Last One to the Top Wins: Musings of a Slow, Asthmatic Hiker

Last One to the Top Wins: Musings of a Slow, Asthmatic Hiker

July 26, 2021

The novelty and adrenaline of running my first major race unfolded before me and I suddenly realized that, in many ways, I was getting a lot more out of this than they were.

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A Monongahela National Forest West Virginia Dream Hike

A Monongahela National Forest West Virginia Dream Hike

July 02, 2021

The adventure began at the Congdon Run Trailhead in the Otter Creek Wilderness at FS 303 with a friendly shuttle and equipped with the Purple Lizard Maps the shuttler recommended for navigation. The day was overcast, but no rain, as the duo plodded along the trail with Steve relating many memories of hiking with the youth group long ago. Otter Creek at this point wandered among green grasses in a tranquil manner, and the first river crossing could be negotiated with crocs. A connoisseur of maps, Steve diligently studied the Otter Creek version of the map, remarking on some of the whimsical quotes scattered within the map such as “Rivers know this: There is no hurry, we shall get there some day.” Winnie the Pooh.

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Mom’s Camping 101

Mom’s Camping 101

June 25, 2021

If you are starting from scratch and need gear, don’t fall for the myth that you need a ton of specialized gear to have a great time enjoying the outdoors. Most of what you need is already in your home. Think about what you need to keep your children happy at home and ask yourself if they will need it when you camp. No need to pack up your entire kitchen, or break the bank on specialized equipment.

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Loyalsock Trail - Finding Trust

Loyalsock Trail - Finding Trust

June 18, 2021

I held my breath with each up and down, stopping every so often to let out some tears. The creek was rushing and beautiful this morning. The sun was bright, the sky was clear, and the temperature was perfect. Approaching the finish, I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. Before the last climb, I took one more glance at the water and smelled the pine that surrounded me. I will always belong out here. The forest took care of me this week, I will forever be thankful.

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The Best Adventures Start with the Best Map: 15 Ways to Squeeze Every last drop of adventure from your Lizard Map

The Best Adventures Start with the Best Map: 15 Ways to Squeeze Every last drop of adventure from your Lizard Map

June 11, 2021

Are you an outdoor enthusiast or just looking forward to some more camping, hiking, cycling, paddling or driving adventures in the Mid-Atlantic in 2021? Check out these 15 ways to squeeze every last drop of adventure from your Purple Lizard Maps - your key to planning and enjoying fantastic outdoor adventures.

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Let the blooms begin! Wildflower season has begun in the Mid-Atlantic

Let the blooms begin! Wildflower season has begun in the Mid-Atlantic

May 20, 2021

This symphony of floral blooms begins in May and continues throughout the summer with blooms of all shapes, sizes and colors. Some flowers are fleeting and others last much longer, but spring, with its sudden explosion of flowers is the perfect time to notice these wonderful little adventure companions.

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Cycling into the Future – So Many Bikes So Little Time

Cycling into the Future – So Many Bikes So Little Time

May 05, 2021

Whether you are a seasoned rider looking for new adventures or just dusted off your old mountain bike and and are looking to find some trails for the first time, you might consider experimenting with new ways to explore on two wheels this season.  If so, this blog is for you.

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Plan An Adventure In Quebec Run Wild Area, Pennsylvania

Plan An Adventure In Quebec Run Wild Area, Pennsylvania

April 30, 2021

Quebec Run Wild Area is an exceptional spot to recreate in southwestern Pennsylvania. Mountain bikers, hikers, backpackers, and trail runners will all love this destination.

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Blueberry Trail: Family Adventure at Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area

Blueberry Trail: Family Adventure at Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area

April 27, 2021

There are so many family friendly hikes and places to explore in Moshannon/Quehanna! One our our favorite is Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area. This short walk is a wonderful opportunity for young minds to explore and experience rare plant and bird species on the Allegheny Plateau.

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FKT on the SST with Keith Querry

FKT on the SST with Keith Querry

April 22, 2021

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Spring Adventure in Quehanna Wild Area, PA: Mosquito Creek Trail Loop

Spring Adventure in Quehanna Wild Area, PA: Mosquito Creek Trail Loop

April 21, 2021

Adventurers looking for a one or two day hike in Quehanna Area won’t be disappointed by this loop! It is relatively flat which makes for easy hiking, with fantastic vistas and beautiful stream along the way.

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Sheepskin Trail and Other Great Local Paths in Uniontown, PA

Sheepskin Trail and Other Great Local Paths in Uniontown, PA

April 10, 2021

Uniontown Pennsylvania and a few surrounding municipalities having been working hard to design and implement hiking and biking paths throughout the area. Their efforts are paying off, as we learned when we visited this area to create our Ohiopyle-Laurel Highlands Lizard Map.

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Trip Report: Spring In Pine Creek Pennsylvania

Trip Report: Spring In Pine Creek Pennsylvania

April 07, 2021

Having the Purple Lizard Map of Pine Creek really did allow us to plan and make our own adventure in Pine Creek. Even though we only had three days and got to explore a small portion of what Pine Creek has to offer.

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Rediscovering A Forgotten Trail Loop in Pine Creek Gorge, PA

Rediscovering A Forgotten Trail Loop in Pine Creek Gorge, PA

April 05, 2021

Years ago, local trail legend Bob Webber would lead a rambling hike along official and unofficial trails throughout the forest near Algerine Wild Area and Slate Run, PA.   One of these trails, which helps to create a loop hike from Slate Run, PA yet had been seemingly forgotten, helps hikers to avoid a mile or so road walk to complete a 15-mile hiking loop. Recently a local trail running group, PA Trail Dogs, found this trail again and have recently been re-opening the trail for a trail challenge. Follow along below for an exciting breakdown of this 25k route, which is an ideal adventure for hikers, backpackers, and trail runners alike.

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Spring Hunting Season in PA: How To Safely Enjoy Public Land

Spring Hunting Season in PA: How To Safely Enjoy Public Land

March 31, 2021

After a long, dark, and cold winter, outdoor enthusiasts are eager to get outside and adventure in the woods of Pennsylvania. Many folks eagerly await the opening of spring turkey gobbler season. It's a good idea to assume hunters will be sharing the woods with you while you are engaged in your outdoor adventures from pre-dawn to post-dusk Monday through Saturday. Everyone has the right to enjoy the woods safely, and there are some basic rules for risk mitigation during the spring hunting season that should be respected. 

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Wolf Run Wild Area: Off-Trail Hiking In Pine Creek Gorge, PA

Wolf Run Wild Area: Off-Trail Hiking In Pine Creek Gorge, PA

March 27, 2021

Pine Creek Valley boasts hundreds of miles of trails for hikers of all ability levels. Not every trail is created equal though. A good amount of trails are maintained annually by PA DCNR foresters, and many more trails are maintained on a regular basis by a slew of individual and group based volunteers. But some trails throughout this region, a few more trails then you may first guess, are seemingly forgotten. Although these trails are forgotten by many, they are not forgotten by all. Follow along with us as we re-discover more old trails near Slate Run, PA!

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How to Read A Purple Lizard Map: AKA How to Plan the Best Adventures

How to Read A Purple Lizard Map: AKA How to Plan the Best Adventures

March 24, 2021

So you have one, or maybe 12 Purple Lizard Maps and already know they are the best outdoor recreation maps around. But how do you squeeze every last drop of adventure out of them? Read on and become a master of adventuring with your Purple Lizard Maps.

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Planning Mid-Atlantic Spring Outdoor Adventure in 2021

Planning Mid-Atlantic Spring Outdoor Adventure in 2021

March 19, 2021

Throughout the winter, the thousands of miles of state forest gravel roads are often inaccessible in the Mid-Atlantic Region.  As spring thaw unfolds, outdoor adventurers of any speed can once again dive deeper into the forest to explore. Start planning your spring outdoor adventures with these tips today. Adventure is for Everybody!

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Take A Walk On The Mid State Trail in Rothrock State Forest, PA

Take A Walk On The Mid State Trail in Rothrock State Forest, PA

March 18, 2021

The Mid State Trail (MST) is a long distance backpacking trail, which extends over 500 Kilometers (around 320 miles) from the southern border of Pennsylvania, through the heart of the ridge and valley region, to the northern border of Pennsylvania. Approximately 45 miles of the MST cut through Rothrock Forest. The blog below will highlight a long, dry linear stretch of the MST, which is lined with excellent vistas from near Huntingdon to Pine Grove Mills. Follow along as we lead you on a hike of the MST in Rothrock State Forest! 

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Kentuck Campground: Camping, Recreating, and Relaxing In Ohiopyle State Park, PA

Kentuck Campground: Camping, Recreating, and Relaxing In Ohiopyle State Park, PA

March 01, 2021

Ohiopyle State Park is well-known for its waterfalls, tourist facilities, and day-use activities. But there seems be be less attention given to the great camping opportunities at the park. Cue the Purple Lizard Department of Adventure to swoop in to fill the void. Follow below as we present a quick teaser of just a handful of less popular, yet maybe more rewarding, options that you can experience this year when you visit Ohiopyle State Park.

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Fat Snow Biking - Winter Adventure on Wheels

Fat Snow Biking - Winter Adventure on Wheels

February 03, 2021

Whether exploring forest roads, crushing bike-friendly trails or cruising down the neighborhood lane, fat biking in the winter is a great way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors.

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New Perspectives on an Old Trail

New Perspectives on an Old Trail

February 03, 2021

There are so many great reasons to explore new places, but there are likely equal reasons to visit a familiar spot in a new season.

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An ode to my favorite map

An ode to my favorite map

January 20, 2021

While I don’t necessarily remember the first time I picked up and actually used a map, I do know that I rely on maps regularly. There are too many places with unreliable cell reception to think our digital resources can guide us, unwaveringly. But, with a map in hand and a few other necessary supplies, we can be unstoppable. 

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Mid Winter Slump: Tips for Staying Motivated as Winter Trudges On

Mid Winter Slump: Tips for Staying Motivated as Winter Trudges On

January 13, 2021

This is a hey, winter ain’t so bad story. Not so sure? Keep reading.

Winter changes the landscape and can change our outdoor experiences. It takes a familiar trail and transforms it into a new experience. But I also understand that this time of year, after enduring a couple months of overcast skies and damp, chill-you-to-the-bone, below-freezing temps can really start to wear on a person.

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Take A Hike: 5 Simple Steps To Enjoy A Walk In The Woods & Keep It Safe During the Pandemic

Take A Hike: 5 Simple Steps To Enjoy A Walk In The Woods & Keep It Safe During the Pandemic

December 31, 2020

This has been a stressful time. As the worldwide pandemic continues and the country faces old challenges and new, throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and throughout the country more and more folks are discovering or re-discovering the gift of hiking on public land.  Whether you are a beginner hiker, or getting back out there for the first time in a while, this guide will give you some simple steps to enjoying hiking safely during the pandemic and any time.One of the great benefits of hiking during the pandemic is that when you find the right place to go, it can be easily done with proper social distancing.  

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Finding Sanity - On Two Wheels

Finding Sanity - On Two Wheels

December 29, 2020

Our family and friends found sanity from the pandemic on our bikes, from buttery singletrack to family-friendly Rail Trails to snowy forest roads. Here are some of our favorite sanity-inducing locales this year...

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Going into the Pennsylvania Woods: A Photo Essay

Going into the Pennsylvania Woods: A Photo Essay

December 26, 2020

Winter explorations are a special experience in this place. The air is fresh and crisp, the forest floor and river banks crunch underfoot in a new and different way and the reliable stillness is a welcome contrast to our wild, uncertain days. 

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Winter Hiking with Kids - Tips and Tricks

Winter Hiking with Kids - Tips and Tricks

December 09, 2020

We’ve all been there before: You got a late start, the kids fell asleep in the car, lunches are somehow insufficient and the kids are still hungry, and now you’re in the middle of the weather you planned to miss by leaving early. It happens to the best of us!

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Gifting Adventure

Gifting Adventure

December 01, 2020

The holiday season is upon us and as this global pandemic trudges on, what better way to celebrate the season than with social distancing-ready gear? This year, give your friends and family the things they really need: the tools to take them on adventures...far from everyone else! While it’s hard to choose from all the rad gear in the Purple Lizard shop, here are a few of our top favs!

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Chasing Lizards: How to Plan a Spontaneous Family Outing

Chasing Lizards: How to Plan a Spontaneous Family Outing

November 25, 2020

Every trip has its ups and downs, no matter how much planning you put into it, so why not take advantage of an unexpected opportunity to get outside with your kiddos! No matter what lizard they choose, there will always be lessons learned and memories made.

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Go Explore Loyalsock State Forest in Pennsylvania

Go Explore Loyalsock State Forest in Pennsylvania

September 18, 2020

Loyalsock State Forest, located in the heart of Penns Woods, has just about everything that an outdoors lover could want. Waterfalls, vistas, trails, forest roads, swimming holes, historical relics, camping sites; this forest has it all!

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Old Loggers Path: One of the Finest Backpacking Loops in Pennsylvania

Old Loggers Path: One of the Finest Backpacking Loops in Pennsylvania

August 06, 2020

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Paddling Pine Creek Pennsylvania

Paddling Pine Creek Pennsylvania

June 05, 2020

Pine Creek Pennsylvania offers a paddling experience you won't forget. The creek winds through Pine Creek Gorge, the famous "Grand Canyon of PA", a beautiful weaving stretch of water which cuts deeply through the Allegheny Mountains in North Central PA as it heads south toward the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.

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Camp Michaux and Sunset Rocks: History, Vistas and More in Michaux Forest, PA

Camp Michaux and Sunset Rocks: History, Vistas and More in Michaux Forest, PA

February 17, 2020

Follow along with the Department of Adventure on a 3-mile journey to explore history, the Appalachian Trail, and beautiful vistas of Michaux State Forest. The adventure begins at the parking area at the intersection of Bunk Hill Road and Michaux Road, northwest of Pine Grove Furnace State Park.

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Rincón, Puerto Rico – Caribbean Romance Awaits

Rincón, Puerto Rico – Caribbean Romance Awaits

February 04, 2020

Rincón Puerto Rico is the perfect romantic getaway!  Just enough off the beaten path with everything you and your lover need to make memories to last a lifetime.  Beaches, sunsets, romantic dinners, and all the adventure options you desire.

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Traversing Ridges and Valleys in Rothrock State Forest, PA

Traversing Ridges and Valleys in Rothrock State Forest, PA

January 10, 2020

With over 300 miles of non-motorized trails, tons of gravel and dirt roads, and 24/7 access, Rothrock State Forest is a true gem for year-round outdoor recreation near State College, PA. Although the forest roads are not maintained in winter, a few parking lots along the perimeter of the forest provide ample access in almost any conditions. Below, we've chosen a few of our favorite very difficult trail loops accessible in the winter from one of these parking areas. The following loops are best for those who enjoy challenging, steep, and rocky climbs and descents.

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