Blueberry Trail: Family Adventure at Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area

Blueberry Trail: Family Adventure at Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area

August 17, 2019

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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Exploring Quehanna Highway: Hoover Farm Viewing Area

Exploring Quehanna Highway: Hoover Farm Viewing Area

August 17, 2019

The Hoover Farm Viewing Area has something for everyone interested in exploring Quehanna. Visitors love this destination because it is a great place to experience the wild beauty of Quehanna, spend some time in hopes of seeing, photographing, or hearing elk and other wildlife, and just getting away from the hustle of everyday life.

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Seeking Purple Lizards At Smoke Hole, Seneca Rocks, and Spruce Knob, WV

Seeking Purple Lizards At Smoke Hole, Seneca Rocks, and Spruce Knob, WV

August 16, 2019

The Department of Adventure goes out to locate and map the most fun and unique locations surrounding Smoke Hole, Seneca Rocks, and Spruce Knob, West Virginia.

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Take A Hike: 5 Steps To Enjoy A Walk In The Woods

Take A Hike: 5 Steps To Enjoy A Walk In The Woods

August 16, 2019

Never been a hiker but ready to give it a try, or haven't been in the woods in decades but want to get back out there?  Or maybe you have some friends new to hiking?  This guide serves as a reminder that hitting the trails can be easy with just a little bit of planning.

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How to Read A Purple Lizard Map

How to Read A Purple Lizard Map

August 16, 2019

So you have one, or maybe ten Purple Lizard Maps. But how do you read them in order to make your own adventure? We've listed some quick hints below, to help you on your way to a successful adventure with your Lizard Map!

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Finding Fall Backpacking Adventure in Pine Creek, PA

Finding Fall Backpacking Adventure in Pine Creek, PA

August 14, 2019

Ready to enjoy a late season 3-day backpacking trip? Purple Lizard's Trail Guru Dave Gantz and Lizard Blog Contributor Emily Newman hiked a portion of the West Rim Trail and offer this blog to help inspire you on our own fall adventures!

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Rockton Mountain Trails: Four Season Adventures in Moshannon, PA

Rockton Mountain Trails: Four Season Adventures in Moshannon, PA

August 14, 2019

Rockton Mountain Trails is a great trail system designed for bicycling, hiking, running, and cross-country skiing in the southwestern corner of Moshannon State Forest. Three looped trails are open to cycling, totaling over 12 miles of trails. Two more loops with an additional 10+ miles are designated as cross-country skiing and hiking only.

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Gravel Grinding Adventures: Parker Dam State Park, Pennsylvania

Gravel Grinding Adventures: Parker Dam State Park, Pennsylvania

August 14, 2019

Located just 8 miles from Route 80 exit 111, Parker Dam State Park is your gateway to hundreds of miles of gravel forest roads throughout Moshannon State Forest! Resting atop the Allegheny Plateau, this large state forest provides cyclists with the opportunity to roll along flat, easy roads, or to descend and climb steep gravel grades along cool water drainages.

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Rail Trail Fun: The Lower Trail Near Altoona, PA

Rail Trail Fun: The Lower Trail Near Altoona, PA

August 13, 2019

Lower Trail is a 17-mile rail trail passage, which includes benches, covered pavilions, picnic areas, and historic signs for users to relax and enjoy the history of this area. Multiple bridges along the trail add to the adventure! Follow along as we describe this four-season public use trail!

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Six Mile Run North: Another Great Day In Moshannon State Forest, PA

Six Mile Run North: Another Great Day In Moshannon State Forest, PA

August 13, 2019

This fun and beautiful hike in Moshannon State Forest consists of a 3-mile walk on a tough trail alongside the stream, followed by a gentle 3-mile hike back to the car on a gravel forest road. Trail runners will love this loop for the challenging beginning and the mellow ending!

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Prime Time For Elk: PA Elk Scenic Drive and A Quehanna Wild Area Adventure

Prime Time For Elk: PA Elk Scenic Drive and A Quehanna Wild Area Adventure

August 13, 2019

Elk are truly majestic animals, and they're really big! Cows weigh about 500 lbs and Bulls can weigh up to 700 lbs. Since elk populations move frequently, the best ways to find elk are to drive or hike throughout their range. Purple Lizard's newest map, Moshannon-Quehanna, highlights hundreds of miles of roads and trails in the heart of elk country.

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White Mountain Ridge Trail: A Hiking Adventure in Bald Eagle State Forest, PA

White Mountain Ridge Trail: A Hiking Adventure in Bald Eagle State Forest, PA

July 31, 2019

Explore this fantastic forest on the White Mountain Ridge Trail within Penns Creek Wild Area. This Wild Area along Penns Creek is in the heart of Bald Eagle State Forest. Because this loop covers a lot of road time, it can also be done as a car or bicycle shuttle option. The bicycle option should be used for the road miles (White Mountain Ridge Trail is shared-use, but it's very rough going on a bicycle). The road sections are remote, and as such you may very well hike along them and never see a car!

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Rock Run Trail System: Trail Running Near Black Moshannon State Park, PA

Rock Run Trail System: Trail Running Near Black Moshannon State Park, PA

July 31, 2019

This trail system is a mix of small rocky tread, soft dirt tread, and bumpy old railroad grades. The trailhead lies on the top of the Allegheny Plateau, and so it is perfect for trail running! You will need to keep your eyes focused on the trail, but sights of plenty of wild plants along the trail such as trillium, mayflower, and ferns will keep your mind occupied. This is a beautiful, but remote trail, so you may want to run with a friend or group. If you're looking for some runnable yet adventurous terrain, these 8 or 13 mile loops are perfect. Beginners can enjoy this area too!

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Exploring the Northern Frontier of Bald Eagle State Forest: Millheim to Mile Run, PA

Exploring the Northern Frontier of Bald Eagle State Forest: Millheim to Mile Run, PA

July 31, 2019

Purple Lizard takes you on a drive through the backroads of Bald Eagle State Forest, one of the most remote forests in Pennsylvania.

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10-mile Gentle Hiking Loop in Prime Elk Habitat: Quehanna Wild Area, PA

10-mile Gentle Hiking Loop in Prime Elk Habitat: Quehanna Wild Area, PA

July 31, 2019

Follow along with us on a gentle, but remote 10-mile hike through prime elk habitat in Central PA. Besides a section of State Game Lands, this lovely loop is completely within the nearly 50,000 acre Quehanna Wild Area. This is the largest Wild Area in Pennsylvania, and is home to all of the best wildlife that PA has to offer: bear, deer, elk, bobcat, coyote, rattlesnakes, fishers and more. The two short climbs on this loop only gain about 100 feet of elevation and the classic Central PA rocks are non-existent.

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Choose Your Own Adventure with Lizard Adventure Lists

Choose Your Own Adventure with Lizard Adventure Lists

July 31, 2019

Lizard Adventure Lists are a great tool for diving deep into your Lizard Map: include brief descriptions of the trails organized in three sections: Trails, Special Designated Areas & Destinations, and State Parks, to help you explore all your Lizard Maps have to offer!

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42 Miles in 24 Hours: Getting to Know Yourself on the Allegheny Front Trail in Pennsylvania

42 Miles in 24 Hours: Getting to Know Yourself on the Allegheny Front Trail in Pennsylvania

July 19, 2019

This isn’t about the fame. It’s about you. It's simply a personal challenge - a very personal challenge, and one that anyone can attempt. It's not impossible, but it's hard enough that even if you think you can do it, there is a good chance you will fail.

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Laurel River Trail #306: Traversing Two Wilderness Areas In Monongahela National Forest, WV

Laurel River Trail #306: Traversing Two Wilderness Areas In Monongahela National Forest, WV

July 19, 2019

Those looking for a remote wilderness experience alongside a mountain river need look no further than Laurel River Trail #306. This trail travels approximately 17-miles alongside Laurel Fork of Cheat River through two wilderness areas. We explain and show the way through Trail #306 and side trails within these two wilderness areas, so you can plan your own adventure in this wonderful watershed!

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Gravel is Good! Gravel Cycling Near Black Moshannon State Park, PA

Gravel is Good! Gravel Cycling Near Black Moshannon State Park, PA

July 15, 2019

Gravel riding is a popular pastime for the right reasons: Cyclists can enjoy an outdoor adventure on roadways without terrifying traffic or distracted drivers. Black Moshannon State Park and Moshannon State Forest offer rewarding rides for those looking challenging loops! This area is also a fantastic place for beginner riders to sharpen their skills.

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Meadow Run Trail: Big Rocks and Cool Falls In Ohiopyle State Park, PA

Meadow Run Trail: Big Rocks and Cool Falls In Ohiopyle State Park, PA

July 12, 2019

Meadow Run Trail is one of our favorite trails in Ohiopyle State Park. It has it all: woods, rocks and water, as it takes you to crazy big climbing rocks amidst giant rhododendrons, then to lots of access spots along Meadow Run where you'll find wading pools and waterfalls. Hiking, climbing, fishing, sightseeing and playing in the pools of Meadow Run are what you'll find along this short loop trail.

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Hike To Four Waterfalls in Ohiopyle State Park, PA

Hike To Four Waterfalls in Ohiopyle State Park, PA

July 10, 2019

There are plenty of waterfalls to see in and around Ohiopyle State Park. We've listed four of these waterfalls below (plus a few post-hike bonus waterfalls), all of which are accessible via a nice 5-mile hiking loop within the state park.

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Hiking and Biking To Trail Shelters Near Blackwater Falls State Park, WV

Hiking and Biking To Trail Shelters Near Blackwater Falls State Park, WV

July 10, 2019

Several wonderful trail loops exist just minutes from Thomas, Davis, and Blackwater Falls State Park. Three trail shelters can also be found along these trails. Load your backpacks and your panniers, and make a weekend trip to Blackwater Falls!

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Visit The Nicest Shelter On The Appalachian Trail: A Hike In Michaux State Forest

Visit The Nicest Shelter On The Appalachian Trail: A Hike In Michaux State Forest

July 10, 2019

Grab your Michaux Lizard Map and join us on a 4-mile hiking adventure to see the shelter many thru hikers (those who are hiking the length of the AT) consider to be the best one on the entire 2,200 mile long trail!

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Trip Report: Bikepacking in Pine Creek Pennsylvania

Trip Report: Bikepacking in Pine Creek Pennsylvania

July 09, 2019

Follow along as Lizard Seeker Mike Patten gives us the low-down on his 2019 summer solstice bikepacking ride in Pine Creek Pennsylvania!

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Indian Creek Valley Trail: Walking and Riding in Laurel Highlands, PA

Indian Creek Valley Trail: Walking and Riding in Laurel Highlands, PA

July 03, 2019

Maybe everyone has heard of the Great Allegheny Passage, or GAP trail as most call it. But are you familiar with the future connector rail trail known as Indian Creek Valley Trail? We explored this trail in the spring of 2019 because, well, it's on our Ohiopyle-Laurel Highlands Lizard Map. Follow along with us as we check out this new trail in Laurel Highlands!

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Hike the Joshua C. Whetzel Jr. Trail In Confluence, PA

Hike the Joshua C. Whetzel Jr. Trail In Confluence, PA

July 03, 2019

The Joshua C. Whetzel Jr. Trail may just be the newest trail in southwestern Pennsylvania. This hiking trail is a delightful walk anytime of year. Follow below as we describe this trail, then get out there and enjoy the area with your Ohiopyle-Laurel Highlands Lizard Map!

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Ironstone Trail: Revisiting A Classic Hike In Rothrock State Forest, PA

Ironstone Trail: Revisiting A Classic Hike In Rothrock State Forest, PA

July 03, 2019

The Ironstone Loop is a vintage route that was made popular by Tom Thwaites and other creators of the Mid State Trail. This loop is roughly 15 miles long and includes classic PA rocky ridge top walking with great views, a historic set of rock stairs that descend off a ridge and climb to the next ridge, a lake, swamps, streams, a newly renovated Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, an old iron furnace, and more! Primitive camping is allowed on state forest lands along this route, too! All of the trails in this area are included on the Rothrock Lizard Map, so grab yours and follow along on a somewhat forgotten loop hike in Rothrock State Forest.

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Making the Ohiopyle-Laurel Highlands Lizard Map: Notes from the Field

Making the Ohiopyle-Laurel Highlands Lizard Map: Notes from the Field

June 26, 2019

Every map we make presents new challenges and the Ohiopyle-Laurel Highlands Lizard Map was no exception. About 7 months after we started field work, the Ohiopyle-Laurel Highlands Lizard Map was published. We really like this map, it opens up a lot of territory and will help people see the area in a way they haven't been able to. Put away your GPS, grab the Lizard Map and get out there to see what lies on the backroads of the Laurel Highlands!

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Sugarloaf Knob: Mountain Biking In Ohiopyle State Park, PA

Sugarloaf Knob: Mountain Biking In Ohiopyle State Park, PA

June 21, 2019

Have you heard of the superb mountain biking trails in Ohiopyle State Park, Pennsylvania? No? Well lucky for you, we spent our spring exploring and mapping these trails for our recently released Ohiopyle-Laurel Highlands Lizard Map. Open up your Lizard Map and follow along as we give you a quick run down of the shared-use trail system surrounding Sugarloaf Knob in Ohiopyle State Park!

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McCune Trail, Ohopyle State Park, PA

McCune Trail, Ohopyle State Park, PA

June 21, 2019

McCune Trail is one of our favorite trails in the Sugarloaf Mountain area of Ohiopyle State Park. We discovered this 4-mile loop this spring before the leaves were out in full bloom.

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Explore Wharton Furnace in Forbes State Forest, PA

Explore Wharton Furnace in Forbes State Forest, PA

June 21, 2019

While there are numerous historic iron ore furnace sites throughout Pennsylvania, Wharton Furnace must be one of the best maintained furnaces in the commonwealth. Take a driving tour, not too far from Ohiopyle State Park, Grantsville MD, or Morgantown WV, to enjoy this historical location. Visitors can reach this destination via paved roads or gravel forest roads. Find this furnace and plenty of other historical sites on our all new Ohiopyle-Laurel Highlands Lizard Map!

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Gravel Grinding Along Ridges and Valleys in Bald Eagle State Forest, PA

Gravel Grinding Along Ridges and Valleys in Bald Eagle State Forest, PA

June 21, 2019

Bald Eagle State Forest offers almost endless options for cyclists. Last week our Trail Guru used the Bald Eagle Lizard Map and a Surly Cross Check to explore some of the roads in this forest. Have a look at a handful of options to be found in Bald Eagle State Forest.

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Seneca Creek Trail: Amazing Adventures in West Virginia

Seneca Creek Trail: Amazing Adventures in West Virginia

June 21, 2019

Monongahela National Forest is filled with hidden pockets to explore. One of these pockets, Seneca Creek, is just a few miles past a paved road to the highest point in West Virginia. Explore this area with the new Dollys Sods-Seneca Rocks Lizard Map!

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Travel back in time on the Durbin Rocket in West Virginia

Travel back in time on the Durbin Rocket in West Virginia

June 11, 2019

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Off-The-Grid Cartography: Making Maps In Monongahela National Forest

Off-The-Grid Cartography: Making Maps In Monongahela National Forest

May 01, 2019

We take our mapmaking pretty so seriously over here at Purple Lizard Maps, that we often hike and bike most of the trails found on our maps. We also drive 98% of the roads that are found on our maps. For our most recent project, we truly went overboard by renting an off-the-grid cabin in the middle of Monongahela National Forest for a full week of recon fieldwork. Learn all about our adventures and discoveries below!

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Sweet Vistas and Cool Streams in Quehanna Wild Area, PA

Sweet Vistas and Cool Streams in Quehanna Wild Area, PA

March 14, 2019

There is so much wilderness to explore on the Moshannon-Quehanna Lizard Map it's hard to decide where to start! One easy place to start is with two great trails along the Quehanna Highway. The Lincoln and Teaberry Trail loops can be your destination hike or a side-hike on your way to see the elk herd at Benezette.

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