these local treasures provides an enjoyable and budget-friendly way to explore the stories behind the artwork.

One not to miss is the "Welcome to Huntingdon, Pennsylvania" mural, a creation by Matt Speck. This artwork mimics the style of iconic murals found in bustling cities across America, demonstrating that small towns can be cool too! Take a closer look, and you'll discover that each letter reveals an image depicting a historic landmark from the cherished town of Huntingdon. You can visit the mural at Bryan Park in Downtown Huntingdon. 

Another way to experience the artwork is to participate in the Huntingdon Borough Public Art Walking Tour. This is a self-guided tour that is based in the historic downtown area of Penn Street. Created by the Huntingdon County Arts Center, this tour highlights various artworks scattered throughout downtown, inviting you to explore and appreciate the local creativity.


7. Stop at the visitor centers

During any vacation, a visit to visitor centers is essential. While they may sometimes be overlooked, they offer valuable opportunities that shouldn't be missed! The Raystown Lake Region Visitor Center offers both indoor and outdoor interactive displays highlighting the rich history, environment, and wildlife of Raystown Lake. Don't forget to explore the array of souvenirs at the Raystown Reflections Gift Shoppe during your visit. 

Route 22 Visitor Center, a new satellite location provides convenient access to all your informational needs, with the Juniata Reflections Gift Shoppe offering a selection of merchandise from Huntingdon and Raystown Lake.

The greatest aspect of visitor centers? You can explore them all without spending a dime. They provide an abundance of reading materials for you to take with you throughout your visit. Whether you're traveling alone, with family, on an educational trip, or with a large group, it's an ideal destination.

Raystown Lake Visitor Center cropped


8. Visit a farmers market

Farmers markets offer an excellent opportunity to purchase affordable produce. The Huntingdon Farmers Market, conveniently located just a short walk from downtown Huntingdon in Portstown Park, features vendors offering an array of products, including baked goods, soaps, wine, and hot food. However, even if you're not planning to make a purchase, you can still enjoy browsing the local artisan goods and produce or simply take in the delightful scents of hand-made soaps without spending a dime!

The Huntingdon Farmers Market runs from May through October every Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Farmers Markets provide an excellent opportunity to connect with the community while supporting local vendors who sell their goods.

Huntingdon Farmers Market