A very warm February weekend gave us a good excuse to head out into the woods for a hike. This hike on the Sawmill and Rudy Trails is located in the Stone Valley Recreational Area, near Lake Perez. This hike was relatively flat and would be a great hike for kids. Mixed wood forests, open meadows, small streams, and an old foundation were all encountered on this short and pleasant winter hike.
|Trailhead:||N 40° 40.28'
W 77° 54.08'
|Trail Length:||2.2 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 0.7 miles from turning off Charter Oak Road you will see Sawmill Trail crossing the road here. Pull off the road and start your hike at the trail crossing. 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 0.7 miles, as described earlier.
Heading northeast from the intersection of Sawmill Trail and Scare Pond Road, we headed through a recently logged area. However, in a short time the trail headed back into the woods, with the clear cut area being off to our left.
A little over a half mile into the hike we skirted around a deer exclosure with the trail making a sweeping turn to the left. Once on the east side of the deer exclosure the trail makes a turn to the right. Once you get near 0.7 miles into the hike, keep an eye open for the trail making a sharp turn to the left. The sharp turn occurs at a small depression which looks to be the remnants of an old forest road.
At 0.8 miles the Sawmill Trail comes to an end at the intersection with Red Rose Road. Directly across from the Sawmill Trail is the beginning of the Rudy Trail. We crossed Red Rose Road and headed back Rudy Trail.
Rudy Trail was a bit overgrown as we began our hike on this new trail. I would expect that passage on this section of the trail would be a bit tough during the summer months when all of the undergrowth really creeps in on the trail. For the next two tenths of a mile the trail parallels Red Rose Road. At one mile into the hike, the trail emerges into a recently cleared section of the woods. The trail makes a sharp right here and begins a small ascent away from Red Rose Road. It is here that you will see the remains of an old foundation, probably belonging to a barn, located to the left of the trail.
For the next 0.2 miles we walked through a clear cut, and crossed a small stream at the edge of the woods. Turn left here, we switchback to the west, hiking along the edge of the clear cut and the forest. At 1.3 miles the trail enters the woods leaving the clear cut behind. In another tenth of a mile the single track Rudy Trail emerges onto an old forest road. Continue straight here on this wider trail.
At a little over 1.5 miles, Rudy Trail proper makes a sharp turn to the left, leaving the wide trail behind. However you can continue straight here and in a few hundred feet you will emerge onto the Homestead Trail. At this point we turned left and began a gradual descent on the Homestead Trail back towards Red Rose Road.
As we crossed Red Rose Road on the Homestead Trail I noticed the other end of Rudy Trail to our left. Seems that we could have continued on Rudy Trail and ended up at the same spot. After crossing Red Rose Road we hiked through a stand of pines and emerged onto Scare Pond Road at 1.9 miles into the hike.
Looking down Scare Pond Road to the left we could see our truck parked along the road. We decided to continue hiking on Homestead Trail for another two tenths of a mile until we came to the intersection with Sawmill Trail. Turning left we followed Sawmill Trail back to Scare Pond Road and our waiting truck.
This hike would be great for kids with the only possible issue being a slightly overgrown Rudy Trail during the summer months. If you find your self in the Stone Valley area I would recommend giving this hike a try.