EXPLORING OUR OUTDOORS: The Mid State Trail

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 Roosevelt, Poe Valley and Poe Paddy state parks, along with the Alan Seeger and Detweiler Run natural areas, meaning access is a breeze. Additionally, there are a variety of side and connector trails, meaning planning shorter loops is an easy task.

This is also a great trail to complete in sections, considering Centre County’s proximity to the center of the trail. In just two hours you can reach the southern or northern terminus, opening up some great hiking options not far from home.

The Mid State Trail is a Pennsylvania classic, showcasing some of the best of the Keystone State. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just a casual nature lover, the trail offers something for everyone.

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