There is no shortage of navigable rivers and lakes in the Alleghenies. But Raystown Lake, a 28-mile-long reservoir south of Huntingdon, Pa., is the area’s most extensive option. With a wooded shoreline, cliff edges over the water, islands, and peninsulas jutting into the lake, Raystown made for a fun day and a nice wrap-up of the Choose-Your-Adventure trip.
The water — crystal clear and cold — was a surprise. Add in the craggy shores, sandy beaches, and red-rock bottom, and Raystown in places could be mistaken for the south shore of Lake Superior. Our group explored the lake, which is fed by the Juniata River, for a few hours on Sunday morning. Guide Paul Dunkelbarger of Rothrock Outfitters piloted a solo canoe. The rest of the crew paddled sleek touring kayaks, twin blades cutting glassy water for miles toward distant shores.
We straightlined about a mile of open water from a launch at a marina. Then the group snaked along the shoreline, ducking into the shade on a bluebird day where cliffs overhung the water. Ospreys and hawks swooped from the sky, snagging fish. And for the trip’s grand finale winner Andy Wright clambered 60 feet up a cliff, launching airborne himself for a plunge into Raystown’s deep, frigid waters. A few photos from the day below.