The landscape of the Johnstown Region was forever changed in May of 1889 when more than 200 million tons of water crashed through a dam near Johnstown and roared through the valley. Today, these same lands have become a symbol of recovery and triumph. Adventure can be found throughout the mountains, motorcyclists and bicycling enthusiasts take to the region’s open roads, and the towns are filled with hotels, restaurants and unique museums. In 1998, Johnstown became home to the annual Thunder in the Valley motorcycle rally, which draws thousands of riders and riding enthusiasts each summer to this land of remarkable history.
The biker-friendly roads that wind their way through the countryside of the Altoona Region have earned a well-deserved reputation among cyclists for their challenging miles and scenic beauty. The wooded trails have become the playground for hikers and mountain bikers. And the famous Horseshoe Curve has drawn those with a love for history, who come to marvel at the ingenuity and backbreaking efforts of those who worked to find a way through the rugged mountains of the Alleghenies. But outdoor adventure isn’t all this region has to offer. Visitors will also find unique family owned diners, exceptional white tablecloth restaurants and well-known national chains as they make their way through this unforgettable landscape.
Raystown Lake Region
Surrounded by the scenic backdrop of the Alleghenies, the Raystown Lake Region is filled with opportunities for hiking, bicycling and birdwatching, as well as boating and fishing on Raystown Lake. This 8,300 acre waterway draws boaters from all over the East and fishermen who come from far and wide to cast for the legendary stripers that swim the waters of the lake Field and Stream named one of America’s top fishing destinations. Overnight visitors can choose from friendly bed and breakfasts, comfortable vacation homes, or enjoy a truly memorable night under the stars in a fully equipped treehouse.
Laurel Highlands Region
Featuring Pennsylvania’s highest peak, the Laurel Highlands Region is a high plateau crossed with trails that take hikers, bikers and birdwatchers deep into its landscape. Its creeks and rivers challenge fishermen and white water paddlers. And its roadways carry cyclists on a journey through quiet towns, past picturesque covered bridges and abundant farmlands, and historic sites dating back to the time when these lands were the final frontier of America.
Named for the fort where George Washington spent a tour of duty helping to protect settlers from the dangers of the wilderness around them, the Bedford/Breezewood Region has grown from a place of ranching and iron production, into a premier outdoor destination. Today, its rivers, lakes, trails and roadways are favoured by skiers, boaters, hikers, bikers, fishermen and paddling enthusiasts in every season. While its historic towns and unique shops provide a relaxing getaway from the challenges of adventure.
McConnellsburg RegionLike many regions of The Alleghenies, the McConnellsburg Region was home to a frontier fort built to protect settlers from the wilderness that surrounded them. Today, the challenges of the high ridges and wooded slopes that tested the mettle of early settlers, provide adventure opportunities for hikers, bikers, birdwatchers and fishermen who come to challenge themselves in lands of history and striking beauty.
State College Region
Once known as the iron center of the nation, today the endless mountains of the State College Region are home to a nearly limitless list of outdoor adventures. In addition to outstanding hiking, boating, caving, kayaking and bicycling, this region also offers the opportunity for anglers to test themselves against the numerous brown, rainbow and native brooke trout that can be found in the waters of the premier Blue Ribbon trout streams that flow through its lands. When visitors aren’t on the trails or waterways, there’s always the chance to unwind in a warm, comfortable café, cheer on the Penn State Nittany Lions at Happy Valley, catch a Broadway musical, or applaude the symphony after a night of fine dining.