Experience the Trails of Pennsylvania

Mount Nittany: The First Hike of the Season

This is not your typical Mount Nittany hike. There are actually two blazed trails on Mount Nittany: an easy white blazed trail and an more difficult, and longer, blue blazed trail. The hike that Mark and I did this early April evening was a combination of part of the white and part of the blue blazed trail.

Trailhead: N 40° 48.69''
W 77° 48.42'
Total Elevation: 1450'
Trail Length: 2.6 miles
Hike Time: 2 hours
Hike Type: Loop
Difficulty Rating: 55
Near: In the town of
Lemont, just outside
of State College, PA.

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The trailhead for this trail is very easy to find. It is located at the end of Mount Nittany Road. You turn onto Mount Nittany Road in the village of Lemont coming off of Pike Street. In order to get to Lemont, you need to head towards State College. There are numerous road signs for State College on the major highways, be it I99, I80, US322, PA45, or PA26. Ultimately you will want to get on route PA26. I would suggest finding your way to the US322/PA26 intersection. At the intersection you will need to take PA26 north (East College Avenue) for 0.7 miles where you will encounter a traffic light. Bear right at the light and you are on Pike Street. Drive for another 0.6 miles on Pike Street and you will enter the town of Lemont with Mount Nittany Road on your left.

The parking area at the trailhead is rather spacious and you will almost definitely find a car or two parked here. The Mount Nittany trail is very popular because of how well maintained it is and of the scenic vistas you get of the surrounding areas. This is private land, owned by the Mount Nittany Conservancy, so camping and fires are not permitted.

The nice thing that I like about Mount Nittany is that the trailhead is located about 3 miles from my place of work. There have been numerous times where I would take off at lunch and hike to the Mike Lynch vista at the top of the mountain just for a little mid-day exercise and relaxation. On this occasion, Mark and I decided to hike Mount Nittany after work as one of our first hikes of the season, in order to get us ready for a longer day hike we were planning that week.

As I stated earlier, this was not a typical Mount Nittany hike. Our ascent followed the white blazed trail up the mountain. This is a rather easy climb on well maintained trails with many switchbacks. Once we reached the summit, we decided to go left instead of heading right to the Mike Lynch Overlook.

We hiked the white blazed trail across the northern side of Mount Nittany, taking in two vistas along that way. At the second vista you encounter the blue blazed trail. The shorter, easier white blazed trail leads off to your right, while the blue blazed trail continues along the northern edge of the mountain. The blue trail also descends down the mountain at this point an this was the trail that Mark and I took back down to the trailhead.

If you do any hiking and live in the State College area, then you owe to yourself to hike Mount Nittany. The hike is not strenuous, it's accessible at all times of the year, and you'll get to enjoy some nice vistas of State College and the surrounding areas.

After a hard day of work and a relaxing hike up Mount Nittany, Mark poses for a picture at the second vista of this hike.

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