The Juniata River played a significant role in the early development of the area. The river’s name is believed to be drawn from the Iroquoian word Onayutta, meaning “Standing Stone” – a reference to a large stone, reportedly over 14 feet tall which was inscribed with the history of the local Juniata Tribe. The stone was located at the site of present-day Huntingdon, but disappeared in 1754. Tradition has it that the tribe took the stone with them when they left the area. A new stone was raised by area settlers, but that one was destroyed in 1894. Only a 2 foot fragment of it remains, housed at the Juniata College Museum.
Most visitors to Huntingdon County come to explore the outdoors. The area’s scenic beauty is an ideal backdrop for an active lifestyle – whether you are biking on our backroads, kayaking down the Juniata River, fishing on the Aughwick Creek, waterskiing at Raystown Lake or hiking in the mountains, there is always plenty to do here. The area is home to several unique attractions, including the 1,000 Steps Trail. Cut into Jack’s Mountain, this trail, which is about a 3.5 mile round-trip trek, was once the daily commute for local quarry workers. In addition to a great workout, the trail features spectacular views and a touch of history.
Huntingdon County has thousands of miles of trails for hiking, running, biking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ATV rides, and snowmobiling. Nearly a quarter of the County’s 559,360 acres of land are available for public use for recreation and hunting of whitetail deer, turkey, and bear. These areas include three state parks (with another nearby), state forests, and state game lands. These lands also offer a large concentration of caves and caverns for “indoor outdoors” adventures.
Take time to seek out some of the area’s unique sites like Greenwood Furnace and the beehive coke ovens in Riddlesburg, testaments to the area’s iron-making heritage. Experience the area’s premier environmental center at Penn State University’s Stone Valley Experimental Forest and Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center. Learn about wetlands, local habitats and visit the Raptor Center.
The small towns of Huntingdon County are home to a variety of events. While Covid-19 has impacted some events this year, they will return. Each community has favorite celebrations such as Hartslog Day in Alexandria, an October festival of handmade crafts and homemade foods. The Huntingdon County Fair draws a weeklong crowd at their 69 acre site for agricultural exhibitions, rides, food, and family fun. Fort Shirley Heritage Days, Raystown Country Family Days and Horse Expo, Octoberfest, Canal Era Day, and others round out the county-wide calendar. On the last Saturday in April, Mayfest brings history to life in downtown Huntingdon. Each block features a unique theme – from Colonial, Victorian, and Renaissance to the 50s and Woodstock era. Don’t forget your appetite – in addition to the great food, this event is complete with costumed actors, demonstrations, and fun activities for all ages. If you enjoy live music, don’t miss Highway to Rock, a multi-band event held near Lincoln Caverns on May 22, 2021.
Challenge yourself to experience all that Huntingdon County has to offer, from a round of golf at an area course to a concert at Juniata College. Learn about history at one of the area’s many museums, the Huntingdon County Historical Society or just relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of our rural countryside. Enjoy exploring!
GREENWOOD FURNACE STATE PARK
The park covers 423 acres, including a six-acre lake and is surrounded by an 88,000-acre block of Rothrock State Forest.
Hiking, Picnicking, Swimming, Fishing, Hunting, Environmental Education, Orienteering, Ice Skating, Ice Fishing, Snowmobiling, Cross-country skiing, and Camping
TROUGH CREEK STATE PARK
The 554-acre Trough Creek State Park is a scenic gorge formed as Great Trough Creek cuts through Terrace Mountain and empties into Raystown Lake. Rugged hiking trails lead to wonders like Balanced Rock and Rainbow Falls.
Hiking, Picnicking, Fishing, Hunting, Biking, Snowmobiling, Trough Creek Lodge, and Camping
WHIPPLE DAM STATE PARK
The 256-acre Whipple Dam State Park is a delightful and quiet place to visit. The lake is the perfect place to indulge in a refreshing dip, bird watch, or just relax.
Picnicking, Swimming, Boating, Fishing, Hunting, Cross-country skiing, Snowmobiling, Ice Skating, and Ice Fishing
CANOE CREEK STATE PARK
The beautiful, 958-acre Canoe Creek State Park features a 155-acre lake wetlands, old fields and mature forests, which provide critical habitats for birds and other wildlife. Hikers enjoy the trails that wind through the many habitats and the lake is popular for fishing year-round.
Hiking, Biking, Horseback Riding, Picnicking, Swimming, Boating, Fishing, Hunting, Education, Disc Golfing, Cross-country skiing, Sledding, Ice Fishing, Ice Skating, Iceboating, and Cabins