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
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.

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!
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! 

Purple Lizard's Pine Creek Rail Trail Ice Cream Tour 2018

Purple Lizard's Pine Creek Rail Trail Ice Cream Tour 2018

July 31, 2018

Recently, we enjoyed the perfect blend of summer fun - eating ice cream and riding bike on the Pine Creek Rail Trail in North Central Pennsylvania!
Bikepacking in Tiadaghton State Forest, Pennsylvania

Bikepacking in Tiadaghton State Forest, Pennsylvania

May 17, 2018

As part of my training to attempt the Tour Divide mountain bike race in June, I planned on riding 215 miles from my home in Centre County, PA to several vistas overlooking the Pine Creek Gorge in the Tiadaghton State Forest, camping along the way. Combined with about 15,000 feet of climbing, this trip would closely match typical days on the Tour Divide.

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.
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!

Finding Fall Backpacking Adventure in Pine Creek, PA

Finding Fall Backpacking Adventure in Pine Creek, PA

November 28, 2017

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!

West Rim Trail: A Nationally Renowned Backpacking Trail in The PA Grand Canyon

West Rim Trail: A Nationally Renowned Backpacking Trail in The PA Grand Canyon

October 07, 2017

The West Rim Trail is an outstanding 30-mile backpacking trail along the western side of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. The trail is fairly well known, having been highlighted in multiple national outdoor recreation publications throughout the years. Overall the elevation change is moderate, campsites are plentiful, and the vistas are truly unmatched!
Purple Lizard's Pine Creek Rail Trail Ice Cream Tour 2017

Purple Lizard's Pine Creek Rail Trail Ice Cream Tour 2017

July 22, 2017

Purple Lizard is always looking for a new twist on adventuring, and this time we found the perfect blend of summer fun. There is a lot of ice cream available on the Pine Creek Rail Trail (PCRT), but how many of us have experienced all of the ice cream on the PCRT? Our Trail Guru and a couple friends have, and they are more than happy to share the gravel regarding the PCRT.