A Great Beginner Trail Running Route in Rothrock State Forest, PA

A Great Beginner Trail Running Route in Rothrock State Forest, PA

November 13, 2019

Anyone who has attempted running on trails in Rothrock State Forest will agree that it is some of the most rocky and gnarly terrain around. Fear not; though, this tough terrain provides some of the best and most accessible four-season training grounds for aspiring trail runners and for those looking to increase overall general fitness.

Continue Reading

Tiadaghton Trail Part Two: Waterville to Little Pine State Park, PA

Tiadaghton Trail Part Two: Waterville to Little Pine State Park, PA

November 13, 2019

Tiadaghton Trail runs from Ramsey north to Little Pine State Park in the beautiful Pine Creek Valley. The northern half of the trail, described here, is just as rewarding for hikers as the southern half. This trail awes visitors with beautiful views any time of year, so head to Pine Creek and and check out this trail!

Continue Reading


Discover The New 15-mile Hiking and Running Loop Around Slate Run, PA

Discover The New 15-mile Hiking and Running Loop Around Slate Run, PA

October 30, 2019

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, had been seemingly forgotten. Recently a local trail running group, PA Trail Dogs, found this trail again and have re-opened the trail for all to use. Follow along below for an exciting breakdown of this loop, which is an ideal adventure for hikers, backpackers, and trail runners alike.

Continue Reading

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 29, 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.

Continue Reading


Four Fall Adventures in Pennsylvania

Four Fall Adventures in Pennsylvania

October 29, 2019

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading


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!

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading


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!

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading


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!

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading


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!

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading


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!

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading


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!

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading


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!

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading


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!

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading

Exploring Backcountry Trails in Tioga State Forest, PA

Exploring Backcountry Trails in Tioga State Forest, PA

March 09, 2019

I had two seriously long days in the woods planned, for an estimated total of 44 miles of backpacking. My plan was to follow a slew of lesser-known trails to create a loop that incorporates both Black Forest Trail and West Rim Trail. I picked this route after studying the Pine Creek Lizard Map. There are countless trails on this excellent map, but some of them are old, neglected, and untravelled. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Winter is a great time to do this kind of exploring. There are no rattlesnakes, nettles, or ticks. Streams are easy to follow, and the cold temperatures can dress up the stream banks with ice sculptures. The lack of leaves creates winter vistas where in the summer there is only endless green. So off I went.

Continue Reading


Rediscovering A Forgotten Trail Loop in Pine Creek Gorge, PA

Rediscovering A Forgotten Trail Loop in Pine Creek Gorge, PA

March 05, 2019

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.

Continue Reading

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 05, 2019

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!

Continue Reading


Trip Report: Spring In Pine Creek Pennsylvania

Trip Report: Spring In Pine Creek Pennsylvania

February 26, 2019

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.

Continue Reading

Golden Eagle Trail Plus: Your guide to "PA's Best Day Hike" & some fantastic alternate routes!

Golden Eagle Trail Plus: Your guide to "PA's Best Day Hike" & some fantastic alternate routes!

February 26, 2019

Golden Eagle Trail is often referred to as the best day hike in PA. With almost 10 miles of tough hiking, this trail is awesome any time of year. Alternative routes listed on this blog allow for even more rugged loop hikes totaling more than 15 miles of hiking. Highlights include beautiful vistas, sparkling mountain streams, ridgeline hiking, and tough climbs and descents in Wolf Run Wild Area and State Game Lands 68

Continue Reading