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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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42 Miles in 24 Hours: Getting to Know Yourself on the Allegheny Front Trail in Pennsylvania

42 Miles in 24 Hours: Getting to Know Yourself on the Allegheny Front Trail in Pennsylvania

July 19, 2019

This isn’t about the fame. It’s about you. It's simply a personal challenge - a very personal challenge, and one that anyone can attempt. It's not impossible, but it's hard enough that even if you think you can do it, there is a good chance you will fail.

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Laurel River Trail #306: Traversing Two Wilderness Areas In Monongahela National Forest, WV

Laurel River Trail #306: Traversing Two Wilderness Areas In Monongahela National Forest, WV

July 19, 2019

Those looking for a remote wilderness experience alongside a mountain river need look no further than Laurel River Trail #306. This trail travels approximately 17-miles alongside Laurel Fork of Cheat River through two wilderness areas. We explain and show the way through Trail #306 and side trails within these two wilderness areas, so you can plan your own adventure in this wonderful watershed!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Excursions from Rincon: Gozalandia Waterfalls & San Sebastián

Excursions from Rincon: Gozalandia Waterfalls & San Sebastián

February 21, 2019

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Holiday Reflections from Purple Lizard

Holiday Reflections from Purple Lizard

November 21, 2018

Spending time outdoors is fundamental for human happiness, health and well-being. As our modern lives present constant opportunities for distraction you realize that as we unplug from our screens and plug into the outdoors we are creating a powerful connection for ourselves, our communities and our planet. Your commitment to spending time in our beautiful public lands and enjoying real-world experiences is what makes our work special. Thank you for being a part of that connection and for sharing your love of the outdoors with Purple Lizard.

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Go Wild: National Wilderness Areas and Purple Lizard Maps

Go Wild: National Wilderness Areas and Purple Lizard Maps

November 16, 2018

We added a new designation to our mapping repertoire in 2018: US Wilderness Area. In typical Lizard fashion, we didn't add this phrase to our maps for just any old Wilderness. We tackled some of the most serious (and seriously popular) wilderness areas in West Virginia: Dolly Sods, Laurel Fork North, Laurel Fork South, Otter Creek, and Roaring Plains West. Below, we provide a sample taste of what each of the wildness areas we mapped this year offer...

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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." 

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Otter Creek Wilderness: Go Wild In West Virginia

Otter Creek Wilderness: Go Wild In West Virginia

November 07, 2018

Otter Creek Wilderness Area hosts over 40 miles of hiking trails for those willing to tackle the challenge. Managed as a Wilderness Area, this is truly a wild place. No roads or other infrastructure may exist. Bikes, wheels, motors, and other machines are also prohibited. Trails are well established, but signs, blazes, and other interpretive media are almost completely absent. 

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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! 

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Exploring Allegheny Trail Along Glady Fork River, WV

Exploring Allegheny Trail Along Glady Fork River, WV

October 09, 2018

The Allegheny Trail  (ALT) hugs the isolated Glady Fork River for over 25 miles. This hike will introduce you to one of the most rugged and wild sections of the entire ALT, as well as some fantastic campsites accessible by car. I recommend exploring this section as a long day hike, with a car and camping gear waiting for you at the finish. To set up a shuttle, you’ll be happy to have the Dolly Sods-Seneca Rocks Lizard Map showing you how to access the remote Forest Service roads.

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The Quieter Side of Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley State Parks, WV

The Quieter Side of Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley State Parks, WV

October 09, 2018

Follow along as Lizard Seeker Emily Huguenin leads us along another great adventure on the Allegheny Trail in West Virginia

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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.

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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!

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