I am sure you have heard of Pokemon Go, an augmented reality game for Apple iPhone and Android mobile phones. The game requires you, a Pokemon trainer, to collect Pokemon. creatures, which you'll find in the real world, thanks to your phones camera. There are various items that assist in catching Pokemon, and these can be found at PokeStop. PokeStops are associated with landmarks in the real world. Another aspect to Pokemon Go is using the Pokemon you have collected to battle other Pokemons in places called Pokemon Gyms. Needless to say this new game has become a world wide hit with millions playing the game.
Typically urban centers have a high density of PokeStops and Pokemon Gyms, but this isn't always the case. On a short section of the Mid State Trail, located just south of State College, you will find seven PokeStops and a Pokemon Gym in the middle of the woods. If you have kids that enjoy playing Pokemon Go, or perhaps you find yourself addicted to the game as well., here is an opportunity to get outside, get some exercise, and enjoy the wilderness, while collecting and playing Pokemon Go. So where is this magical Pokemon place in the woods, and how do you get there? Well, let me tell you a story...
It was a tough battle, but my teammates and I were able to secure the Pokemon Gym, wrestling it away from Team Valor. After the fight I found myself low on potions. My one teammate told me of a place near by where there were quite a few PokeStops where I could pick up potions. He said it was located at a place called Little Flat, in Rothrock State Forest. He told me to follow the Mid State Trail and it would lead me to all of these PokeStops. He also said that as an added bonus, I would find a Pokemon Gym as well where I would have another opportunity to do battle with my newly acquired Pokemon.
Not knowing where this "Little Flat" and "Mid State Trail" was located, I typed these places into Google to do a search. I came across a very helpful, and resourceful website called PAHikes.com. According to PAHikes, in order to get to the location on the Mid State Trail to start this search for PokeStops , I needed to get to the top of the nearby mountain, the area called Little Flat.
Following the directions from the website, I headed east on US322, going 1/2 mile past Boalsburg and then turning right onto Bear Meadows Road. I traveled on Bear Meadows road for about 1.5 miles and then turned right onto Laurel Run Road. Traveling for another 1.8 miles I reached the top of the mountain. This is where the Mid State Trail crosses Laurel Run Road, but the directions from PAHikes said I needed to travel just a bit further. Another tenth of a mile and I spied the road for accessing Little Flat on my left. Turning here I traveled another half mile. At this point the road was gated and there was a parking area on my right. I stopped here to begin my adventuring visiting PokeStops and collecting Pokemon.
The Mid State Trail was accessed via short trail at the southern end of this parking area. As I got out of my car and headed off in that direction, I noticed a PokeStop here at the parking area. Checking out the PokeStop I picked up one potion and a couple Poke Balls. Excited to see what else I would get on this outing, I soon found myself heading down the Mid State Trail.
After a little over 0.3 miles of walking on the Mid State Trail I came upon my second PokeStop. I was preparing to collect items from this PokeStop when I heard rustling sound from behind me. I turned to see a Clefairy standing on the trail directly behind me. The Pokemon wasn't real strong and after three tosses of my Pokeballs, I was able to catch the Clefairy and add him to my collection.
Crossing a dirt road, I continued on the Mid State Trail. The trail was a bit rocky in places, but nothing that couldn't be conquered in sneakers, as long as I took my time and watched where I was stepping. I had hiked about three quarters of a mile when I emerged out of the woods into a clearing. Just prior to entering the clearing I noticed another PokeStop off to my left. I quickly went over to visit it and collect the items there.
This clearing that I was in is called Little Flat. The gated road ends here at a cul-de-sac. Also located here, a bit off to the east, were a number of radio towers. Closer to the trail there is an old log cabin and a steel fire tower. Near the fire tower was another PokeStop. After visiting the fire tower PokeStop, I looked down to see a Caterpie rising up out of the grass. A short battle ensued and soon I had captured, and added a Caterpie to my Pokemon collection.
Heading south now, I continued on the Mid State Trail and soon passed another two PokeStops, about 0.9 miles since the start of this adventure, at the junction of two side trails. I was starting to rebuild my collection of potions from everything that I was getting at the PokeStops that were found along the Mid State Trail.
Just a bit over a mile from where I parked the car I came upon the Pokemon Gym.The gym was located at a stone monument erected in honor of Thomas Thwaites, the Father of the Mid State Trail. As I was reading the plaque on the monument another Clefairy stuck its head out from behind the monument. I quickly trapped it and added it to my collection. I then entered the gym and engaged in battle with Team Valor, who was controlling the gym. An easy battle and I soon found myself as the champion and trainer in charge of this wilderness gym.
There was one more PokeStop for me to visit, and it was located about 200 feet past the gym. I had visited all 7 PokeStops found on this section of the Mid State Trail, and had only walked about 1.1 miles from my car. If I waited just a bit, all of the PokeStops would respawn and I could collect items from them on my return trip.
I had read on PAHikes that there was a beautiful vista just a tenth of a mile past the Tom Twaites monument, so I headed out to it to take a look. The view was breathtaking. I spent quite a bit of time here enjoying the view, realizing that the reward for doing this outing wasn't all of the PokeStops or the Pokemon Gym, but that it was this view and all that nature had to offer.
That being said, on my trek back to the car, I stopped at all the PokeStops and collected even more items to assist me in completing my Pokemon collection. Pokemon, gotta catch em all!