Wanting to venture a little further from home, in Central Pennsylvania, I decided to hike a short section of the Mid State Trail in the Everett Region. I was looking for some photos to take on the Mid State in this area, and it was recommended that I hike a section of the trail that looks down upon Friends Cove, a peacefully little valley that extends southwest from Everett.
|Trailhead:||N 39 ° 56.98'
W 78° 26.98'
|Trail Length:||3.9 miles|
|Hike Time:||2.5 hours|
|Near:||Biddle Place, Friend's Cove, south of Everett.|
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The trailhead for this short hike on the Mid State Trail is located within State Game Lands #97, within an area called Biddle Place. To access the State Game Lands you will need to head south of route US30 on route PA326. You will stay on route PA326 for three quarters of a mile. Route PA326 will bear to your right, but you will want to continue straight on what is called Egolf Road. Continue south on Egolf Road for 3.6 miles until you come upon the intersection with Diehl Road. Access to the State Game Lands is at an unsigned entrance 0.2 mile south of this intersection. Turn left onto a dirt road and follow it back towards the mountain, passing a State Game Lands sign at 0.4 miles shortly after crossing a narrow wooden bridge, and then continuing on for another 0.8 miles. The road will be gated at this point but there is ample parking just off to the left of the road. Park your vehicle here and get ready for a short but strenuous climb up to the Mid State Trail.
From the trailhead I had a half mile climb where I ascended 450 feet. Not the steepest climb that I've done, but it was a wake up call for me. My last hike had been almost a month ago and this initial ascent in the morning reminded me of the length of time that had passed since I had been out hiking.
After the initial climb, which was on a grassy mountain road, I reached the intersection with the Mid State Trail. Here the trail is still a grassy forest road, used for access to the State Game Lands. There is a sign here to let you know that you had indeed stumbled across the Mid State Trail.
I turned left at the intersection and began a leisurely morning stroll through the forest. Once the initial climb was behind me, the rest of the hike was quite easy. The trail, being on an old forest road, was well cleared and free of obstacles. It looked as if the grass had been recently mowed as well making it a pleasure to hike along this section of the trail.
I hiked for about 0.8 miles on the Mid State Trail, 1.3 miles from the trailhead, when the nice, well groomed trail came to an abrupt end. There was a blow down blocking the trail and the grassy road disappeared beyond this. I could still see the orange blazes of Mid State as the trail continued through the trees beyond. I had ventured out on this hike, hoping to get some nice photos of the region, and had yet to stumble across a vista of the valley below. I decided at this point that I would turn around and back track and follow the Mid State Trail south for a while to see if there were any vistas in that direction.
Turning around, I passed the trail back to the trailhead at 2.1 miles. I continued on following the trail along the side of the ridge, still following a well groomed, grassy forest road. The sun had climbed higher into the sky, and being a typical August day in summer, the heat and humidity began to set in. I continued hiking for about another 0.7 miles. I still had not come across any vistas and I was starting to work up a sweat. Since I was only hiking on level ground and sweating this much, I knew that any type of physical exertion would really make be begin to perspire profusely. I wasn't thinking about the heat and humidity when I had prepared for this hike and I was almost out of water. I decided to turn around and head back to the trailhead before the afternoon sun came out and I really started to bake.
The entire hike was about 3.9 miles. I didn't get those vista photos that I was hoping for, but I did manage to snap some nice pictures of the trail. The trail was a pleasant to hike and I would probably explore this section of the Mid State Trail more if I lived closer. I would recommend this to anyone that is looking for a nice stroll in the woods with a little bit of aerobic exercise thrown in at the start. I had also noticed a lot of bear scat along the trail. Along with the small flock of turkeys that I encountered only a few hundred feet from the trailhead, my guess is that your chances of seeing wildlife while hiking this area is pretty high.