Top Ten Summer Outdoor Recreation Activities

Jun 23, 2009, 09:00 ET from The Alleghenies Tourism Council

ALTOONA, Pa., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- With the official start of summer here, look no further than The Alleghenies for an outdoor adventure. With close proximity to Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington DC, and Philadelphia the region, The Alleghenies, located in Southcentral Pennsylvania, is perfectly situated for an affordable close to home weekend getaway. Visitors will find a wealth of opportunities including on- and off-road cycling, fishing, boating, spelunking, and the ability to explore the history and heritage of the region.

Here's a look at the Top Ten reasons to visit (in no specific order):

1. Visit a State Park - Trough Creek State Park (Raystown Lake Region)

The 554-acre state park is a scenic gorge with vistas overlooking Raystown Lake. Known for rugged hiking trails, the park also offers unique natural attractions like Balanced Rock, the Ice Mine and Rainbow Falls.

2. Plan an Adventure - Alleghenies Adventures (various regions of The Alleghenies)

Take the planning out of your next weekend getaway Alleghenies Adventures are 3-day multi-sport adventure itineraries geared towards individual travelers as well as families. Along with outdoor activities, the Adventures also point out things to do, great spots to eat and the best places to stay as you explore the region. Begin your adventure with Go All Out or Let's Roll.

3. Community Outreach - Festivals/Fairs (various regions of The Alleghenies)

Another great way to experience The Alleghenies is through the variety of festivals and fairs in the region. During the summer popular gatherings include the annual Thunder in the Valley (June 25-28) -- one of the country's top 50 motorcycle rallies; Central PA Festival of the Arts (July 9-12) -- more than 125,000 visitors descend upon State College to celebrate this nationally recognized event; and Juniata River Fest (June 27) -- a celebration in Lewistown featuring a raft regatta, community float, 5k river rampage run and fireworks.

4. Bike a New Trail - Allegrippis Trail System (Raystown Lake Region)

The possibilities are endless when 30 miles of sustainable, multi-use trail lie in front of you. The Allegrippis Trails, located near the shores of Raystown Lake, are one of the International Mountain Bicycling Association's single biggest trail system builds ever -- for trail mileage and the number of trails. The rides range in difficulty from beginner to expert.

5. Discover a Cave - Penn's Cave (State College Region)

Penn's Cave is America's only all-water cavern and wildlife park. A one-hour guided tour by motorboat through the underground stream features limestone corridors, stalagmites, stalactites, waterfalls and jumping trout.

6. Hike to a Vista - Conemaugh Gap Scenic Overlook (Johnstown Region)

Explore the deepest gorge (1,350 foot) east of the Mississippi River. The Conemaugh Gap extends for seven miles and was cut by the Conemaugh River channeling through the Laurel Ridge Mountain.

7. Paddle Unique Waterways - Juniata River Water Trail (Raystown Lake Region)

The Juniata River runs approximately 90 miles through several mountain ranges, affording paddlers bald eagle spotting opportunities as well as views of historic stone arch railroad trestles, which are remnants of the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal System.

8. Explore a New Scene - Artisan Trails (various regions of The Alleghenies)

Take a journey through an eclectic mix of arts and cultural attractions, on one of the artisan trails in the region. Many of the artisans choose this region for the inspiration of the surrounding beauty -- the earth, hills, valleys, and streams. Visit Art Thrives on 45 or heART of the Alleghenies to learn more.

9. Cultural Experience - Big Valley/Belleville Amish Market (Juniata River Region)

Looking for a fun way to interact with the Pennsylvania Amish? Big Valley is one of the most unique Amish settlements, populated by three main Old Order Amish groups. Every Wednesday the large farming and Amish population gather to sell baked goods, produce and livestock, and shop the large flea market.

10. Travel to a Historic Site - Motor Touring (various regions of The Alleghenies)

Explore historic sites, picturesque covered bridges and endless mountain scenery on seven distinct tours that feature more than 800 miles of unforgettable cruising.

The Alleghenies Tourism Council is a partnership of organizations interested in further developing the tourism industry and economic development opportunities in an eight county region in Southcentral Pennsylvania. The Council works under the umbrella of the Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission, a non-profit economic development agency. For more information on The Alleghenies, call (800) 458-3433 or visit

SOURCE The Alleghenies Tourism Council