The next time you are there vacationing, traveling on business, or visiting as part of an event, you’ll likely meet two of the people who make The Nature Inn such an unparalleled destination: sisters Kashia Quay and Lexie Hosterman. Find out what they say makes Centre County so special, why the Nature Inn is a can’t-miss destination in Happy Valley, and what to do on your next visit.
The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle has been voted the #1 Eco-Lodge in the nation by readers of USA Today. The inn offers sweeping lake views and modern accommodations and amenities, all within the natural setting of Bald Eagle State Park — and all in an energy efficient, environmental, and socially responsible way. The next time you are there vacationing, traveling on business, or visiting as part of an event, you’ll likely meet two of the people who make The Nature Inn such an unparalleled destination: sisters Kashia Quay and Lexie Hosterman. We chatted with them about what makes Centre County so special, why the Nature Inn is a can’t-miss destination in Happy Valley, and what to do on your next visit. Read on!
HVAB: Can you tell us about yourselves and what you do at The Nature Inn?
Kashia: I’m the Operations Manager at the inn and oversee the day-to-day operations at the inn. Lexie is ten years younger than me, and she works in Guest Services at the inn.
She’s currently at Penn State, studying in the Supply Chain and Information Systems program through Smeal College of Business. She helps with customer engagement, blog management and marketing as well. She even has a fun vlog series on our Facebook called “Nature Inn the Eyes of Lexie” that guests love.
HVAB: What brought the two of you to Happy Valley?
Lexie: We were actually born and raised in the Happy Valley area!
HVAB: What has kept you here (or brought you back)?
Kashia: During college, I started working at The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle, where I have grown in my professional career significantly over the past 5 years. I enjoy living in Happy Valley because of the variety of recreational opportunities available. I enjoy hiking Rothrock, Mt. Nittany and other nearby spots with my fiance and our two dogs. We also kayak Spring Creek, Bald Eagle Creek and F.J. Sayers Lake at Bald Eagle State Park.
Lexie: I have lived here my whole life and am now attending Penn State University and working at the Nature Inn. It is a wonderful area with a great college, so it was an easy decision for me to stay in Happy Valley.
HVAB: How does Nature Inn at Bald Eagle benefit Happy Valley?
Kashia: We host guests throughout the year and encourage them to explore the local area for dining, attractions and events during their stay.
We also have a really popular equipment loaner program that provides seasonal recreational offerings for both our guests and the public. We partner with Bald Eagle State Park to offer winter snowshoe and cross country skiing equipment for people to use to explore Bald Eagle State Park in the snow.
Lexie: It brings visitors to Happy Valley and encourages guests to get out and explore the area. We point them in the direction of some of our favorite spots in the area and love it when they come back and tell us what a great experience they had. We also partner with a handful of local businesses that we think highly of and create more business for them. Our visitors are pleasantly surprised when they see what Happy Valley has to offer.
HVAB: What is your favorite thing about Centre County?
Kashia: My favorite thing about Centre County is the endless options that we have here to explore nature.
Lexie: My favorite thing about this area is the beauty. There are so many spots to get out and explore and the views never disappoint. I have lived here for twenty years and to this day I still find new spots that amaze me.
HVAB: In your opinion, what makes the place so special?
Kashia: There is so much diversity in terms of people, dining, events, attractions and recreational activities. There is always something to do and so much to explore.
Lexie: I think the community in Centre County is very special. The people that live here love the area and the people in their community. They also love welcoming people to Centre County. Centre County has a friendly community that is eager to help others.
HVAB: What’s one off-the-beaten path you love about Happy Valley?
Kashia: Rothrock State Forest is my favorite off-the-beaten-path place in Happy Valley to explore. There are so many unique hikes and cool spots to see there.
Lexie: One day I was exploring and decided to drive around until I got to an area I wasn't familiar with. I ended up in this grassy area surrounded by trees. When I looked over the trees I could see Beaver Stadium. I stayed there and had a picnic while the sun was setting. It was quiet and calm. It was one of my favorite experiences, and I now drive around in search of new lookout spots to enjoy a picnic and a view.
HVAB: What’s something every visitor should see (or eat, or experience) while they are here?
Kashia: Everyone should hike Mount Nittany at least once. It's a challenging hike, but the views at the top are completely worth it. I recommend it to guests at the inn when they are looking for a good vista hike in the area.
Lexie: I think every person that visits Happy Valley should visit Penn State Berkey Creamery and try their delicious ice cream. The creamery has my favorite ice cream and they have so many flavors, you can't go wrong.
This article is part of our ‘Live, Work, Play in Happy Valley’ series. Each month, we will be sitting down with people from around Centre County to talk to them about what they love about Happy Valley and their tips for exploring the area.