Plan a Festive Holiday Outdoor Adventure

Plan a Festive Holiday Outdoor Adventure

November 20, 2022

Enjoying the outdoors with friends and family is a great way to celebrate the holidays!  Add some outdoor adventure to your family traditions this year.

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Winter Hiking with Kids - Tips and Tricks

Winter Hiking with Kids - Tips and Tricks

November 20, 2022

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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Caught In The Hook: Pennsylvania's Largest Natural Area

Caught In The Hook: Pennsylvania's Largest Natural Area

November 20, 2022

What exactly is a designated Natural Area? The goal is to allow nature to take its course as it would without human interruption. Rather than being managed by humans, the State allows these lands to mature and regenerate naturally. To support this goal only exploring on foot is permitted: there is no camping, campfires, bicycles or horses allowed in a designated Natural Area. All motorized vehicles are restricted to the borders and roads around the area. Only day hikers can explore within the borders. The Hook Natural Area, found on our Bald Eagle Lizard Map, is PA's largest Natural Area and offers many opportunities for a great adventure. 

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Hiking, Biking, and Running, Oh My! How to Stay Safe on Public Lands During Hunting Season

Hiking, Biking, and Running, Oh My! How to Stay Safe on Public Lands During Hunting Season

November 14, 2022

The season that most hikers, cyclists, and runners are concerned about is firearm deer season, which typically lasts around two weeks. Hunters are out enjoying the woods in much greater numbers than in other seasons, and blaze orange attire is required to stay safe.

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Explore Loyalsock State Forest in the PA Wilds

Explore Loyalsock State Forest in the PA Wilds

November 04, 2022

Loyalsock State Forest, located in the heart of the PA Wilds 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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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

October 04, 2022

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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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

October 04, 2022

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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Rothrock State Forest: Peace and Serenity Only 5 Miles From Downtown State College, PA

Rothrock State Forest: Peace and Serenity Only 5 Miles From Downtown State College, PA

October 04, 2022

Every now and again we all need a break from the hustle and bustle of 21st Century America. Luckily, State College, PA, is surrounded by hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands that are waiting to embrace you with fresh air and natural light. Email, news, phone, school, snapchat, social media, text, traffic, tv, twitter, work...leave it all behind and head into the forest to rejuvenate!

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A Weekend in Cook Forest

A Weekend in Cook Forest

October 04, 2022

The Forest Cathedral, brings back memories of childhood camping in the Sierras.  The Cathedral, found in the heart of Cook Forest State Park, is Pennsylvania’s largest and is a registered national natural landmark. Multiple different species of trees reside here, reaching 150 years old.

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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

October 04, 2022

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

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

October 04, 2022

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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Sinking into Summer in Loyalsock

Sinking into Summer in Loyalsock

August 29, 2022

Loyalsock is one of our go-to choices when we are looking for somewhere to unwind away from the world. There is something magical about this forest.  Perhaps it is the fact that "Worlds End" is literally a place name in this forest, or perhaps it's the fact that in the era of overstimulation with technology and news and. . . well everything, this is one of those increasingly rare, beautiful places where for the most part you won't have cell service.  

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Beat The Heat: Six Ways to Stay Cool On Summer Hikes

Beat The Heat: Six Ways to Stay Cool On Summer Hikes

August 29, 2022

Summer can get pretty darn hot these days, and here in the Mid-Atlantic Region keeping the basics in mind when playing outside in the summer has become an absolute necessity.  

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Exploring the Hidden Center of Bald Eagle State Forest: Millheim to Weikert, PA

Exploring the Hidden Center of Bald Eagle State Forest: Millheim to Weikert, PA

August 05, 2022

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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Exploring the Southern Frontier of Bald Eagle State Forest: Milroy to Millheim, PA

Exploring the Southern Frontier of Bald Eagle State Forest: Milroy to Millheim, PA

August 05, 2022

Purple Lizard takes you on a drive through the backroads of Bald Eagle State Forest, one of the most remote forests in Pennsylvania.  Whether you plan to hike, bike, camp or just plain explore this forest is for you.

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

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

July 13, 2022

Are you an outdoor enthusiast or just looking forward to some more camping, hiking, cycling, paddling or driving adventures in the Mid-Atlantic in 2022? 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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A Summer Evening on the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail

A Summer Evening on the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail

July 13, 2022

Take a summer evening family ride along the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail -  a lovely stretch of rail trail that runs between Mifflinburg PA and Lewisburg PA. If you are in Central Pennsylvania and are looking for a quick, family friendly rail trail ride to get your wheels under you and your crew this summer, this is a great option. 

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Exploring Cook Forest

Exploring Cook Forest

June 29, 2022

Cook Forest will always be my favorite Pennsylvania state park.  It has a great combination of “stuff for the kiddos,” good restaurants, many hiking trails, the Wild & Scenic Clarion River, historic sites from Native Americans, logging history, CCC history, and of course, one of the last remaining stands of “Penns Woods” that has been untouched for over 400 years.

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Mom’s Camping 101

Mom’s Camping 101

June 29, 2022

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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Waterfalling at Ohiopyle

Waterfalling at Ohiopyle

June 29, 2022

The sound of water crashing through rocks and over waterfalls just fills and heals my soul. Ohiopyle fills and heals my soul.

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Purple Lizard's Pine Creek Rail Trail Ice Cream Tour

Purple Lizard's Pine Creek Rail Trail Ice Cream Tour

June 29, 2022

Purple Lizard is always looking for a new twist on adventuring, and this time we found the perfect blend of summer fun. There is a lot of ice cream available on the Pine Creek Rail Trail (PCRT), but how many of us have experienced all of the ice cream on the PCRT? Our Trail Guru and a couple friends have, and they are more than happy to share the gravel regarding the PCRT.

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The Anatomy of a Daypack: 7 Things To Pack for a Walk in the Wood

The Anatomy of a Daypack: 7 Things To Pack for a Walk in the Wood

May 27, 2022

There’s more to a well-prepared day hiking backpack than meets the eye. Even on a short hike, the unexpected can happen, and we can all benefit from having a few extra supplies - just in case. Here’s what you should always keep handy in your pack. 

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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 25, 2022

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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Planning Mid-Atlantic Spring Outdoor Adventure

Planning Mid-Atlantic Spring Outdoor Adventure

May 16, 2022

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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Backpacking the Black Forest Trail in Pine Creek

Backpacking the Black Forest Trail in Pine Creek

April 26, 2022

The Black Forest Trail is a Pennsylvania classic, and considered by many to be the most difficult trail in the State, even though it is relatively short at 44 miles and very accessible, located in Tiadaghton State Forest in the Pine Creek area, also known as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

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Make Your Own Adventure with the Tuscarora Lizard Map

Make Your Own Adventure with the Tuscarora Lizard Map

April 21, 2022

The Tuscarora State Forest in central Pennsylvania sprawls across six counties between Huntingdon and Lewistown in the north and Carlisle to the south. You’ll find remote roads and trails, mountain creeks, long ridgetop views and quiet waterside rests - everything you need for fantastic outdoor adventures. There is also a tremendous amount of Native and Colonial history on this map. You’ll find roads that follow Native footpaths developed thousands of years ago, covered bridges from the 1800s, springs built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, and some of the most beautiful farm valleys in the state.

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Gearing Up - to Hike with Kids

Gearing Up - to Hike with Kids

February 28, 2022

In an age of seemingly perpetual “screen-time,” I find it more and more important to make time to introduce my son to nature.  I am so lucky to have parents who made sure I lived a life rich with outdoor experience, (although back in my day, electronics weren’t such a big deal), and now more than ever, I want that for my son too.  

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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

February 03, 2022

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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Fat Snow Biking - Winter Adventure on Wheels

Fat Snow Biking - Winter Adventure on Wheels

February 03, 2022

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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Hike Your Way Through 2022: 5 Simple Steps To Enjoy A Walk In The Woods & Keep It Safe During the Pandemic

Hike Your Way Through 2022: 5 Simple Steps To Enjoy A Walk In The Woods & Keep It Safe During the Pandemic

January 04, 2022

As the worldwide pandemic continues many folks are discovering or re-discovering the gift of exploring on public land. With proper social distancing, and masking, spending time exploring the outdoors on public land - hiking can be a safe way to connect with loved ones and the natural world.

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. 

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Share the Joy of Outdoor Adventure - Purple Lizard Gift Guide

Share the Joy of Outdoor Adventure - Purple Lizard Gift Guide

December 11, 2021

Purple Lizard: Gifts for People Who Love the Outdoors

Whether the person on your holiday shopping list is someone who would enjoy a short walk in the forest, a sunset sit at a beautiful overlook or is up for a family camping vacation, or some long distance hiking, riding or running in the forest, a single Purple Lizard Map can open the doors to all those experiences.

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Chasing Lizards: How to Plan a Spontaneous Family Outing

Chasing Lizards: How to Plan a Spontaneous Family Outing

December 06, 2021

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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VIDEO: Fall/Winter Adventures - Planning Short Adventures in the Woods

VIDEO: Fall/Winter Adventures - Planning Short Adventures in the Woods

November 18, 2021

Fall and early winter can be perfect times to explore the forest.  Whether you are interested in a short drive in the woods before the snow falls to check out some vistas or want to plan a winter hike, this short video by Purple Lizard Maps owners Mike and Justine will be sure to get you warmed up and ready to head out for some adventure. Editing credit:  the Mighty Wiggus.

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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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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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