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Susquehanna River Vista: US 15 Overlook Near Williamsport

Today we take a look at the beautiful Route 15 Overlook/Montgomery Pike Overlook on Route 15, just south of South Williamsport. It gives a stunning view of the Susquehanna Valley at the confluence of Lycoming Creek and the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. The overlook is located within Tiadaghton State Forest. The view is roughly 300 feet above the Susquehanna River, atop Bald Eagle Mountain, at a total elevation of 1083 feet. It is only accessible from the Northbound lanes on US 15.
In addition to the confluence, the Williamsport Airport is also within view. The airport gets humming with activity every August for the Little League World Series, ushering in players and media from all over the world. Located just down the mountain from here is the World of Little League Museum, in addition to the stadium.
The overlook is a noted birdwatching site, with this spot being a major hotspot for hawk migrations.
The view primarily faces northwards. There is something awesome about the overlooks of the Susquehanna. The geology and stunning meanders of the river make it extremely scenic. 
The glow of the sunset was particularly beautiful with its reflections upon the water. To visit this overlook, be sure to be in the Northbound lanes, just south of South Williamsport. If you are heading southbound, be sure to turn around at your first opportunity to check this out. There is even a picnic area at the overlook, so be sure to bring a picnic lunch with you, along with some binoculars and a camera.


Raystown Lake Region Hiking: Trough Creek State Park and More

Today we continue our adventures around the Raystown Lake Region with a look at a few of the many hiking opportunities throughout the area. On this trip, we hiked throughout the beautiful Trough Creek State Park. This stunning little state park has so much to offer, with one of the finest short hikes in the state. Several of our other visits to this state park can be seen here, and here.  Within a half mile of hiking, you will cross a suspension bridge, walk in a creek valley, up to the Rainbow Falls Waterfall, and climb up the side of the gorge to Balanced Rock, a stunning rock outcropping. Additional hikes lead throughout the park.
Copperous Rock is a rock face that has strands of ferrous sulfate that give the rock its copper like streaking.
The gorge is filled with hemlocks.
The areas around the road are filled with these beautiful and heavily forested picnic groves. Just writing about it is making me want to go back there right now. 
Balanced Rock, a beautiful rock outcropping, showing from the other side of the gorge. The hike up to it is extremely fun.

The gorge is filled with rhododendrons. I have never seen rhododendrons thrive as much in any other place. The views are absolutely stunning throughout the summer. They are also beautiful to see in the winter as the leaves pull themselves inwards to protect themselves from the cold. 
Brit, Dave's parents, and their dog, Niko, crossing the Suspension Bridge.

Trough Creek Gorge is simply serene. 
A view of the suspension bridge.
The sides of the gorge rocky and covered with moss, ferns, and some determined trees with their gnarly roots.
Rainbow Falls. In the summer, these falls are little more than a trickle, but they are still very pretty and relaxing to watch. 
From this point, you climb up the side of the falls.
And the hike leads you to the beautiful Balanced Rock, a stunning rock outcropping and erosional remnant. 
All of us!

Have I mentioned that the forests at Trough Creek State Park are beautiful?
Rhododendron flowers beginning to fall.
Heading down the gorge.

There is nothing quite like seeing rhododendron flowers in the middle of the summer.
The Ice Mine is a remnant from an attempted iron mine. The mine did not work out, but the attempted mine shaft carries nice and chilly air to the surface. In the spring and early summer when the seasonal warmth shows up, the condensation from the warm air freezes on the walls of this cave. By this point, the ice had melted, but the rush of cold air provides some nice and natural air conditioning to cool you down after some hikes.
Some of the other hikes in the region include the spectacular Standing Stone Trail, which is open to distance hikers and day hikers and includes places like the Throne Room and Thousand Steps. There is also the Terrace Mountain Trail, and more. Raystown has so much to offer for those who seek outdoor adventure and hikes for all skill levels.


Exploring Raystown Lake: Cruising on the Proud Mary Showboat

Part one of our series on this trip to Raystown Lake can be found here. 
One of the best things to do in the summer is to spend an afternoon at the Marina at Lake Raystown Resort. On this trip, we first headed to the Marina Cafe for a delicious lunch. They make all sorts of high quality sandwiches, from crab cake and salmon sandwiches, high end burgers, club sandwiches and more. The sandwiches are hearty and excellent. They have both indoor and outdoor seating, but we opted to sit outside on their patio to see views of the lake and marina. We hung out for a little bit prior to our afternoon sightseeing cruise on the Proud Mary Showboat. 
The view of Raystown Lake and Marina at the Lake Raystown Resort's Marina Cafe
The Patio area at the Marina Cafe is such a beautiful place to kick back and relax.
Now we head out for a ride on the Proud Mary Showboat. The boat runs daily on Afternoon Sightseeing Cruises that are as low as $9.95 a person. They also run special dinner and party events on certain days that cost a little more, but are still pretty affordable. In autumn they run Fall Foliage Cruises on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays that showcase the beautiful landscapes of the lake. 
Brit and Dave's family enjoying the cruise.
The tour runs from the marina, which is around mile marker 20 on the lake, and runs south on the lake through between mile markers 26 and 27. Throughout the course you will be sure to see beautiful forest, scenic coves, neat rock outcroppings, and more.

You also get to see some of the other water activities that occur on the lake, including kayaking, houseboating, speedboating, jet skiing, tubing, pontooning, and more. 
Raystown Lake is such an awesome summer playground.
Looking out across the bow of the Proud Mary Showboat
Rock outcroppings abound along the shores of the lake. The Juniata River Valley is abrupt and filled with these erosional remnants that you can only get views of while you are cruising along the lake.

You will also be sure to see lots of birds and waterfowl throughout the lake.
A Blue Heron on the shore of the lake

Cruising on the lake on the Proud Mary is so much fun
Putt's Camp is a Boy Scout camp which provides primitive camping and a home to annual events for the Boy Scouts. It is in a beautiful area of the lake.
The boat's interior is home to a snack bar, buffet area for special cruises, and more. 

Headed back to the marina. The cruise lasts around an hour and a half.

The upper deck of the Proud Mary.
Heading back into the marina at the Lake Raystown Resort.
We highly recommend taking a tour of Raystown Lake on the Proud Mary Showboat.

The gift shop at the Marina sells feed for the carp that congregate around the docks. We had a blast feeding the fish.
Overall, we highly recommend taking some time and relaxing at the Lake Raystown Resort. The Marina area is home to the launching point for the Proud Mary Showboat, along with a place for docking your own boats, renting, and also having a delicious meal at the Marina Cafe. The afternoon we spent relaxing at the resort was great and we highly recommend that you check it out as well. For other information about our trip to Raystown, check out the previous installment in our series. Our next installment will take us on some hikes through the Raystown Lake Region.
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