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Elevation Profile of Trail

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Trailhead:  N 40° 43.61'
W 77° 42.16'
Total Elevation:  1801'
Trail Length:  5.8 miles
Hike Time:  3.5 hours
Hike Type:  Shuttle
Difficulty Rating:  94
Near:  Penn Roosevelt State Park
Note regarding hike time and elevation traversed.  

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Trip Report and Photos

December is that month where, if you want to do a hike, you need to get it in before the weather turns bad. Sometimes the weather turns bad early and there are many inches of snow and/or ice on the ridgetops in mid-December. Other years you have nice, cooperative weather into January before things go down hill. Even though we had some rather cold temperatures in December this year, the percipitation was light. With this in mind, Tim, Dan and I decided to attempt a hike from Penn Roosevelt to route US322 on the Mid State Trail. We were happy to find that the trail, with the exception of about an inch of fluffy white snow, was clear and open for our hike.

This hike started on a nice Saturday morning. It was a bit chilly, but the sun was shining, and the temperatures were forecasted to reach the mid-thirties. We met at Penn Roosevelt, after dropping my car off at the intersection of the Ben Jacobs trail and route US322. At around 11:00AM we were off, hiking on the MST as it makes its way through Penn Roosevelt.

67°
°F | °C
Mid State Trail
Sunny
Humidity: 26%
11 mph
Fri
Sunny
48 | 69
Sat
Mostly Cloudy
45 | 71

The trailhead for this hike is located in Penn Roosevelt State Park. You can acces Penn Roosevelt from US 322 either via the Stone Creek road or Crowfield Road. From US322, following Stone Creek Road, we drove about 3.4 miles to the intersection with the dirt road that led back to Penn Roosevelt. After another mile of driving we found ourselves at the parking area of Penn Roosevelt and the start of our hike. Traveling back Crowfield Road, you will have to go about 6.4 miles before you encounter Penn Roosevelt State Park. On your left you will find the parking area for this hike.

We soon found ourselves climbing Broad Mountain, out of Stone Gap. The climb wasn't too strenuous, but we were sweating and heavy of breath once we reached the top. At the top we were greeted with a clear trail and about an inch of fresh snow on the ground.

There were three of us doing this hike. For Tim, this was filling in a section of the MST that he needed to hike. After today, Tim will have hiked the MST from PA26 to route US322. With a coupl other day hikes, Tim will be looking at completing the MST from Ewing Path, south of PA26 up to Woodward Gap, just south of route PA45. For Dan, he has been hiking the trails in Rothrock quite extensively the past 2 years. Recently he joined the MSTA and is looking to put as many miles of the MST under his belt as he can. Today we added 6 miles to his cause.

At Penn Roosevelt State Park, the start of our hike shows two of our vehicles plus another that got there before us.

At 0.8 miles behind us, we had the steepest part of the hike behind us. The trail was clear of obstacles, even if it was covered with about an inch of snow. The trail made a sweeping turn to our right and at about one mile into out hike the trail made a sharp turn to the left.

Shortly after makin our turn to the right we were greeted with a view to our south. It was a narrow vista, but we did get a nice view of Coopers Gap to our south. After a short break at the vista, we continued on our hike, heading slightly northeast across the top of Broad Mountain.

AT 1.5 miles into the hike the trail make a sharp right turn, where it intersected with the Tar Pit Trail. This point was TRICO, the intersection of three counties: Mifflin, Huntingdon, and Centre. There was a pile of rocks here to mark the juncture or three counties. Turning right here, the MST followed the Tar Pit Trail south across the top of Broad Mountain.

The trail made a gradual turn to our left, at about 1.7 miles into the hike. We continued hiking on the relativley flat top of Broad Mountain. At about 2.5 miles we encountered the intresection with Indian Path, approaching us from our right. The MST made a slight jog to the left here as we crossed from the south face of Broad Mountain to the north face. Off to our left, about 300 feet past our intersection with the Indian Path, is the highest point in Mifflin County. I believe it is measured at about 2325 feet, but with the thick growth of mountain laurel that we spied to our left, I think a person would have to be dedidacted to verify this measurement.

At 3.1 miles the MST makes a sharp right as the Indian Path continues down the north side of Broad Mountain. Tim, Dan and I paused here for a minute to wet our whistles. We also pulled out various energy bars and munched on them to give us enough energy to finish the hike. Afte 10 minutes of talking amongst oursevles, we were back on the trail.

We made a slow descent on the mountain top until we encountered the Muttersbaugh Trail at 3.9 miles. The trail joined us from the left, but after about a tenth of a mile, Muttersbaugh Trail continued straight, heading down towards Muttesrbaugh Gap, while the MST make a sharp left and headed back toward the crest of the mountain. At this point we left Broad Mountain behind us and found ourselves on top of Bald Mountain.

At 4.4 miles we were upon a nice view to our north. From here we looked upon Boals Gap and Penns Vally beyond. We paused here for a few minutes and took pictures before continuing on the MST.

For the next 0.7 miles we criss-crossed on the top of Bald Mountain before the trail finally decided to take the plunge off of Bald Mountain. At 5.2 miles we began our descent from Bald Mountain. The descent was a bit slow, what with there being fresh snow on the rocks that made our climb down a little snow. We switch backed twice during our descent, and with the exception of a slick rock or two, we managed the descent without incident.

At 5.5 miles we made a sharp right, following the Rothrock State Forest boundary. We continued south until we came upon the Ben Jacobs Trail. The blue blazed Ben Jacobs Trail went off to our right, with the MST continuing straight ahead. We turned left here and headed towards US322 where we found my car waiting for us. After 2.5 hours and almost 6 miles of hiking, we found ourselves in my Suzuki heading back to the trailhead after another satisfying and enjoyable day of hiking the Mid State Trail.

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