For their fourth after work hike, the Restek Ramblers climbed to the top of a Happy Valley landmark: Mount Nittany. We had beautiful weather for the hike and had a number of new hikers joining us for this outing.
We met at the trailhead to Mount Nittany at the end of Mount Nittany Road in Lemont. When we arrived the parking was at a premium, with most of us having to do a short hike just to make it to the trailhead.
There were 12 of us on this hike, with almost half being new hikers. The hike climbing Mount Nittany starts with a steep climb. I told everyone to climb at their own pace and that we would all meet at the top. Some of the hikers took off and began ascending the mountain at a quickened pace, while others took their time and rested occasionally during the ascent. Soon we were all at the top of the mountain where the white blazed entrance trail merges with the white blazed loop trail. We turned right and walked a short distance to the Mike Lynch Vista.
This was our first hike where we actually had a vista to enjoy. We all took our time here, looking out over State College and University Park. There was a couple sitting here when we arrived and they were kind enough to take a group picture of us. After a bit we started off following the blue blazed trail counter clockwise from the Mike Lynch vista.
On the south-west face of Mount Nittany, the white and blue blazed trails parallel one another for a short distance. At a point the blue blazed trail breaks away and heads directly south to the Boalsburg vista. Again we paused here for a bit so that everyone could enjoy the view. I pointed out the area where we had hiked the week before: Shingletown Gap and Bald Knob Ridge. We left this vista and continued on the blue blazed trail where it soon merged with the white blazed loop trail.
When the white blazed and blue blazed trails parted, we turned left and followed the white blazed trail back across the top of Mount Nittany to the northern side of the mountain. We came upon another intersection with the blue blazed trail where we jogged to our right to take in another vista. AFter a short stop here (the vista was overgrown and not nearly as nice as the previous two) we backtracked a bit and then continued along the ridge top on the white blazed trail. Before we knew it we were back at the entrance trail where we turned right and followed it back down to the trailhead. The trip back down the mountainside was much easier than the climb up it. Our last scheduled hike of the season will have us visiting Mount Nittany once again, this time we'll be tackling the longer blue-blazed loop with additional vistas for us to enjoy.