Lake Photo

The views at Raystown Lake are breathtaking any time of year, but when cabin fever sets in, experts suggest hiking to picturesque views can help to beat cabin fever.

The term cabin fever is used quite frequently during the colder months of the year, because many feel as though the colder weather inhibits their ability to leave their homes. Huntingdon County has a wide array of activities to help combat the seasonal plight.

“Remember when you were a kid and the snow never phased you, you were eager to get out and play in it? So there’s hiking, or you can find a local hill to sled ride on which are fun winter activities,” said Matt Price, executive director of Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau.

Ed Stoddard, marketing director of the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau, said there are many places to go and sights to take in to tame the restlessness.

“Escape your cabin fever and visit some Raystown Lake overlooks such as the deck at the Raystown Lake Visitor Center, Coffee Run Overlook or Entriken Overlook. You can hike or bike to the overlooks on the Terrace Mountain Trail, Allegrippis Trails and Old Loggers Trail,” said Stoddard. “The Thousand Steps section of the Standing Stone Trail is a great workout on a historic footpath. The views are awesome. You might choose to stroll the Lower Trail and Huntingdon & Broad Top Rail Trail.”

Even though winter may hinder motorized traffic, according to Price, the popular overlooks are still open to foot traffic.

“You’ll find some of the popular views like Ridenour or Hawn’s Overlook, the Army Corps has them gated, so they’re closed off to vehicle traffic, but you’re still more than welcome to hike, cross country ski or snow show in. The gate just means that motorized vehicles can’t pass, it doesn’t mean people can’t,” said Price.

“The Raystown Lake Visitors Center is open year round for those views. As long as it’s not icy, you can still hike the Thousand Steps to get to the top of Jack’s Mountain and see the view of Jack’s Narrows and Mapleton,” said Price. “One of the other popular views of the area is the Jo Hays Vista on the top of Pine Grove Mountain on Route 26, which actually looks out over State College and the upper Spruce Creek Valley.”

Maybe a subterranean excursion is more on some folks radar, as caves remain the same temperature throughout the year. Lincoln Caverns and Whisper Rocks do winter tours by appointment.

If there are kids in tow, Price suggests visitor centers are fun and interactive ways to break up the boredom for all ages.

“You can get out and enjoy Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, which is a great one for kids. Even if you don’t want to get out and do the outdoor recreation, the visitor center at Greenwood Furnace State Park has some neat stuff to explore, as does the visitor center at Raystown Lake,” said Price.

If history might help suppress the seasonal jitters, one might consider a stop by the Isett Heritage Museum on Stone Creek Ridge.

“Mel Isett just turned 97 years young Feb. 1. He has collected 40,000 items and displays them organized by historic era and theme at Isett Heritage Museum on Stone Creek Ridge, Huntingdon,” said Stoddard.

The past few years have had an explosion of art and artsy things, and the folks at the visitors bureau believe the art scene is a great way to escape.

“You can also immerse yourself in art. The A.C. Darby Studios in Huntingdon, and the Inspire Art Studios in Mount Union both offer a variety of instructional classes in art. You can also visit the gallery at Juniata College’s Museum of Art. You can also stop by Stone Town Gallery and Cafe or see what ever show is being presented at the Art Space for the Huntingdon County Arts Council,” said Price.

A downtown Huntingdon staple every month is the Art Walk series, which is an excellent way to enjoy some fresh air and see folks in the community.

“Art Walk Huntingdon is the third Thursday of each month. Places on the Art Walk include art spaces, performance venues, arts-related retail locations, and restaurants. It provides an opportunity to explore Huntingdon and appreciate its growing arts scene. Meet up with friends, see something new, join in an art project, and enjoy this unique place in Pennsylvania. The next Art Walk Huntingdon is Thursday, Feb. 21,” said Stoddard.

Some may just need to go out and shop, or to go on a date to break away from the winter blues. Huntingdon County has many great places to get away from it all.

“This is a great time of year to get out to area restaurants and shops. Some of them are pretty busy in the summer when we have a lot more visitors in the area, and this is nice time of year to get out for the locals,” said Price.

“From diners to martini bars, the Raystown Lake Region has many cozy options for a special ‘celebration of spring’ dinner. The Clifton 5 Theater in historic downtown Huntingdon is a great place for a date or to take in a movie with friends,” said Stoddard.

Michael can be reached at mkane@huntingdondailynews.com

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