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Raystown Lake, at 8,300 acres, is the largest lake located entirely within Pennsylvania's borders. The lake is nestled in the southern Allegheny Mountains of Huntingdon County. Its average depth is 80 feet, with a maximum depth of 200 feet. The United States Army Corps of Engineers created Raystown lake in 1913 by damming up the Raystown Branch Juniata River for flood control, hydroelectric power, and for recreational activities.
Nicknamed "The Crown Jewel of Pennsylvania," Raystown Lake boasts 110 miles of mostly undeveloped shoreline due to laws that prevent any residential development and limited commercial development. The lake's unspoiled shores and pristine beauty draw over 2 million visitors every year, each in search of a quiet slice of lake enjoyment.
Raystown Lake has no speed or horsepower limit, though boaters are encouraged to boat safely and to follow the rules of the lake. The Army Corps of Engineers manages seven boat launches on the lake: Seven Points, Snyder's Run, James Creek, Aitch, Tatman Run, Weaver Falls and Shy Beaver. For a $3 fee, you may launch your own boat or one you've rented from any of the launch areas.
Anglers will not be disappointed with Raystown Lake's offerings: seasoned fishermen claim that the lake is one of the best places in the area to catch catfish, striped bass, largemouth bass, rock bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, muskellunge, lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon, perch, smelt, crappy, and blue gill. Several guide services are available, or you may rent a boat at one of the local marinas and venture out on your own. Either way, you'll be surrounded by beautiful scenery as you wait for the fish to bite.
For sunbathers and swimmers, the Army Corps of Engineers manages two public beaches along the lake: Seven Points Beach and Tatman Run Beach. The beaches are truly chalk-full of family fun and entertainment with concession stands, water trampolines, grassy areas, picnic benches, playground equipment, and white sand. The swimming areas are divided by buoys and separated into a sandy "shallow end" and a concrete "deep end," perfect for children and children-at-heart.
When you're ready to take a break from the lake's many water activities, you'll be pleased to find a variety of land-based activities. Take a hike around the lake, visit one of the many state parks in the area, go caving at Lincoln Caverns, play golf, go biking on the area's bike trails, take a horseback ride, or visit a local winery. There is plenty to do at Raystown Lake, no matter what your pleasure.
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