Experience the Trails of Pennsylvania

Discovering the Long Mountain Trail

There is a trail that connects Penn Roosevelt State Park to the Alan Seeger Natural Area via a route over Grass Mountain. Curiously enough, this trail is not called Grass Mountain Trail but is called Long Mountain Trail. Long Mountain runs from Muttersbaugh Gap, about 3 miles east of Penn Roosevelt and ends near Poe Paddy State Park. My guess is that this is the only remaining section of what was once a longer trail, one that actually traversed Long Mountain.

Trailhead:  N 40° 43.58'
W 77° 42.14'
Total Elevation:  2071'
Trail Length:  4.6 miles
Hike Time:  2.5 hours
Hike Type:  Point-to-Point
Difficulty Rating:  87
Near:  Between Alan Seeger N.A. and Penn Roosevelt S.P.

Tim and I decided to hike this trail after work. It was a point-to-point hike so we used a car shuttle to do this hike. We parked Tim's car at Alan Seeger Natural Area and then proceeded to Penn Roosevelt in my car.

The trailhead for the Long Mountain Trail starts in the Penn Roosevelt State Park. Access to Penn Roosevelt is off of route US322. Getting here from the east/south is a little more difficult as the west bound traffic can not turn left at this intersection. You will have to continue to the top of the mountain and cross over to the east bound lanes there. Once you are heading east on US322, you will begin a descent with the Laurel Creek reservoir to your left. At the bottom of this hill the road has a fairly sharp left turn to it and a dirt road intersects here on the right. You want to turn back this road and travel for 8.3 miles. At 8.3 miles you will see a road on the right that you can then follow for another 0.6 miles to Penn Roosevelt.

The total mileage for this hike was to be around 4.6 miles. Long Mountain Trail terminates along Stone Creek Road near Alan Seeger, but we decided we would extend the length of our hike by hiking through the natural area. Plus, Tim had never hiked in Alan Seeger and I figured this would be a great opportunity for him to explore the tall hemlocks and long rhododendron tunnels.

Parking my car at the start of our hike in Penn Roosevelt State Park, we began the hike by walking back Thickhead Mountain Road. The road is gated just a short distance past the parking area at Penn Roosevelt and the only traffic this road sees is foot or pedal traffic.

Tim and I followed Thickhead Mountain Road for approximately 0.9 miles when we came across a trail to our left. The trail was not blazed, but it is was marked with sign post indicating that it was the Long Mountain Trail. We turned left off the road and began our hike on the Long Mountain Trail proper.

We soon found ourselves steadily climbing up out of the kettle. At about 1.1 miles our climb became much steeper. After a short, but strenuous ascent, we finally reached the top of Grass Mountain and the rest of our hike was all downhill from here.

At 1.5 miles the trail makes a sharp right at what appears to be a pretty nice camp site. After another 0.15 miles of hiking we came upon a gas line clearing. Just last year a new gas line was laid but now the construction is done leaving behind an amazing view to the south. After a few minutes enjoy the scene, Tim and I were back on the trail.

For the next 2.25 miles we followed the grassy mountain road as it made an easy, gradual descent along the western side of Grass Mountain. Most of the hiking was done through the woods, but there were a section or two where we hiked through a forest meadow full of tall grass. The lower section of the trail went through an older section of the woods as we approached Stone Creek Road.

At 4 miles into the hike we reached the end of Long Mountain Trail as it terminates at Stone Creek Road. From here we headed west on paved Stone Creek Road for a tenth of a mile. At this point we beared off the road to our left and followed the Greenwood Spur of the Mid State Trail as it meandered through the Alan Seeger Natural Area.

The trail is not blazed as it goes through the Natural Area, but the trail is very easy to follow. Over the next 0.5 miles of level hiking we crossed three bridges and walked through a number of rhododendron tunnels. Tim and I stopped by one of the few giant hemlocks still standing in the area and posed for some pictures.

At 4.6 miles we emerged onto Alan Seeger Road, and after a few hundred feet we crossed a bridge and were back at the western trailhead and the end of our hike. We hopped into Tim's car and made our way east on Stone Creek Road back to Penn Roosevelt State Park and my waiting car.

This was an enjoyable hike. Aside for the steep climb at the beginning of the hike, the rest of the hike was an easy stroll through the woods. With the recent construction on the gas pipe line, the views from the top of the mountain is amazing. I think I'll be coming back to this trail again, maybe during the fall, and I'll make sure to bring along someone to share the views with.

{vsig_c}0|lmt1_01.jpg|Leaving Penn Roosevelt State Park, we hiked for a short while on Thickhead Mountain Road.{/vsig_c} {vsig_c}0|lmt1_02.jpg|Just off the left of Thickhead Mountain Road was this trail marker for the Long Mountain Trail.{/vsig_c} {vsig_c}0|lmt1_03.jpg|We didn't do much climbing on this hike, but when we did, it was steep.{/vsig_c} {vsig_c}0|lmt1_04.jpg|Heading towards the gas line clearing hiking on this surprisingly well-maintained section of trail.{/vsig_c} {vsig_c}0|lmt1_05.jpg|The majority of this hike was on a grassy, old mountain road.{/vsig_c} {vsig_c}0|lmt1_06.jpg|The trail is gated and marked with a sign post at the termination with paved Stone Creek Road.{/vsig_c}

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