I finally got a chance to do some snowshoeing this winter hiking season. It seemed like my last repair of my snowshoes was a success as the shoes worked fine for the entire hike. For this adventure I headed out to the Lake Trail in Stone Valley. This trail encircles the now filled Lake Perez. With snow falling from the sky, this was quite an enjoyable outing.
|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
View Large Map
Download Map (PDF)
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.
The trailhead parking area was gated so I had to park along the main road. After putting on my snowshoes I hiked down to the parking area and found the sign indicating the start of the Lake Trail. I found the sign off to the right, near the edge of the lake.
For the next three tenths of a mile I hiked along the southeast side of the lake. At 0.3 miles the orange-blazed Lake Trail turs to the left and crosses Shaver Creek on two bridges. After crossing the bridges the trail walks through a stand of hardwoods as it slowly climbs towards the Shaver's Creek Environmental Center.
A little over a half mile into the hike I emerged into the parking area of the Environmental Center. There is a map located here that shows all of the trails in the area. I hiked across the clearing in front of the center and then reentered the woods on the Lake Trail, descending slowly towards one of the smaller streams the feeds into Lake Perez.
At 0.7 miles the trail turns left, crosses the small stream, and merges with the yellow-blazed Ironstone Trail. The trail heads back towards the lake and at 0.9 miles you afforded some winter views of Lake Perez. At 1 mile into the hike I crossed yet another small feeder stream and make a left, continuing on the orange-blazed trail.
You will get pretty close to the lake here before you begin a sweeping right turn at 1.1 miles and begin a gradual ascent away form the lake. This begins the longest climb of the entire hike, climbing over 150 feet in the next three tenths of a mile. At 1.6 miles the trail turns to the left as it emerges onto a powerline clearing.
From here I would follow the power line clearing for about 500 feet, before the trail jogs to the left back into the woods and parallels the clearing. Finally at 1.7 miles, the trail turns right, crosses the powerline clearing, and heads back into the woods.
After two tenths of a mile hiking in the woods, I emerged onto the other access road to Stone Valley. I crossed the road here and began another ascent, passing a climbing tower at 2 miles into the hike. From here there was a gentle descent back to the lake.
A little shy of 2.2 miles into the hike I began crossing the breast of the dam. I had nice, panoramic views over the frozen lake to the east. At the spillway of the dam a bridge is erected. Crossing on the bridge, I 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 are small cabins that can be rented. To the left is the office building and the boat rental shop. At 2.7 miles I was 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. It was a great place to go snowshoeing and now that the lake is filled with water, I will make sure to come back here during warmer weather to hike the Lake Trail again.