Experience the Trails of Pennsylvania

Short Hike in Galbraith Gap

A recent snow had me itching to get out and do some snowshoeing. I headed over to Galbraith Gap expecting to do my first snowshoe outing of the year. Unfortunately the snow wasn't nearly as deep as I had imagined and found that I wasn't going to be able to do any snowshoeing. However, since I was already here, I decide to do a short winter hike in Galbraith Gap.

Trailhead: N 40° 45.86'
W 77° 45.32'
Total Elevation: 550'
Trail Length: 2.0 miles
Hike Time: 1.0 hours
Hike Type: Loop
Difficulty Rating: 31
Near: Off route US322 near Bolasburg, PA.

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The trailhead for this hike is located at the parking area for access to the Rothrock State Forest in Galbraith Gap. This is located about 0.5 miles beyond the Tussey Mountain Family Fun Center on Bear Meadows Road. To reach the trailhead you will need to get on route US322. Traveling east, you will see Bear Meadows Road on your right, just after passing Boalsburg. The four lane highway will reduce to two lanes with Bear Meadows Road being 0.65miles beyond this point, on your right. If you are heading east, you will see Bear Meadows Road on your left, directly across from the Mountain View golf course. Once you get on Bear Meadows Road, drive for 1 mile. You will see a stone road as well as a sign to your left. Pull back onto this road and park here: there is additional parking located back in the second parking area.

If you are looking for a short hike near the Rothrock State Forest access area in Galbraith Gap, then this is an ideal circuit hike. There was some road walking involved with this hike and caution should be exercised. However, since it was winter, I had to keep an eye open for snowmobiles than automobiles.

The Galbraith Gap Trail was recently graded and improved. A stream crossing that was made difficult with the presence of a fallen tree over the trail has been greatly improved. At 0.3 miles into the hike the trail comes to an end as it crosses Laurel Run Road. I headed directly across the road and began a gradual climb on the Lonberger Path, formerly known as the Chute Trail.

In the past the Chute Trail was quite eroded and used by many mountain bikers as they made their way into Rothrock State Forest. Rework and improvement of the trail includes some rerouting, the addition of switchbacks, and impressive rock work to the trail as well as the renaming of the trail to be an extension of the Lonberger Path. I continued to hike on this section of trail for an additional 0.3 miles, climbing easily on the switchbacks that made the ascent easier. At 0.6 miles into the hike, the Lonberger Path made a sharp left but I turned right onto Spruce Gap Trail.

Once on Spruce Gap Trail I made a sharp left and began a gradual ascent. In a short distance a trail bears off to your right. This is the Three Bridges Trail which I decided to follow. Soon I was crossing over the trails namesake, and reached the end of the trail at 0.9 miles. From here I continued straight following the gravel Laurel Run Road.

Please exercise caution while walking on Laurel Run Road. The road here is narrow with steep drop-offs on the northern side. There isn’t much room for automobiles to get off the road, so make sure to allow them plenty of space to pass. Since this was a winter hike and the roads were snow covered, I was lucky and did not encounter any motorized vehicles.

At 1.3 miles Laurel Run Road makes a sharp turn to the right at a cul-de-sac. Turning right I continued following Laurel Run Road. At 1.6 miles I came upon the intersection with the Galbraith Gap Trail. Turning left here, I retraced my steps back to the parking area.

Even though I had my heart set on snowshoeing today, this winter hike was a nice break from being indoors. With the relatively fresh snow and the bright sun this hike was very pleasant and the short distance would also make this a good hike any time of the year whenever someone is looking to just "get out" for a short while.

The sun shines while hiking back Galbraith Gap Trail.

The undulating Lonberger Path.

Three bridges.

Hiking down Laurel Run Road.

The newly erected facilities at the trailhead in Galbraith Gap. This should be open for use in early spring.

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