Elevation Profile of Trail
|Topographical Map||View Large Map|
|Trailhead:||N 40° 41.86'
W 77° 42.79'
|Trail Length:||6.1 miles|
|Hike Time:||4 hours|
|Near:||Off route US322 near Milroy, PA.|
|* Note regarding hike time and elevation traversed.|
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Trip Report and PhotosA number of years ago I had hiked these trails, back when the trails weren't well maintained. I was notified that the trails were now maintained and easy to follow, but I hadn't had a chance to head out and check out the new trails. With plans of leading a hike on these trails in the fall, I decided to do an after work hike and see if the trails were indeed cleared and maintained enough to lead a fall hike here.
Tim and I did this hike after work, and since we were heading to the trail from the State College area, I decided to use a different trailhead for this hike than the trailhead from my first hike here. A quick look at the map showed me the Brush Ridge Trail intersecting with the Chestnut Spring Trail along Chestnut Spring Road. This was just a bit past the Alan Seeger Natural Area, so I decided that this would be the trailhead for this hike.
Rothrock State Forest
Located in Rothrock State Forest, the trailhead for this hike is easily accessible from State College. From State College, I would recommend accessing the trailhead via Bear Meadows Road. Once on Bear Meadow Road, follow it past the Tussey Mountain ski resort. It will turn from paved to dirt road at about 3.6 miles. Continue straight on Bear Meadows Road whenever you see a possible turn. You will pass through Bear Meadows as well as climb up and then descend Thickhead Mountain. Once you reach the interesection of Bear Meadows Road and Stone Creek Road (Stone Creek Road is paved), approximately 9.1 miles from route US322, hang a left. Follow the paved road for 2.5 miles, passing Alan Seeger and continue on until you enter a gas pipeline clearing. Turn right just after you cross the pipeline clearing. This road is called Chestnut Spring Road. Follow Chestnut Spring Road for about 0.9 miles. The road will make a sweeping turn to the right and you will see room to park along the left side of the road at this turn. Park your car here as this is the intersection of the Brush Ridge Trail and Chestnut Spring Trail, and the trailhead for this hike.
Coming from Lewistown or locations further south, you will need to follow US322 to the top of Seven Mountains, cross over to the east bound lanes, and begin the descent along Laurel Creek Reservoir. As you descend along the edge of Long Mountain, route US322 makes a somewhat sharp turn to your left. As you approach this turn you will see a run-a-way truck ramp on your right, and just past that, Stone Creek Road. This road takes you back to Alan Seeger. You will need to turn off onto this road and follow it for about 5.4 miles. Turn left just before you cross the pipeline clearing. This road is called Chestnut Spring Road. Follow Chestnut Spring Road for about 0.9 miles. The road will make a sweeping turn to the right and you will see room to park along the left side of the road at this turn. Park your car here as this is the intersection of the Brush Ridge Trail and Chestnut Spring Trail, and the trailhead for this hike.
Tim and I parked the car at the trailhead for this hike, just on the sharp turn of Chestnut Spring Road. Two trails meet here: Brush Ridge Trail and Chestnut Springs Trail. We decided to hike out Brush Ridge Trail and then return on Chestnut Springs Trail.
The Brush Ridge Trail was not blazed but it was fairly well maintained. We slowly began an ascent and after three-quarters of a mile we came upon the intersection with another trail coming in from our right. This trail would take you across Buck Ridge to meet up with Chestnut Spring Trail. We continued straight on the Brush Ridge Trail.
We now began a gradual descent as we headed towards Otter Gap. To ridge to the west of Otter Gap is known as Buck Ridge, and to the east of the gap it is known as Brush Ridge. To our left loomed Slate Ridge with Stone Creek running in the valley on the other side. After 1.5 miles of hiking we came upon the intersection with the Otter Gap Trail.
We now began a gentle ascent as we continued on the Brush Ridge Trail. The undergrowth began to get very thick with Mountain Laurel, but the trail was well maintained. It was evident that someone was through her recently with a brush cutter as the trail was clear for a good three feet on both sides.
Finally at 2.7 miles we came to the intersection of Brush Ridge Trail and the Indian Path. We beared right here and followed the Indian Path. Indain Path made an easy descent down the southern face of Brush Ridge. The trail was a little grown over, as it probably had not been maintained since last season, or perhaps earlier in the spring. The trail was still easy enough to follow, but it wasn't as nearly as clear of brush and obstacles as the Brush Ridge Trail had been.
As we approached the bottom of Brush Ridge, the Indian Trail comes to a fenced in deer exclosure. We walked along this exclosure for the next 0.3 miles.
At 3.5 miles into the hike, the Indian Trail merges with Conklin Road and you follow this forest road for about one tenth of a mile as you cross over Lingle Creek. We crossed the creek and stared to ascend Sand Hole Ridge, but soon turned off to our right and followed a gated road past two camps and finally coming to the Otter Gap Camp after three tenths of a mile. The forest road ends here at the intersection of Otter Gap Trail and Lingle Valley Trail.
We continued to follow Lingle Valley Trail alongside Lingle Creek. The trail crossed the creek and it's tributaries another four times, so be prepared to get wet if you hike this in the spring. Lingle Valley Trail then proceeds to climb out of Lingle Valley at Little Kettle, climbing to the top of Buck Ridge. This is the only steep climb that we encountered on this hike, ascending 400 feet in about 0.5 miles. Lingle Valley Trail ends at it's intersection with Chestnut Spring Trail at about 5.1 miles into the hike.
From here Tim and I followed the Chestnut Spring Trail back to the trailhead, slowly descending from Buck Ridge. After 2 hours and 40 minutes, and 6 miles of hiking, we found ourselves back at the car.
With the exception of the Indian Path, which was a little overgrown in places, these trails were very well maintained and a pleasure to hike. I plan on leading a hike here in the fall and I now felt comfortable with this decision. I believe the trails in the Buck and Brush Ridge area will provide an enjoyable hiking experience for all that accompany me on this hike.blog comments powered by Disqus