Fall is the perfect time to explore Pine Creek, and with the Pine Creek Lizard Map so many outstanding vistas are at your fingertips. One of our favorites is the entire western rim of the Canyon from Colton Point State Park to the Bradley Wales Picnic Area. You can drive to those two, but make your own adventure by following the Lizards and hiking to the many overlooks on the West Rim Trail, which connects the two.
When you go: Take your Pine Creek Lizard Map and head to Colton State Park from rt. 6 (Ansonia), then explore on Colton Road, Painter Leetonia Road and the West Rim Road (all dirt) to reach Bradley Wales Picnic Area.
A great short hike from Keith Spring to the rocky overlooks along the Mid State Trail. Just a short drive from downtown, this vista never disappoints and once you've been there, it will become a regular fall stop.
When you go: Take your Rothrock Lizard Map, drive up Bear Gap Road (dirt) and park by Keith Springs, hike out to the MST and north to the Lizard. You can easily make this a longer hike by doing a loop on North Meadows Road.
This award-winning trail offers some fantastic vistas year round, but fall is particularly spectacular. For short but spectacular mini-hike you can check out the Stone Mountain Hawk Watch Platform, Sausser's Stone Pile, and Willie's Window, all within a mile!
When you go: Take your Rothrock Lizard Map and drive to the top of Allensville Road (dirt) to the trailhead. Out and back is about two miles on relatively flat, rugged and rocky trail.
One of the best views in all of Bald Eagle State Forest can be found on top of Naked Mountain. It starts with a one-mile hike up Glen Cabin Gap to Top Mountain Trail, then head east for about a half-mile. The view to the west encompasses the entire White Deer Creek corridor between Nittany and Naked Mountains. It is spectacular!
When you go: Take your Bald Eagle Lizard Map and head to RB Winter State Park. Sand Mountain Road will lead you to Cooper Mill and then Spruce Run Road (all dirt). Park at the Glen Cabin Trail and hike out and back the same route, a bit under 4 miles round trip. While you are at RB Winter be sure to check out the Overlook Vista on McCall Dam Road on the northern edge of the park – you drive right up to this one!
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.