Stone Valley Recreation Area is a 'breathtaking' getaway from State College

May 22, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Tucked in between the mountains of Central Pennsylvania are acres of impeccable nature serving the State College region with a remarkable retreat, the Stone Valley Recreation Area (SVRA). Many University Park students may not even be aware of this nearby neighbor filled with a tremendous amount of outdoor activity.

Also known as Stone Valley, under the management of Penn State Campus Recreation, a unit of Student Affairs, the area offers students a taste of the outdoors they may be missing while at college. 

SVRA has a rich history. Originally owned by the federal government, the land was turned over to Penn State in 1954 in order to dedicate the area to educational exploration. For more than 60 years SVRA has been focused on creating experiences for students. Now entrusted to Campus Recreation, SVRA has the resources to become a staple for a student’s experience at Penn State, with opportunities to escape State College to hike, boat, fish, rock climb and so much more.

“You’re out in this natural environment, feeling as if you’re in the middle of nowhere,” said Assistant Director of Campus Recreation Cynthia Rabbers. “It gives you this sense of being immersed in nature without being too far from civilization.”

Rabbers said she knows that students are busy with studying and extracurricular activities, but if they took time to travel to SVRA, they could discover a much-needed escape that can be both physically and mentally rewarding.

Stone Valley also offers overnight lodging and team-building opportunities for organizations to help create strong bonds among members. The high ropes course is a unique activity that can challenge students to climb outside of their comfort zones, work together and try new things with one another.

In addition, students can apply to be a part of the Stone Valley student staff. There are various positions available to students — boat attendants, high ropes course instructors, overnight lodging supervisors and more. Rabbers also is committed to helping students find carpooling options, in addition to working around students' schedules so they can work flexible hours.

John Paul Damato, a Stone Valley student staff member, shared his thoughts.

“Stone Valley is a great place to come out for a day of relaxing. There are boats to rent, so it’s nice to just cruise the lake for an hour or two because it’s also very peaceful out here. When you’re busy with studying and finals, Stone Valley is a great way to get outside and to get away from everything," said Damato.

Interested in what Stone Valley Recreation Area has to offer? Visit the Campus Recreation Student Affairs website.


Last Updated May 22, 2019