The Mid State Trail (MST) is a 518 km (323 mile) long main trail network with many side trails located in the Ridge-and-valley Appalachians and Allegheny Plateau of Central Pennsylvania. It is known as "The Wildest Trail in Pennsylvania". In 2006, MST was announced as part of the Great Eastern Trail network of footpaths intended to extend from Alabama to New York State.
The Mid State Trail extends from the Maryland border to the New York border, bisecting the middle of Pennsylvania. The southern end of the MST is found on the Mason-Dixon line on route PA326. The northern terminus is located just north of Lawrenceville, PA. The MST is primarily on public land; state forests, state game lands and state parks. MST uses private lands by permission on occasion, generally closer to the Maryland and New York borders.
The Mid State Trail is marked with rectangular orange blazes. Yellow and blue blazes are used to mark other, side trails. The MST marks the trail with single rectangles and two rectangles to denote turns.
The Mid State Trail is divided into four different regions. The southern most section of the trail is the Everett Region. The Everett Region covers the section of the trail that extends from the Maryland border to route US22 near Alexandria, PA. Adjacent to this region is the State College Region. This extends from route US22 near Alexandria, PA to the R.B. Winter State Park. The next region is the Woolrich Region which includes the section of the MST from R.B. Winter State Park to the town of Blackwell, PA. The final region is the Tioga Region. The section of the trail from Blackwell, PA to the New York state border make up this region.
A brief history of the Mid State Trail tells about how the trail began and the growing pains it suffered as it slowly blazed its way across the middle of the state. More information about the Mid State Trail and the organization tasked with maintianing it is available on the Mid State Trail Association (MSTA) website.
The Everett Region covers the section of the Mid State Trail from the Maryland border to the crossing of route US22 near the town of Alexandria, PA. In this region, the MST passes through the Buchanan State Forest. Continuing northward, the MST passes through the trail town of Everett before climbing to the top of Tussey Mountain. After following the ridgeline for many miles, the trail descends to the town of Williamsburg where it follows the rails-to-trails of the Lower Trail, ending at route US22.
The State College Region covers the section of the Mid State Trail from route US22 near the town of Alexandria, PA to R.B. Winter State Park. This region contains the birthplace of the Mid State Trail, marked by a monument to Dr. Thomas Thwaites, just south of State College, PA. In this region you will pass through a number of State Parks and natural areas. This section of the trail also passes through the only tunnel on the trail, located just east of Poe Paddy State Park.
The Woolrich Region covers the section of the Mid State Trail from the R.B Winter State Park to the town of Blackwell, PA. This region passes through the Tiadaghton and Tioga State Forests as well as the R.B. Winter, Ravensburg, and Little Pine State Parks. Here you will find the steepest sections of the trail as it ascends and descends the Allegheny Plateau on the banks of Pine Creek.
The Tioga Region covers the section of the Mid State Trail from the town of Blackwell, PA to the New York state border. This region passes through the Tioga State Forests and Hills Creek State Park. Making its way over the hilly terrain of the Allegheny Plateau, you'll find pleasant natural and cultural discoveries in the northern most region of the MST.