Exploring Our Outdoors

Hiking in State College - Musser Gap

There are many great hikes and trails throughout Centre County and one that should not be missed is Musser Gap! It's a gateway to the Rothrock State Forest and you'll easily find the trailhead just off of Rt 45 (Shingletown Road) where you will also find a large parking lot as it's a pretty popular place to enjoy the outdoors in State College. 

The trail begins as a wide, well-traveled route with a barely perceivable ascent and it is absolutely beautiful in all 4 seasons. As you go further along Musser Gap trail and through the forest, you'll find there are several trails you can take. My favorite is the Frog Hollow Trail which leads to the Lions Valley Vista. That point provides an extraordinary view of Happy Valley (particularly in the winter when the trees are bare). The entire property consists of 423 acres with streams and a picturesque bridge crossing the water. Whether you are an experienced hiker or just giving it a try for the first time, you'll find beauty and enjoyable,...

Ski Swap at Tussey Mountain

Winter Sports Consignment Sale at Tussey Mountain a.k.a. The Tussey Mountain Ski Swap Sale!

If you are interested in buying or selling used equipment for skiiing or snowboarding, this event is for you! (This is a consignment sale so Tussey Mountain retains 25% of the sale amount and the Seller keeps the rest.) Sellers can bring equipment to Tussey Mountain starting Monday, Oct. 23rd and they note that no equipment should be more than 10 years old. Also, note that simultaneously with the consignment sale, Tussey's own Ski Shop will be open for new equipement and also selling previous year closeouts.  The event is free admistion and the doors will open on Friday, Nove 3rd at 5:30.  If it's like previous years, there's a line to get in so you may want to arrive a little early. I recall my son getting some good deals at this used sale!  Call Tussey at 814-466-6266 for more details. 


Warren Miller's ALL TIME

Hear ye, hear ye...  The State Theatre in State College, will be showing Warren Miller's ALL TIME on Saturday, November 4th at 7pm.  What a cool way to get pysched for the start of winter sports (and I remember my son loving this event)! We're fortunate that here in State College, we have a vibrant ski community that centers around our  beautiful Tussey Mountain. TMART (Tussey Mountain Alpine Racing Team), founded in 1984, has helped many youth athletes become exceptional skiers! It's a passion for the staff to develop these skiers and to watch them grow in their love of the sport and in their skill simultaneously. 


Poe Valley & Poe Paddy State Park

Poe Valley & Poe Paddy State Park

If you are looking for an adventure close to State College Poe Valley & Poe Paddy State Park are a must add to your list!

From Potters Mills, go east on US 322 for 1.5 Miles to near the top of Seven Mountains Scenic Area, then follow marked state forest roads for 10 miles to Poe Valley. Follow the signs after arriving at Poe Valley to connect you to the road to get to Poe Paddy which is about 4 Miles from Poe Valley.

Be sure to follow directions on signs or prepare ahead of time as there is no service to load a GPS or no cell phone reception once you get back the dirt roads.

The drive out to the Parks feels like you are riding off the beaten path; following dirt roads surrounded by trees and nature. 

Poe Valley is a 620-Acre PA State Park in Penn Township, Centre County. The park is surrounded by Bald Eagle State Forest....

Exploring our Outdoors | Millbrook Marsh Nature Center

This 62-Acre Nature Preserve  is home to a variety of mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, hundreds of bird species, and a diverse plant population.

Located in State College, PA at 548 Puddintown Road you will escape into the wonders of Nature that take place at this setting. There is a beautiful pollinator garden with a variety of flowers and plants. Also enjoy the mutiple different wildlife there is to see including fish, mammals & a large variety of Bird Species. 

The grounds are open daily- Dusk to Dawn. This Nature center is rated one of the top things to do in State College! There is a large parking area so it is easy for you to obatin access into the nature center.

There is a barn that can be rented out for activites along with being able to rent out the entire Nature Center grounds for a wedding or event! The staff is friendly to work with and make...

Exploring Our Outdoors: Spring Creek Park

Rising in the mountains near Penn State, Spring Creek has been named one of the finest wild trout stream in Pennsylvania.

Whether you are looking for a Park to take children to, go on a hike for the weekend, bike riding, or of course fishing, Spring Creek is a beautiful spot that you must stop at if you are in the State College Area.
Spring Creek Park offers outdoor recreation and nature preservation. A public space open to the general public. The park offers open spaces under the maintenance of State College Parks Department.
The park offers a playground with a sandbox area, 3 picnic pavilions, 2 sand volleyball courts, 4 tennis courts, walking paths, adult softball field, adult baseball field, 2 basketball courts, fitness unit, very cool covered bridge, fishing, restroom building (seasonal), drinking...


Whether you’re looking for an overnight excursion or simply a short day-hike, the Mid State Trail should be at the top of your list.

Known as the “wildest footpath in Pennsylvania,” the 320-plus mile trail runs just south of State College on its route from the Maryland to the New York border. It covers diverse topography and is located mostly on public land, including the nearby Rothrock and Bald Eagle state forests.

The State College section of the trail is the most popular, but you’ll still find serenity in abundance. Our local section is known for its beautiful views and a monument near Little Flat Fire Tower that was erected to commemorate the trail’s birthplace. Founded by Professor Tom Thwaites of the Penn State Outing Club in 1969, the trail holds a special place in the heart of Penn Staters and Pennsylvanians alike.

The trail passes through or near Penn...

EXPLORING OUR OUTDOORS: The Standing Stone Trail

Surrounded by multiple state forests and parks, Centre County outdoors lovers have a lot to be thankful for. Hikers especially have an abundance of options to enjoy— one of them being the 80-mile Standing Stone Trail (SST), which runs south of State College and Penn State University.

Initially built as the Link Trail to connect the Mid State and Tuscarora trails, the SST received its current name in 2007. It’s also part of the Great Eastern Trail — America’s newest long-distance trail that spans from Alabama to New York.

Running along the ridge and valley section of the northern Appalachian Mountains, the SST features many views and unique cultural attractions. The most popular section of trail, by far, is the Thousand Steps hike, just south of Huntingdon.


Exploring Our Outdoors: Rothrock State Forest

Outdoor activities are plentiful in the region, thanks in part to public land like Rothrock State Forest.

Located just minutes from State College and Penn State University, this 215,000-acre tract of mountainous terrain in Centre, Mifflin and Huntingdon counties offers hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing and much more.

Founded in the early 20th century by neighboring Mifflin County native Dr. Joseph Rothrock, the forest was initially barren due to excessive logging and resource extraction. Concerned that the barren ridges would not regrow without proper management, Rothrock took action in 1895 when he was appointed the first commissioner of what’s today known as the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. This was the beginning of Pennsylvania’s...

Exploring Our Outdoors: Black Moshannon State Park

When you’re feeling the need to get out of town and explore the outdoors, consider Black Moshannon State Park.

Located less than 25 minutes from State College and Penn State, and 15 minutes from Philipsburg, the park was built around its namesake lake – Black Moshannon Lake, formed by a dam on the Black Moshannon Creek. Home of the largest reconstituted bog/wetland complex in the state, there’s plenty of water-related activities here, along with great hiking trails and wildlife habitat to explore. 

Open year-round, this 3,481-acre park has something for everyone. One of the best times to visit is during the summer, when warmer temperatures allow for swimming in the lake. Feel free to stretch out on the sandy beach and take in the fresh mountain air! Kids will love this alternative to their local community pool. 

If you feel like...