Myself and a group of avid hikers from work try to get out once a week during spring to do an afterwork hike. On this particular week, we headed over to Stone Valley to do a hike around Lake Perez. It was grey and it looked like it was about to rain as we drove to the trailhead but once we arrived it turned out to be a pleasant day for a hike.
|Trailhead:||N 40° 39.82'
W 77° 54.68'
|Trail Length:||2.7 miles|
|Hike Time:||1.5 hours|
|Near:||Stone Valley Recreation
Area near Shaver's
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The trailhead for this hike is in the main lake access area of the Stone Valley Recreation Area. To reach the trail head you will need to get yourself on to route PA26. Route PA26 can be found off of route US322 in State College and route US22 in Huntingdon. If you are coming from the north, make your way to Pine Grove Mills, either on PA26 or route PA45. Once you are in Pine Grove Mills, take PA26 south for 4.1 miles. You will go over Tussey Mountain and when you are almost at the end of your descent you will turn right onto Charter Oak Road. Stay on Charter Oak Road for 1.7 miles and look for signs that indicate you are approaching the East Entrance of the Stone Valley Recreation Area. Turn left onto Red Rose Road and follow this road, bearing left at 0.3 miles and then making a sharp right, staying on the paved road, at 0.5 miles. At 1.5 miles from turning off Charter Oak Road you will see the main parking area on your right. Pull in at the first access road and park in the parking area. If you are coming from the south, from route US22, turn onto north PA26 in the town of Huntingdon. From the intersection of PA26 and US22 stay on route PA26 north for 23.5 miles. You will then turn left onto Charter Oak Road at the base of Tussey Mountain. Stay on Charter Oak Road for 1.7 miles and look for signs that indicate you are approaching the East Entrance of the Stone Valley Recreation Area. Turn left onto Red Rose Road and continue for another 1.5 miles, as described earlier.
There were nine of us on this hike as we hit the trail, heading east on a crushed limestone path. This path leads around the east end of the lake and connects up with the Shavers Creek Environmental Center. This trail is wide and well maintained. In a short period we came upon a boardwalk to our left. Turning here we walked on the boardwalks above the marsh alongside both sides of Shaver Creek and at the eastern most end of the lake.
After leaving the boardwalks we had a slight climb as we headed to the Environmental Center. The Environmental Center is currently under construction for renovations and at 0.6 miles into our hike we crossed in front of the center.
Soon we had a short descent and crossed a small stream as we turned left onto the Lake Trail proper. At this point the trail followed the curve of the lake as we headed southwest. At a bit over a mile we crossed another small stream and turned left after crossing, at the intersection of the Lake Trail and the Bluebird Trail.
At 1.2 miles we left the lake behind and headed into the woods, with a slight climb. At 1.3 miles the trail makes a turn to the left and begins to climb more steeply. Finally at 1.5 miles we reached the end of our climb and the highest point on this hike. At 1.6 miles the trail turns to the left as it emerges onto a powerline clearing.
From here we followed the power line clearing for about 500 feet, before the jogging to the left back into the woods and paralleling the power line clearing. Approximately 1.7 miles into the hike we turned to the right and crossed the powerline clearing and headed back into the woods.
After two tenths of a mile hiking in the woods, our group emerged onto the other access road to Stone Valley. After crossing over the road we encountered another climb and passed a climbing tower at 2 miles into the hike. Once past the climbing tower we began a gradual descent back to the lake.
A little shy of 2.2 miles into the hike we found ourselves at the dame. From here we had nice views across the lake. At the spillway of the dam we crossed on a bridge and turned left to continue following the Lake Trail, once again on the southeast side of the lake.
At 2.5 miles the trail enters into the recreation area proper at Stone Valley. Off to the right you will see small cabins that can be rented. To the left is the office building and the boat rental shop. At 2.7 miles we were back at the parking area and the trailhead for this hike.
The Lake Trail at Stone Valley Recreational Area is a great trail to hike. Mostly flat, the proximity to the lake provides some nice views of and over the lake. There are a few small climbs, just enough to keep things interesting. If you are looking for a hike that you can easily fit in afterwork, or on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, then I would recommend checking out the Lake Trail at Stone Valley.