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

August 19, 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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A Weekend in Cook Forest

A Weekend in Cook Forest

August 12, 2021

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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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

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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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Kentuck Campground: Camping, Recreating, and Relaxing In Ohiopyle State Park, PA

Kentuck Campground: Camping, Recreating, and Relaxing In Ohiopyle State Park, PA

March 01, 2021

Ohiopyle State Park is well-known for its waterfalls, tourist facilities, and day-use activities. But there seems be be less attention given to the great camping opportunities at the park. Cue the Purple Lizard Department of Adventure to swoop in to fill the void. Follow below as we present a quick teaser of just a handful of less popular, yet maybe more rewarding, options that you can experience this year when you visit Ohiopyle State Park.

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Take A Hike: 5 Simple Steps To Enjoy A Walk In The Woods & Keep It Safe During the Pandemic

Take A Hike: 5 Simple Steps To Enjoy A Walk In The Woods & Keep It Safe During the Pandemic

December 31, 2020

This has been a stressful time. As the worldwide pandemic continues and the country faces old challenges and new, throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and throughout the country more and more folks are discovering or re-discovering the gift of hiking on public land.  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.One of the great benefits of hiking during the pandemic is that when you find the right place to go, it can be easily done with proper social distancing.  

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Finding Sanity - On Two Wheels

Finding Sanity - On Two Wheels

December 29, 2020

Our family and friends found sanity from the pandemic on our bikes, from buttery singletrack to family-friendly Rail Trails to snowy forest roads. Here are some of our favorite sanity-inducing locales this year...

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Paddling Pine Creek Pennsylvania

Paddling Pine Creek Pennsylvania

June 05, 2020

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.

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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

February 17, 2020

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.

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Traversing Ridges and Valleys in Rothrock State Forest, PA

Traversing Ridges and Valleys in Rothrock State Forest, PA

January 10, 2020

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.

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Sand Mountain Trail System: Your New Favorite Winter Adventure Destination

Sand Mountain Trail System: Your New Favorite Winter Adventure Destination

January 10, 2020

Contrary to popular belief, not every trail in Central PA is difficult and rocky. But, moderate trails for hiking, running, and riding within public lands of Central Pennsylvania can be hard to find. We, like you, spend spring, summer, and fall toiling through rhododendron tunnels, stumbling over rocks, and pushing our bicycles uphill on climbs just too tough to pedal -and we love it - but sometimes we need an easier experience. This winter, take a break from the gnarly single track, grab some friends and family, and explore a new-to-you location in Bald Eagle State Forest!

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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 10, 2020

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!

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

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

January 10, 2020

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!

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

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

January 10, 2020

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-mile or 12-mile loops are perfect! Beginners can also enjoy this area!

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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

January 10, 2020

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!

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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

January 10, 2020

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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Winter Adventure Getaways in Moshannon State Forest, PA

Winter Adventure Getaways in Moshannon State Forest, PA

January 10, 2020

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!

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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

January 10, 2020

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. 

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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

January 10, 2020

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.

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Caught In The Hook: Pennsylvania's Largest Natural Area

Caught In The Hook: Pennsylvania's Largest Natural Area

January 10, 2020

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!

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Take A Hike: 5 Steps To Enjoy A Walk In The Woods

Take A Hike: 5 Steps To Enjoy A Walk In The Woods

December 23, 2019

Never been a hiker but ready to give it a try, or haven't been in the woods in decades but want to get back out there?  Or maybe you have some friends new to hiking?  This guide serves as a reminder that hitting the trails can be easy with just a little bit of planning.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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Four Fall Adventures in Pennsylvania

Four Fall Adventures in Pennsylvania

October 29, 2019

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Hike To Four Waterfalls in Ohiopyle State Park, PA

Hike To Four Waterfalls in Ohiopyle State Park, PA

September 22, 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.

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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.

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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!

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