Hiking State College Pennsylvania


Check out some the best trails in the State College, PA area.

    • Alan Seeger Natural Area – your feet will certainly get wet in the spring and after a soaking rain, but this is a beautiful hike. Catch the rhododendrons in bloom for a truly surreal walk in the woods. Best in springtime, but not bad year-round. In the winter, the snow gets rather deep.
    • Bald Mountain (Mid State Trail) – a bit out of the way, but this hike offers some nice views and some solitude. As more and more trails get crowded, this is a nice way to get away from it all. The intersection of three counties is marked on a pile of rocks.
    • Ironstone Loop – Indian Steps – not too crowded, this all-day boot buster has a great variety of terrain, views and a miniature canyon with a creek. It’s a great hike for the experienced hiker–prepare for wet feet, though. In the spring, there aren’t so many bugs and the water level is nice. In the summer, it’s a long one. In the winter, best not to try the whole thing.
    • Jackson Trail – great first hike. Short hike, but nice vistas and easy access. Good example of ridge hiking in Pennsylvania and perfect for the springtime if you don’t want to get your feet wet or any other time of the year. Good for sunsets, too!
    • Jackson and Skyline Trails – longer version of above, with great view of Mt. Nittany, streams in Shingletown Gap. This will take the better part of a day.
    • James Cleveland Trail – the “other Mount Nittany”. This hike takes you up Mount Nittany about 10-15 miles east of Happy Valley, and it offers some nice views along with a memorial to its namesake, airmail pilot James “Jimmy” Cleveland, who died in a plane crash on the ridge.
    • Mount Nittany – the ‘must hike’ mountain. Year-round easy access and very popular. Best view of Happy Valley, but a bit crowded sometimes, especially at sunset or on football weekends.
    • MST – Indian Wells and Bear Meadows Overlook – best ridge hike and vista in the area. Rivals best hikes anywhere on the East Coast. Camping available, with views of Bear Meadows Natural Area and Native American history. This is a great hike that’s best in the spring or fall but good any time of the year.
  • Best hikes if you . . .
    • Want to see the fall colors—Indian Wells, Shingletown Gap, Jackson and Skyline
    • Enjoy marshes, wetlands and wet feet—Shingletown Gap, Bear Meadows, Alan Seeger Natural Area
    • Like to meet people—Mt. Nittany, Alan Seegar Natural Area, Shingletown Gap
    • Want something more challenging—Ironstone Loop, MST Indian Wells
    • Love to climb—Mt. Nittany, MST Indian Wells
    • Like rocks—Ironstone Loop, Jackson Trail, MST Indian Wells
    • Want to hike in the winter—Jackson Trail, Mount Nittany
    • Enjoy solitude—Jimmy Cleveland Trail, Bald Mountain
    • Like to watch the sunset with some privacy—Jackson Trail
    • Like to watch the sunset with some company—Mount Nittany

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