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.
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.


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.
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!

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.
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

Yellow Arrow Trail: A Hike With A View In Spruce Creek, PA

Yellow Arrow Trail: A Hike With A View In Spruce Creek, PA

February 26, 2019

Spruce Creek Pennsylvania is well known for its world class fly fishing waters, but what seems be be less known is the amazing array of ridge line vistas in nearby Rothrock State Forest. Just a few miles northwest of Huntingdon, PA, this section of Rothrock State Forest boasts miles of the Mid State Trail (MST). The MST in this area crosses through Little Juniata Natural Area and includes several views of the surrounding ridges and valleys.
Paddling Pine Creek Pennsylvania

Paddling Pine Creek Pennsylvania

February 26, 2019

Pine Creek Pennsylvania offers a paddling experience you won't forget. The creek winds through Pine Creek Gorge, the famous "Grand Canyon of PA", a beautiful weaving stretch of water which cuts deeply through the Allegheny Mountains in North Central PA as it heads south toward the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.

Traversing Ridges and Valleys in Rothrock State Forest, PA

Traversing Ridges and Valleys in Rothrock State Forest, PA

February 06, 2019

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.

Snyder Middleswarth Natural Area: A National Natural Landmark in Bald Eagle Forest, PA

Snyder Middleswarth Natural Area: A National Natural Landmark in Bald Eagle Forest, PA

February 04, 2019

Once a state park that is now a National Natural Landmark, Snyder Middleswarth Natural Area is a truly delightful location to explore in Central PA. This area, which is adjacent to Tall Timbers Natural Area, is renowned for its old growth forest of hemlock, pine, and birch trees. This part of Bald Eagle State Forest is it within a 90 minute drive for most visitors from the State College, Lock Haven, Lewisburg, and Harrisburg areas. 

Reach The Top: An Introduction To Spruce Gap Trail In Rothrock State Forest, PA

Reach The Top: An Introduction To Spruce Gap Trail In Rothrock State Forest, PA

January 18, 2019

A classic climb in Rothrock State Forest, which is ideal for those training for any of the ever-so-popular trail challenges that occur throughout the year. Fitness fanatics, mountain runners, and those looking to enjoy the outdoors in the middle of winter will love this trail! You may hate this climb or love this climb, but no matter what, you will gain a sense of accomplishment every time you complete this climb!
Winter Adventure Getaways in Moshannon State Forest, PA

Winter Adventure Getaways in Moshannon State Forest, PA

January 18, 2019

Winter has again come to Pennsylvania this year. We've had substantial snowfall, and the long term forecast is showing cold weather for the next several weeks! Now is the time to call and reserve that long winter weekend getaway to play in the snow in Northcentral PA. Below, we have a few options for you to consider along with some fun teaser pics to get you into the winter mood!


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

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

January 14, 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.
Six Mile Run North: Another Great Day In Moshannon State Forest, PA

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

December 21, 2018

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!

How to Read A Purple Lizard Map

How to Read A Purple Lizard Map

December 19, 2018

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!
Six Mile Run South: A Winter Day Hike In Moshannon State Forest, PA

Six Mile Run South: A Winter Day Hike In Moshannon State Forest, PA

December 18, 2018

Get outside to enjoy evergreen trees while discovering trails near Black Moshannon State Park! Snow or no snow? Doesn't much matter! It's always a great time to grab your Moshannon Lizard Map and follow along on a short adventure along Six Mile Run that includes green leaves and clear streams all year long - and often a beautiful winter blanket of snow!

Caught In The Hook: Pennsylvania's Largest Natural Area

Caught In The Hook: Pennsylvania's Largest Natural Area

December 12, 2018

The Hook Natural Area is PA's largest Natural Area, and offers a plethora of great adventure. How does one enjoy this area? Read along and let The Department of Adventure lead the way!
unPAved Pennsylvania: A Group Gravel Grinding Adventure

unPAved Pennsylvania: A Group Gravel Grinding Adventure

November 13, 2018

Our Trail Guru discusses his completion of the first annual unPAved Pennsylvania gravel riding event, and how it has inspired him to ride more. "The rewarding feelings from this event are immeasurable and inspiring in so many ways: My friends and I sat around the evening after the event discussing winter bike gear needed to be able to prep for more events in 2019...especially the full 120-mile unPAved route." 


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

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

October 19, 2018

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.

Green Monster Loop Trail System: The Best Unknown Trail System in PA

Green Monster Loop Trail System: The Best Unknown Trail System in PA

October 15, 2018

The Green Monster Loop includes almost 32 miles of exciting trails and additional side trails in this corner of Tioga State Forest. Features for trails in this area include wide single and double track paths with solid dirt treadways. The notorious rock gardens found in many other parts of 'Rocksylvania' are less common here. Almost all of the trails in this part of the forest are open to bicycles; riders and runners will enjoy these smooth and fast trails! Dozens of loop options exist in this part of Tioga State Forest, but today we'll give an example of this area by following the 50K loop in the same direction as the annual Green Monster Challenge. Pull out your Pine Creek Lizard Map and follow along with us today, then go out and discover this area for yourself! 

Choose Your Own Adventure with Lizard Adventure Lists

Choose Your Own Adventure with Lizard Adventure Lists

October 12, 2018

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!
Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, PA: Stone Valley's Not-So-Hidden Gem

Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, PA: Stone Valley's Not-So-Hidden Gem

September 25, 2018

Since opening its doors in 1976, Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center has served as Penn State’s nature center and outdoor education field lab. The Creek has also become a mainstay within the community providing opportunities to connect with nature and each other through seasonal festivals, outreach programming, and a multi-faceted visitor experience. Additionally, Shaver’s Creek offers access to some amazing outdoor recreation opportunities for folks of all interests and ability levels.

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

September 18, 2018

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!
Go For a Hike at Seven Mountain Rest Area Along Route 322 in Central PA

Go For a Hike at Seven Mountain Rest Area Along Route 322 in Central PA

September 13, 2018

Travelers heading westbound on Route 322 over Seven Mountains are bound to run into traffic jams due to a $100 million PennDot road project that will widen the highway near General Potters Mills. Instead of getting frustrated sitting in traffic, we suggest pulling over at the Seven Mountain Roadside Rest Area and taking a quick hike to one of the best vistas along the 325 mile Mid State Trail!

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 02, 2018

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

August 02, 2018

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

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 02, 2018

Purple Lizard takes you on a drive through the backroads of Bald Eagle State Forest, one of the most remote forests in Pennsylvania.
Purple Lizard Cartography: Getting Lost in Michaux State Forest, PA

Purple Lizard Cartography: Getting Lost in Michaux State Forest, PA

June 20, 2018

Purple Lizard Maps gives some insight on what it takes to create a recreational map of the highest quality.

Spring Adventure in Quehanna Wild Area, PA: Mosquito Creek Trail Loop

Spring Adventure in Quehanna Wild Area, PA: Mosquito Creek Trail Loop

May 30, 2018

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

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

May 15, 2018

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!


Spring Hunting Season in PA: How To Safely Enjoy Public Land

Spring Hunting Season in PA: How To Safely Enjoy Public Land

April 27, 2018

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. 
The Icebox Incident: A Lesson in Deciding When to Go Home or Keep Going

The Icebox Incident: A Lesson in Deciding When to Go Home or Keep Going

March 21, 2018

As winter makes one last stand with a few more inches of snow and some blustery winds, we sit back to reflect on lessons learned from this season's outdoor adventures. One of these lessons is the methodology of deciding whether or not to cut a trip short. We experienced this scenario in real time during a two-day (planned as a three-day) weekend backpacking trip on the Black Forest Trail near Slate Run, Pennsylvania.

Rock Run Trail System: Enjoying Moshannon State Forest, PA, on Skis

Rock Run Trail System: Enjoying Moshannon State Forest, PA, on Skis

February 05, 2018

Originally built as a cross-country ski trail system with help from Ralph Seeley and Tom Thwiates, this trail system is also part of the Allegheny Front Trail (backpacking loop), and includes orange, yellow, and blue-blazed trails. This is a beautiful, but remote and advanced cross country ski trail, so if you're looking for some adventurous terrain, the 8 or 13 loops are perfect! Beginners can also enjoy this area!

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

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

January 25, 2018

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!


Tiadaghton Trail Part One: Ramsey To Waterville along Pine Creek, PA

Tiadaghton Trail Part One: Ramsey To Waterville along Pine Creek, PA

January 25, 2018

The Lizard Department of Adventure offers yet another great hike suggestion for those who want to discover the beauty of Northcentral PA: Tiadaghton Trail! 

In beautiful Pine Creek Valley on the Pine Creek Lizard Map lies a long forgotten trail simply called the Tiadaghton Trail. It has been recently reopened by DCNR and a small group of dedicated volunteers. The southern half of this trail, now better than ever, consists of a very steep climb along a narrow ridge, followed by a beautiful ridgetop hike, concluding with a fantastic descent into a canyon that drains to Pine Creek by Waterville. It is a strenuous hike, but one that offers many rewards!

Camp Michaux and Sunset Rocks: History, Vistas and More in Michaux Forest, PA

Camp Michaux and Sunset Rocks: History, Vistas and More in Michaux Forest, PA

January 05, 2018

Follow along with the Department of Adventure on a 3-mile journey to explore history, the Appalachian Trail, and beautiful vistas of Michaux State Forest. The adventure begins at the parking area at the intersection of Bunk Hill Road and Michaux Road, northwest of Pine Grove Furnace State Park.