Avid traveler and wildlife conversationist @mads.yo, from Annville, Pennsylvania, is showing us a peek into her home state! Come with us as we explore her top 4 hikes and fav places to eat in PA. Thanks so much for sharing with us, Maddie!
Hike #1: Thousand Steps
A little bit of history combined with breathtaking mountain views.
This is a steep hike up a mountain side via a set of old stone stairs first used by quarry workers/ miners in the 1930s…the hike up makes your muscles burn, heart race, and takes your breath away (not just from the wonderful views). The trip down takes a toll on your joints, I would recommend wearing shoes that would help to alleviate this.
Hike #2: Standing Stone Trail to the Throne Room Scenic Overlook
Multiple mountain overlooks all providing beautiful sunrise and sunset viewing opportunities. Comforting shades of green provided by ferns and mountain laurel.
In the winter, I often have been able to follow bobcat tracks along the trail (yet to see it but hopefully soon!!). Part of the trail is consists of misconfigured rocks, be sure to wear shoes with good ankle support. Watch for ice both when driving to the trail (on jacks mountain road) and while hiking the trail itself.
Hike #3: Trough Creek State Park
There are several small trails throughout this park that offer some unique sights but if you want to see all the key features of this park you will want to do the trough creek 5 sites loop (waterfall, balanced rock, suspension bridge, etc.). Afterwards, you can tend to your post hiking appetite with some delicious BBQ at the Backwoods Smoke Shack. Trough Creek State Park is also close to Lake Raystown where you can get into numerous water activities and even find quality biking trails (mountain biker approved).
Hike #4: Black Moshannon State Park
The Bog Trail is a short trail here but a must see. It is a boardwalk that eventually leads to a nice forested trail, Moss-Hanne Trail, that I also recommend. The Bog Trail has educational wildlife signs that encourage you to get to know the unique environment around you where you can see a variety of birds, dragonflies, carnivorous plants, mammals (i.e. beavers), amphibians, and so much more. If you want to immerse yourself into the wetland environment even further, you can also kayak and canoe on the lake. Be prepared to be pestered by flies on this hike. You can then take a 25 min, longish drive (but a well worth it one) to Otto’s Pub and Brewery for a more than satisfying meal.
Thousand steps, Trough creek, and Standing Stone Trail to Throne room are all in Huntingdon County, PA.
Black Moshannon is in Centre County, PA.
Thousand Steps and Standing Stone Trail to Throne Room are both close to the town of Huntingdon where you can grab a bite to eat at Diner 22, Boxer’s Cafe, or a beer at Juanita Brewing Company, or a warm cup of coffee at Standing Stone Coffee.
Both are also located near the Little Juanita River which is great for an added kayaking trip to your outdoor adventures.