Terrace Mountain Lodge
at Raystown Lake
RAYSTOWN LAKE AREA
Huntingdon County, PA
Let's Make Raystown Lake Better by adding a NEW public access area!
Update 11/19/19 -- Raystown Lake is a beautiful 27-mile long lake in Huntingdon County, Pa. Currently, the US Army Corps of Engineers is updating the lake master plan which determines what goes on the land around the lake for the next 25 years. The draft plan just came out and it does not include ANY new recreation areas on the lake, other than some camping areas and some kayak launches. This is terrible news for Huntingdon County which relies on TOURISM as the second-largest industry. The plan notes that the existing beaches are filled to capacity on peak weekends. We NEED more recreational access at Raystown Lake, especially on the northeastern side of the lake where none exists now.
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
We know there is a need in our area for a high-end resort from a top chain that will draw nature lovers from all over the state and region. People who like to hike, bike, and enjoy the lake want a nice place to stay with their family and friends. Currently, there are just a few lodging options at Raystown Lake. None offer amenities typical of a nice resort property like a spa services, high-end restaurant, a variety of meeting rooms, and an indoor pool. The current lodging choices around the lake are usually full on the weekends. We want to build a wonderful year-round lodge tucked into the woods that would offer family programs, events for locals and visitors, and day trips to wineries, ski areas, PSU or Juniata events, and other entertainments. This project would bring in 300 jobs, 3.8 million in annual tax revenues and $30 million annually in local spending by lodge visitors. Think of how this will help our local businesses that are struggling?
We need the public to request "more access to Raystown Lake on the Northeastern side of the lake on parcel #5303 at Hawn's Rd." The new lodge to be built on private property will not move forward without access to the lake. We are requesting only a small day-use area on parcel #5303 which may include a picnic area, beach for swimming, fishing dock and a place to pull up a boat.
To help support new access to Raystown Lake, please email the USACE and ask them to "add some day-use recreational activities on parcel #5303 so the public can enjoy and access the lake from the northeastern side. "
Email address: RaystownMPRevision@usace.army.mil
Responses must be in by Saturday, Dec 7. This is your LAST CHANCE to ask for a new recreation area on Raystown Lake.
Points to Consider: (see map at bottom of page with our plan)
Only 4% of the entire 118-mile shoreline of Raystown Lake is accessible by vehicle.
95% of the 21,000 acres around the lake are still undeveloped - this means there is plenty of land for hunting, biking and hiking in pristine wilderness.
The few acres on parcel #5303 needed for a day-use public recreation area are minimal and can be created with very little disturbance to plants. Juniata College, which has a stellar environmental program, has agreed to assist the development team with environmental land planning for this area if we are selected by the USACE to assist with this project.
The recreational amenities added on parcel#5303 could be paid for by a public/private partnership. Land for a parking area to access #5303, as well as road improvements on Hawn's Rd, could be donated to a public entity.
There is currently inequitable access to the lake. People coming from the eastern side of the lake that live in Mt. Union, Mill Creek, Cassville. Todd and Mapleton have to drive 30-45 minutes to get to a recreation area with a beach, picnic tables or fishing pier.
How does the Raystown Lake Master Plan affect our area?
Tourism is the second largest industry in our county. Without more access to Raystown Lake, our tourist industry will stagnate. New hotels bring tourists who spend money locally helping our towns and stores to thrive by employing more people who will stay in our communities. Tax revenues will increase with new businesses. The Omni Bedford Springs hotel helped transform Bedford, Pa.., into a thriving community. [ read more]
What about the environment?
There are a few people locally who have spread “fake news” about the potential new lodge on Terrace Mountain and a new recreation area at Raystown Lake. We are totally committed to making this project environmentally friendly with buildings tucked into the trees and working with environmental landscapers to create a first-class lodge that showcases the surrounding forests. Lodge visitors will enjoy hiking and biking, waterfront activities and family-focused activities. Visitors will want to stay at the lodge year-round to enjoy the many entertainments locally like PSU sports, Juniata College events, train rides and many local attractions like wineries and caves. This will be a family-friendly lodge open to anyone: locals, visitors and day-trippers. The restaurants, spa, and many events will be open to the public. Any land disturbed on USACE management areas would be mitigated according to the USACE guidelines.
Some ideas for a low-impact recreation area include:
Environmentally friendly - Juniata College's Environmental Team has agreed to will help us plan for the least disturbance of trees and wildlife. Buildings will be tucked under a canopy of trees and not viewable from the water.
Wildlife viewing areas with educational signage
Beach with possible kayak/canoe rental area
Fishing pier -- could be floating with ramp to shore to not disturb any land
ADA accessibility with access to a free parking area on the top of Terrace Mountain and golf carts or other vehicles to help people get to the area who do not want to walk down the trails. The parking area would be donated to a public entity along with vehicles, like large golf carts, to transport anyone down to the area by the lake who has mobility issues. There would be a good walking path to the lake area created.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO MAKE THIS PROJECT A REALITY
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We are suggesting adding some day-use areas in little quarter or half-acre spots on parcel #5303 with picnic tables, some waterless restrooms, a beach and some wildlife viewing areas with interactive displays and/or signage. The USACE would determine where these little pocket areas would be on #5303. Nothing would be on the Hawn's Bridge Peninsula.
We are proposing a public/private partnership.