Experience the Trails of Pennsylvania

Mountain View Trail at Stone Valley Recreation Area

My intentions were to hike the Lake Trail at the Stone Valley Recreation Area. However, upon my arrival, I soon discovered that Lake Perez had been drained. Where there was once a lake now stood a large meadow. It seems that they were in the process of repairing the dam and that the lake would be empty for a couple years yet. The hike on the Lake Trail lost its appeal since there wasn't a lake to hike around. After a quick glance at one of the maps posted near the trailhead, I decided I would hike the Mountain View Trail instead.

Trailhead: N 40° 39.82'
W 77° 54.68'
Total Elevation: 1020'
Trail Length: 3.6 miles
Hike Time: 2 hours
Hike Type: Loop
Difficulty Rating: 56
Near: Stone Valley Recreation
Area near Shaver's
Creek Environmental

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The Stone Valley Recreation Area is located within a 7000 acre experimental forest owned by the Pennsylvania State University. The recreation center itself includes a 72-acre lake, a resident camp facility, a day use recreation site, the Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, and more than 700 acres of varied eco-systems. Included on this recreation area are over 25 miles of trails suitable for hiking, snow-shoeing, and cross country skiing.

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.

I parked at the main access area near the boat rentals and cabins. As you can imagine, since the lake was drained, there weren't any cars parked here on this morning. After gathering my gear I started my hike on the Lake Trail, heading west up a paved path. After a thousand feet or so, there was a dirt access road the continued straight with the paved path bearing off to my left. I went straight on the dirt road.

About 0.2 miles into the hike I saw the blue blazed Shaver's Creek Trail to my left. I soon entered the woods and walked along an old, abandoned forest road. After another half mile of hiking the trail dipped down to follow the bank of Shaver's Creek for about 100 feet. I paused here a moment to take some pictures, and then continued hiking. It was only a short climb and about 400 feet later that I came to the junction of Shaver's Creek Trail and Mountain View Trail.

Turning left at 0.75 miles into the hike, I followed the Mountain View Trail as it swept around to my left and began a modest ascent. This was the only climb of the day, which was quite easy, only climbing about 150 feet in 0.2 miles. For the next 0.8 miles I had a nice leisurely stroll across the top of this small ridge, as the trail winded its way through the deciduous forest.

At 1.7 miles into the hike I came upon a large clearing. It look as if this area was where shale, used for a base on the roads in the area, was excavated from the hillside. The trail followed the top of this excavation site and I was wondering if this was the mountain view for which this trail was named. If it was, I was disappointed as the trees had grown up so much that I could not see the mountain.

The trail paralleled Greenwall Road for a short distance before it crossed it at an intersection with Nursery Road and Scare Pond Road at 2 miles. This is where I discovered the namesake of the trail. Just off the the left of the trail there was a bench and nice grassy clearing along with a nice view of Tussey Mountain to the north. I took some time to refresh myself and enjoy the view before I continued on.

During the next half mile of hiking, there was a short descent into a hollow, where you will find the Old Faithful trail bearing off to your left, followed by another short, but easy climb. At 2.6 miles into the hike I began my last descent of the hike, following Mountain View Trail down to the intersections of the Lake Trail and Sawmill Trail. Just prior to this intersection, at 3.15 miles you cross the paved road that leads to the parking area. You could turn left here and walk the paved road back to your car, but I highly recommend following the Lake Trail.

At 3.25 miles I turned left onto the Lake Trail and followed it back to the trailhead and my car. The hike was about 3.6 miles long and was an easy hike that would be a great family hike with kids. The view of the mountain was nice and would be a great place to stop for a snack or lunch. Along with this trail, there are many other shorter trails that can be combined to form a hike of various lengths. The Stone Valley Recreation Area is a great place to explore and hike either as a family or by yourself.

As you can see, Lake Perez is now Meadow Perez.

A view looking up Shaver's Creek.

This sign marks the western terminus of the Mountain View Trail.

Here is the view for which the trail gets its name.

Heading back to the trailhead, crossing over a swampy section, on the Lake Trail.

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