Our latest after work hike had the Restek Rabmlers taking on the Indian Steps. The Indian Steps are part of the Ironstone Trail which is a spur of the Mid State Trail. Probably not built by Indians, these rock steps provide a direct route to climb the south face of Tussey Mountain.
There were 8 of us on this hike. The weather was not the best as it looked like it would rain at any minute. We did get a few sprinkles falling on us half way through the hike, but we lucked out and stayed dry for the duration of the hike.
At first we came across steps made of logs and then we came across a rock field and the Indian Steps. We climbed 600 feet in about 0.4 miles and it took us about 20 minutes to climb. Once we reached the top everyone took a much needed break before we continued on.
Soon we were back on the trail, turning left at the junction with the Mid State Trail. After about a mile and a half of hiking the MST we we came across our first view to the south, overlooking Harry's Valley. Shortly past this vista we came upon a clearing where a fire tower once stood. From here we followed the remains of an old forest road to its intersection with PA Furnace Road.
We turned left on PA Furnace Road and came across another vista to the south about 400 feet after leaving the Mid State Trail. We continued our hike down PA Furnace Road to where it switch-backed to our right. We continued straight on the Pump Station Trail which is a grassy forest road, now only used by hikers, bikers, and during the winter, snowmobilers.
Once we reached the bottom of our descent, where Pump Station Trail meets with Harry's Valley Road, we beared left and hiked the last half mile back to our cars and the start of our hike. This was a nice after work hike, being just the right length as that we were finished before it got too late into the evening. The climb up Indian Steps was an invigorating hike and probably our most challenging hike to date for the Restek Ramblers.