With a change in employment, it looked like my convenient after work hikes were soon going to be coming to an end. As our last official after work hike, Tim, Tom and I decided to hike the Bald Knob Ridge at Shingletown Gap. Tom had never hiked this trail and this was the last trail in Shingletown Gap that Tim had yet to hike. So on a muggy, late July afternoon we headed to the trailhead to begin our hike.
|Trailhead:||N 40° 45.27'
W 77° 49.07'
|Trail Length:||5.9 miles|
|Hike Time:||3.5 hours|
|Near:||Off route PA45
by the town of
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The trailhead for this hike is easily accessible from State College. Coming from State College, either via route US322 or business route US322 (South Atherton Street), you will need to turn right onto route PA45 west near Boalsburg. Once you are on route PA45 west heading towards Pine Grove Mills, you will want to travel 1.8 miles where you will reach the town of Shingletown. Here turn left onto Mountain Road and travel another mile where you will come to the parking area and the trailhead.
It was mid-July and you could tell by the humidity. The sun wasn't shining, so the heat wasn't that bad, but we could really feel the humidity as we started our hike.
We followed the main trail and paralleled Roaring Run, passing one of the old ruins at about 0.6 miles into the hike. Just a bit past the ruins we turned left on a blue-blazed side trail and began our ascent.
At 0.8 miles into our hike we came to a flat area and a small clearing. We had the option of turning right or turning left and continuing our climb. We opted for the former and started hiking on a trail that was pretty much level as it traversed the side of the ridge.
The trail we were on must not have been used much as it was a little over grown in places. At 1.2 miles we came upon an intersection with another trail that we could tell was used quite a bit. The difference was like night and day. We turned left here and began to climb the ridge once again.
After a little bit of climbing we reached the ridge top at 1.4 miles. Our climbing was far from over, as the ridgeline ascended as it headed off towards Bald Knob. But at least the steepest climbs of the day were now behind us.
The trail across the ridge line was well maintained and easy to follow. We saw a number of trails joining the ridge trail from the right, but we continued hiking straight ahead. After 1.5 miles of hiking on the ridge trail we reached Bald Knob.
Once at Bald Knob we took a break to wet our whistles and to explore a bit. The huckleberries were beginning to ripen, and we took advantage of the down time to eat a couple hand fulls. After a short rest we put our packs back on and continued our hike.
The descent from Bald Knob was on an old jeep trail. The trail was steep and I was happy when we reached the bottom as my toes were being crammed into the fronts of my boots. At 3.4 miles the jeep trail ended and we turned right on Shingletown Trail.
At 3.8 miles we came upon a clearing where there were the remains of an old chimney. There was also a large camp fire ring here as well. The Sand Spring Trail intersected here from the left while the LaPonte Trail came down the front ridge from the right. We continued straight as we knew we had a nice easy stroll back to the trailhead.
The next 2 miles of hiking were rather uneventful. We followed the trail back to Shingletown Gap as it followed the banks of Roaring Run. We hadn't had any rain for a while and the stream was very low in its banks. However, the further down the trail we went, the more of the stream we heard. By the time we got back to where we originally branched off the main trail, the sound of Roaring Run filled the woods.
Our hike was about 5.9 miles in length. Aside for the high humidity, from which Tim, Tom and I were now drenched, it was a nice hike. With this hike, Tim had now hiked all of the trails in Shingletown Gap, from the front ridge up to the Mid State Trail on top of Tussey Mountain. This was also go to be our last after work hike. Hopefully we will be able to schedule another hike yet this year, but it will probably have to be a short hike, later in the evening, or perhaps an outing on a weekend.