Things to Do
Places to Stay
Located in the resort mountains of western Pennsylvania, only 54 miles east of downtown Pittsburgh, HARRIS HOUSE at the Randall Reserve is a perfect place to be whenever you want to enter the natural world of forest and stream, but at the same time want to reside in a beautiful and comfortable home close to resort attractions.
The Randall Reserve is dedicated to the preservation of woodlands and wildlife in the valley between Ligonier and Donegal, to the end that current and future generations may continue to experience the natural legacy of this lovely part of the Laurel Highlands. Any wildlife that can survive in this part of the country appears from time to time on our 400+ acres, leaving tracks and signs of their presence. Many varieties of wild flowers, shrubs and trees are to be found here. A network of trails connects all of this together, taking you back to Harris House where you can relax in comfort.
On site the Reserve has fishing and small boating, more than a mile of Four Mile Run (the major creek and trout stream in this area) to explore and enjoy, and miles of trails for hiking and cross country skiing, a game court for family enjoyment, volleyball and badminton, picnics and bonfires. Hay rides (using bales as seats) if trail conditions permit. Furthermore, the Reserve is adjacent to beautiful Donegal Lake, a Pennsylvania public area which offers fishing, kayaking, canoeing and small boating (on a bring-your-own basis).
On Saturdays we schedule one or two enjoyable programs related to our preservation mission, such as: 'Critters of the Creek,' 'A Guided Walk in the Woods,' 'Mountain Man's Upbringing on Chestnut Ridge,' 'What's a Pond Turnover?' etc. Such programs also may be given at other times if requested. Sometimes you may want to join us in work projects underway, such as trail maintenance or firewood gathering, after which we could picnic alongside the creek.
At times you may want to visit some of the famous places in the Laurel Highlands around us: Idlewild Park (voted the #1 amusement park for children in the United States) which has SoakZone and Story Book Forest and many amusements. Seven Springs has skiing, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and many resort activities. Ohiopyle has white-water rafting. Frank Lloyd Wright's 'Fallingwater' is world renowned for its architecture. Flight 93 Memorial will touch your heart. Ligonier, a beautiful little resort town, has Fort Ligonier with its amazing historical reproductions of life in Revolutionary War times.
Or you may want to leave all of that behind to experience 'A Retreat in the Reserve.' Here, in this place, the air and sounds of the forest are so different from those in town that it seems as though you are in an entirely different world, one where you may reach into time and slow it down for a while. As you sit quietly on the Harris House deck, where all the sounds of the bustling world have disappeared and only the call of a bird in the deep forest remains, the deep quiet can help you turn inward and appreciate the wonder of your life. Such experiences refresh as nothing else can. Bring along a book or two and perhaps a tad of wine, and it is hard to imagine a more restful and satisfying vacation.
Harris House first floor features an open floor plan that includes the living room, dining room and kitchen. There's a wood-burning fireplace as well as floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto a large deck overlooking the pond -- thereby allowing you to combine indoor and outdoor living and dining at the same time. (Great for get-togethers!). In addition, our back entrance room contains washer and dryer for your use and a half-bath.
The master bedroom suite has its own wing, a king bed, 1 and 1/2 baths, a private tea-for-two deck, and a small room with WiFi and a single bed.
The 2nd floor has a den with TV, three bedrooms (king, double, two singles), a reading/sleeping nook, and two full bathrooms.
The attached annex over the garage is a multi-purpose room with an emergency single bed, a full bath and a narrow deck that overlooks the pond. Unfortunately it only has an electric heater and cannot be kept open on the winter.
Our yard has a large bonfire pit and a small one, a picnic area, a set-up for soccer and badminton, a games court containing shuffleboard, horse shoes, and basketball hoops. There's a dock and rowboat for the pond. The Four Mile Run (a creek), the predominant trout fishing stream in southern Ligonier Valley, delineates the lower yard and supplies shallow water fun for small children plus exploration and fishing for older children and adults.