Johnstown, PA, is located around 65 miles east of Pittsburgh, where around 18,000 people call home. The city has a significant senior citizen population, with 20% of residents 65 years old or older.
Around town, there’s lots to explore, from getting connected to history and heritage, to seeing sports games and exploring nature. The following are some interesting things for seniors to do in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
1. Trails, Parks and Forests
Johnstown has many outdoor activities for residents, whether you’re interested in a leisurely walk or want to hike a forest trail. The following are some top outdoor destinations in the Johnstown area.
- Path of the Flood Trail: This National Recreation Trail is a historical trail that follows the same path floodwaters took in 1889 when a dam failed in the city and killed more than 2,200 people. It offers a nearly 14-mile bicycle path for cyclists.
- Prince Gallitzin State Park: The Prince Gallitzin State Park is located in nearby Patton and spans 7,335 acres. The Park includes more than 20 miles of mountain biking trails, as well as has a variety of multiuse rails and a snowmobile trail network. Park vistas provide views of the 1,635-acre Glendale Lake, which features 26 miles of shoreline. The park is also available for camping on the campground.
- Staple Bend Tunnel Trail: The Staple Bend Tunnel was the first railroad tunnel in the U.S., completed in 1833. Today, the handicap-accessible trail is open to walkers and bicyclists. It spans 2.5 miles and connects with the Path of the Flood Trail.
Johnstown is also home to Roxbury Park, located on nearly 30 acres of land. The park hosts more than 15 city-sponsored sports leagues and features amenities including baseball and softball fields, a walking path, picnic pavilions, an integrated playground and lighted courts for tennis, basketball, racquetball, volleyball and roller hockey.
2. Johnstown Flood Museum
As mentioned, a historic flood in 1889 marked one of Johnstown’s biggest tragedies. The Johnstown Flood Museum pays tribute to the victims and tells the story of how the city rebuilt after the disaster.
At the museum, visitors can see objects recovered from the flood, learn how the flood was portrayed in the media, and see a replica of a temporary house that was erected to shelter people without homes after the flood. The museum also shows the 26-minute, Academy Award-winning documentary produced on the flood.
3. Concerts & Music Festivals
For Johnstown residents who love music, there are lots of opportunities to see live performers in town. The Peoples Natural Gas Park is one of the top outdoor music venues in the city, featuring events like:
- Flood City Music Festival: Every summer around July, Johnstown hosts the annual Flood City Music Festival. The outdoor concert presents more than a dozen diverse musical acts on three stages over two days. Attendees have the option to camp at the festival for the entire weekend.
- 1st Summit Bank PolkaFest: The annual Johnstown PolkaFest has been going strong since 1998 and occurs each year the first weekend after Memorial Day. Attendees can see a variety of polka bands in styles including German, country and rock.
- Sip, Rock & Duck Drop: The annual Sip, Rock & Duck Drop is a music festival that benefits the St. Vincent DePaul Family Kitchen. In addition to musical performances, the event includes a raffle, food trucks and celebrity fundraisers.
In addition to big events like these, Johnstown residents can enjoy concerts put on by the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, which brings in world-class musical instrument and vocalist soloists, as well as presents pre-concert talks, at the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center.
4. Sporting Events
Johnstown is home to several sporting events that get residents cheering. For golf, baseball and hockey lovers, there are a few ways to enjoy the sports as a spectator in Johnstown.
- Johnstown Mill Rats: The Johnstown Mill Rats are a Prospect League baseball team playing at Sargent’s Stadium at The Point. The team’s baseball season typically runs from May through July, with games featuring 18 Midwestern teams consisting of top college players.
- Johnstown Tomahawks: The Johnstown Tomahawks are a North American Hockey League team that’s part of the USA Hockey National Junior Development Model for collegiate and professional hockey development. The ice hockey team hosts teams at their home arena 1st Summit Arena and plays a season from September through April.
- Sunnehannna golf championships: The Sunnehanna Country Club in Johnstown hosts two major golf events: the annual Sunnehanna Amateur, in which Tiger Woods played in 1992, and the annual Sunnehanna Senior Amateur Invitational Tournament. Local golfers can apply for membership at the private club to play there themselves.
These are just a few of the exceptional sporting events that take place in Johnstown. Attending a game or golf event is a great way to connect with community members and come together to support the home team.
5. Johnstown Thunder in the Valley
Since 1998, the annual Thunder in the Valley motorcycle rally has taken over Johnstown for a weekend each summer. The rally includes motorsports demonstrations, live music and a motorcycle parade through downtown Johnstown. Whether you’re a motorcycle lover or just want to head out to see some rocking bands and join in the community fun, there’s something for everyone at the festival.
6. Restaurants & Bars
Johnstown has dozens of delicious local restaurants and bars to check out, serving cuisine including Italian, Mediterranean and American staples. One of the top dining destinations in Johnstown is Coney Island, an eatery established in 1916 that serves world-famous hot dogs, burgers and chili for super-affordable prices. There’s also a variety of wineries and breweries in Johnstown, as well as the annual Sandyvale Wine Fest.
See What Life in Johnstown Is Like at McCullough Place
For seniors in Johnstown in need of personal care or short-term care residency, McCullough Place is a warm and welcoming senior lifestyle community. The pet-friendly residence includes an array of amenities, including a hair salon, a social and recreational program with daily activities, restaurant-style dining with professional service, transportation services and assistance for whatever residents need.