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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Exploring Cook Forest

Exploring Cook Forest

April 26, 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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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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A Weekend in Cook Forest

A Weekend in Cook Forest

February 28, 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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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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Caught In The Hook: Pennsylvania's Largest Natural Area

Caught In The Hook: Pennsylvania's Largest Natural Area

February 03, 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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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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Plan a Festive Holiday Outdoor Adventure

Plan a Festive Holiday Outdoor Adventure

December 20, 2021

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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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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Waterfalling at Ohiopyle

Waterfalling at Ohiopyle

December 09, 2021

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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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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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

November 03, 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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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 03, 2021

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

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

August 10, 2021

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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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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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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

Is this something you usually do alone, or do you have some other people to trail run with?     Most of my training is done alone, I really enjoy the solitude. At the same time I love the race day atmosphere. Being able to run with friends on the trail and being able to hang out with everyone before and after is the greatest.

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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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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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