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Travelers who love diving into old, mysterious, and abandoned places will love to check out the hidden wonder beneath Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania. Here the remnants of the town abandoned when the lake was created still remain though they are mostly taken by either vegetation or water.

However, travelers have a chance to explore much of this area which is usually inaccessible most of the year. During winter, when the waters are drawn, the lake reveals much of what is concealed beneath it.


The Hidden Ruins Of Raystown Lake

The surface of Raystown Lake is a bit deceiving if viewed in summer when its waters are at their highest. Hidden beneath the surface are the ruins of abandoned roads, bridges, and structures of historical significance. They are just waiting to be discovered when the waters recede.

Raystown Lake is the largest in Pennsylvania and was completed in 1973. When its waters rose, they completely swallowed up many structures. In total, the waters of the lake are as deep as 200 feet in some parts.

Some structures were not swallowed by the water but abandoned anyway. They still stand as vegetation retakes them. When winter comes, the vegetation recedes, and so does the water as the lake is drawn down for the winter. During this time, structures are hidden most of the year and become accessible. Many of these structures are located near the town of Marklesburg.

  • Drawn Down Period - three and a half feet by November 1 and an additional five and a half feet by Nov. 15.

Finding The Hidden Ruins At Raystown Lake Near Marklesburg

For travelers looking to access the park, they will likely use the parking area at Weller Road just past Valleyview Cemetary Road before the Brumbaugh Homestead. Once here, travelers have access to quite a few abandoned ruins. The Brumbaugh Homestead is the obvious first ruin that travelers will check out.

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The Brumbaugh Homestead at Raystown Lake

The Brumbaugh Homestead at Raystown lake is conveniently located just past the parking lot. It was constructed in 1804 and served as the home to seven generations of one family. One notable former resident was Martin Brumbaugh, Pennsylvania Governor, from 1915 to 1919. The structure became quite large over the generations. Eventually, the property was absorbed into the Raystown Lake property and would later become registered as a historic place in 1979.

The property has suffered damage from fires over the years. Now, it serves as the ghostly remains of what it once was.

The Old Railroad Bridge Is Revealed at Raystown Lake

For one hundred years, the Huntingdon and Broad Top Mountain Railroad ran from Hunting to Bedford. Its track now runs right through what has become Raystown Lake. This railroad doesn't stay perpetually swallowed by the lake, though. When waters are drawn for the winter, much of the rail near Brumbaugh homestead becomes visible again, including a stretch that contains a bridge. This all becomes an explorer to visitors once the lake is drawn in November.

  • Operation - 1853-1953

Brumbaugh Crossing and the Abandoned Garner Road

From the railroad bridge, travelers can head north to walk across the drawn-down lake bed. There is an area known as Brumbaugh Crossing that travelers can use to cross to the other side of the lake. Here travelers can find Garner Road, a paved road that has long been abandoned as it directs traffic straight into the lake.

Valley View Cemetery

This site is not technically abandoned, but it fits nicely into this exploration of the region. It is also the home to the grave of former Governor of Pennsylvania Martin Brumbaugh. It is also home to historical and artistic gravestones.

  • Location - Google Maps

Local Attractions

Beyond the sunken ruins, there are other attractions for travelers to check out. Many of them add a fun new way to explore the area. Here is a look at four of these attractions.

Trough Creek Park

Trough Creek is always a go-to location around Raystown Lake. Visitors to the park will be greeted with a spectacular view of Rainbow Falls. It is absolutely worth checking out.

East Broad Top Rail Road

Travelers looking for a fun way to view the area and visit the East Broad Top Rail Road. It offers scenic train rides, shop tours, and a chance to check out its fleet of six historic steam engines at the “roundhouse.” This is a must-visit location for anyone who loves trains.

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Not all exploration needs to be at risk of breaking the law. In Pennsylvania, there are actually 26 abandoned places that people are legally allowed to explore. Travelers who love exploring old places should absolutely check them out while they are exploring this region.

Attractions In The Surrounding Huntingdon County

The area directly around Raystown Lake isn’t the only location travelers should check out. The surrounding Huntingdon County is full of fun places to check out. Here is a list of six places worth checking out.