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.
Meadow Run Trail: Staying Cool On Hot Days In Ohiopyle State Park, PA

Meadow Run Trail: Staying Cool On Hot Days In Ohiopyle State Park, PA

July 12, 2019

Meadow Run Trail may not be the most popular trail in Ohiopyle State Park, but it definitely gets a lot of use - for many great reasons! Hiking, climbing, fishing, sightseeing, and wading in Meadow Run are just some of the opportunities to enjoy along this short loop trail in Ohiopyle State Park. Get out and enjoy this great loop today!

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.
Hiking and Biking To Trail Shelters Near Blackwater Falls State Park, WV

Hiking and Biking To Trail Shelters Near Blackwater Falls State Park, WV

July 10, 2019

Several wonderful trail loops exist just minutes from Thomas, Davis, and Blackwater Falls State Park. Three trail shelters can also be found along these trails. Load your backpacks and your panniers, and make a weekend trip to Blackwater Falls!

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!
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!

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!
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!

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.

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!

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!
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.

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!
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.

Seneca Creek Trail: Amazing Adventures in West Virginia

Seneca Creek Trail: Amazing Adventures in West Virginia

June 21, 2019

Monongahela National Forest is filled with hidden pockets to explore. One of these pockets, Seneca Creek, is just a few miles past a paved road to the highest point in West Virginia. Explore this area with the new Dollys Sods-Seneca Rocks Lizard Map!
Travel back in time on the Durbin Rocket in West Virginia

Travel back in time on the Durbin Rocket in West Virginia

June 11, 2019


Off-The-Grid Cartography: Making Maps In Monongahela National Forest

Off-The-Grid Cartography: Making Maps In Monongahela National Forest

May 01, 2019

We take our mapmaking pretty so seriously over here at Purple Lizard Maps, that we often hike and bike most of the trails found on our maps. We also drive 98% of the roads that are found on our maps. For our most recent project, we truly went overboard by renting an off-the-grid cabin in the middle of Monongahela National Forest for a full week of recon fieldwork. Learn all about our adventures and discoveries below!
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.

Blueberry Trail: Family Adventure at Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area

Blueberry Trail: Family Adventure at Black Moshannon Bog Natural Area

March 14, 2019

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.
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.

Excursions from Rincon: Gozalandia Waterfalls & San Sebastián

Excursions from Rincon: Gozalandia Waterfalls & San Sebastián

February 21, 2019

Rincón, Puerto Rico – Caribbean Romance Awaits

Rincón, Puerto Rico – Caribbean Romance Awaits

February 12, 2019

Rincón Puerto Rico is the perfect romantic getaway!  Just enough off the beaten path with everything you and your lover need to make memories to last a lifetime.  Beaches, sunsets, romantic dinners, and all the adventure options you desire.

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. 

Winter Wonderland: Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia

Winter Wonderland: Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia

January 30, 2019

Lizard seeker Eriks Perkons recently completed an overnight winter backpacking trip in Dollys Sods Wilderness Area, West Virginia. This was his first time exploring this area. Even though winter clouds and an oncoming winter storm blocked the vistas, he still had a great time! Read about his trip below.
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!

Gearing Up For A Winter Adventure

Gearing Up For A Winter Adventure

January 18, 2019

Winter is a fantastic time for fun in the outdoors, but small mistakes can add up to big problems for explorers who aren't prepared for winter weather.

Tussey Mountain Loop: A Winter Fitness Loop In Rothrock State Forest, PA

Tussey Mountain Loop: A Winter Fitness Loop In Rothrock State Forest, PA

January 15, 2019

Rothrock State Forest boasts almost 300 miles of trails open year-round to help you stay fit and/or prepare for longer summer vacation adventures. We consider the loops below as challenging routes that are easily accessible in winter conditions: These are not the steepest nor the longest loops in the forest, but they are not easy either. Hikers, runners, and mountain bikers will all love the options presented below!
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.


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