Hiking on a Summer Day

If you are looking for a place to hike, one of these trails could be for you.

Image/Graphics by Addison Yatchik

If you are looking for a place to hike, one of these trails could be for you.

Summer vacation is here! There are only a couple of days of school left, so what are your plans for the summer? Some of us are looking for that summer job to pass the time away. Others may be hoping to spend most of their vacation days next to a pool, or maybe you are counting down to that big family vacation that’s approaching. If you are looking for something to do on a cool summer day, I have found five hiking trails that are not too far to spend the day away with family or friends.

The closest hiking trail I found that looks interesting is the Mount Nittany Trail. This is a moderate-difficulty trail that starts over three miles from downtown State College in Lemont. The most challenging part of this trail is that it has a steep climb in the first half-mile of the hike. The rest of the hike is mostly gradually rolling hills. There are a couple of different loops that take you to different overlooks on the mountain.

A popular trail close to home is the Thousand Steps trail located in Huntingdon. The trailhead is located on US 22. This is a hard-difficulty trail that is built into the side of Jack’s Mountain. The trail got its name from the over 1,000 stone steps that were placed into the side of the mountain. The steps on the trail were used by workers to mine rock used by the brickyards. This trail is over three miles long and is a very steep climb. Almost all of the climbing is done on the steps.

The Golden Eagle Trail is a moderate-difficulty trail located near the village of Cammal in Lycoming County. This trail has been called one of the best day-hikes in Pennsylvania because of its scenic views. The nine-mile loop includes waterfalls, splash dams, and quarries in addition to some other historic sights on the way. Depending on the amount of rainfall, you might have to cross some of the trail in shallow water. This is a good hiking trail for someone who is adventurous.

If you are looking for a difficult trail, the Flat Rock Loop Trail may be of interest to you. The trailhead is located near the amphitheater of Colonel Denning State Park. This trail is almost five miles long with a climbing elevation of over 900 feet with rocks and loose gravel. The trail ends at the top of Blue Mountain In Tuscarora State Forest. The Flat Rock Loop Trail is located near Newville, which is a little over two hours’ drive from here.

The fifth trail on my list is a moderate-difficulty trail located near Boiling Springs. The White Rocks Trail is almost three miles in length with about 500 feet of climbing elevation. About halfway through the hike, the trail joins the Appalachian National Scenic Trail at Center Point Knob. Throughout the trail, you will encounter a large number of rocks with several steep sections.

Overall, I think that these five trails would make for a good adventure for anyone who is looking for a fun summer activity.