The City of Altoona is located in central Blair County and is bordered almost entirely by Logan Township. The city also borders Allegheny Township to the south. It contains approximately 9.8 square miles of land and has a population of 46,000. As the county’s only city, is has the highest population density in Blair County and is highly urbanized. The city is accessible by I-99, which traces the eastern side of the city before passing through its southern half.
Altoona is located within two watersheds: the northern half of the city is part of the Little Juniata River watershed, which flows north to the Little Juniata River. The southern half of the city is located within the Beaverdam Branch watershed, which flows south to the Frankstown Branch of the Juniata River. Altoona is situated at the base of the Allegheny Plateau in a valley between Brush Mountain to the east and Wopsononock Mountain to the west.
There are many options for outdoor recreation in and around Altoona. Some recreational opportunities include canoeing, kayaking, and fishing on various streams and rivers, some of which offer world class fishing. Hunting on an abundance of State Game Lands is also available. Other outdoor opportunities include numerous public parks managed by the Central Blair Recreation Commission, golf courses, as well as the Lower Trail, one of three trails of the “Rails-to-Trails” in Blair County, which runs nearly 17 miles from Canoe Creek State Park to Huntingdon County is one of the many trails in the area used for biking, hiking, and cross-country skiing. The city is home to multiple historic landmarks, such as the Railroaders Memorial Museum and Horseshoe Curve. These attractions reflect the city’s origins as a railroad town. It is also home to Penn State Altoona, which enrolls approximately 4,000 students, and the Altoona Curve baseball team, an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.