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Mount Nittany

Probably the most hiked mountain in Centre County, Mount Nittany offers a moderate climb to many vistas that look out on State College, Beaver Stadium, and other surrounding communities and landmarks.

The 'Nittany' in Mount Nittany is said to be derived from Indian words meaning protective barrier against the elements. Local folk lore tells of an Indian princess, Princess Nita-Nee, that led her tribe to the safe haven of Nittany Valley. When she died a mountain arose from her burial site, and Mount Nittany was born.

The most hiked trails on Mount Nittany are found at it's southern terminus. But Mount Nittany extends for many miles to the northeast. Another easily hikable trail, but not nearly as used or populated as the trails on the southern tip, is the James Cleveland Trail. Maintained by a local Boy Scout group, this trail ascends to the top of Mount Nittany between the towns of Pleasant Gap and Centre Hall, and visits the site of a plane crash that occured in the 1930s.

If you live in Centre County, or just visting, a hike up Mount Nittany should be on your to-do list. Be it the 4 mile white blazed trail or the longer blue blazed trail, the vistas from the mountain top are well worth the climb.

If you would like more information on Mount Nittany, or perhaps even donate to help preserve this local landmark, you can visit the website of the Mount Nittany Conservancy.

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1.91666666667 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 1.92 (6 Votes)

Our typical after work hikes are usually made up with as few as two and as many as five hikers. This afterwork hike was a little different as we had eleven hikers going on this hike. The ages of the hikers ranged from little ones still in preschool to those that are counting the short years until they can retire. For this hike we decided to do something short, but not too easy, with quite a few views. We opted to do the iconic hike of Happy Valley; the hike up Mount Nittany.


2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 2.00 (4 Votes)

It had been over a year since I last ventured to the top of Mount Nittany and figured it was time for me to climb it once again. I asked Tim, a fellow coworker, if he'd be interested in doing some hiking. After checking his calendar he agreed to accompany me on my hike following work. It was a comfortable early fall day that we ascended to the top of Mount Nittany for some exercise and great views.


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A nice spring day, with temperatures approaching the seventies, compelled Shari and I to get out and go for a small hike. With there still being a good bit of snow in the mountains and the roads there still being a little difficult to traverse, we decided to hike on a more easily accessible trail. We headed over to Lemont to climb to the top of Mount Nittany.


2.33333333333 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 2.33 (3 Votes)

The best way I've found to beat cabin fever is to get outside and take a hike. And when the temperatures are close to sixty in the middle of January, spring fever compels you even more to get outside and enjoy that nice weather. Thus when a balmy January day presented itself, we took advantage of the opportunity and took a short hike to the top of Mount Nittany on the James Cleveland Trail.


1.5 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 1.50 (2 Votes)

Our first snow of the season came on October 25th and I sat in my office that morning longing to get outside. I decided to take a hike up Mount Nittany at lunch. We used to do this hike quite often in the spring, as the trailhead is only about 2 miles from where I work, and you can usually hike to the top in 20 minutes and come back down in 15 minutes. This allowed you to fit a nice, invigorating hike into your lunch hour with a little time to spare to take in the view from atop of Mount Nittany.


0.5 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 0.50 (1 Vote)

A nice summer day with low humidity and comfortable temperatures was the setting for this hike up Mount Nittany. There were a number of cars parked at the trailhead, and we passed three hikers as we climbed to the top. At the Mike Lynch Overlook there was a lady sitting there enjoying the view. Once we were at the top we followed the white blazed trail. All-in-all this was going to be a typical hike up Mount Nittany.


0.5 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 0.50 (1 Vote)

On May 24th, 1931, a US Mail pilot by the name of James Cleveland apparently was disoriented or had plane problems and crashed his plane onto the top of Mount Nittany. This trail is named for that pilot and a memorial is erected for him at the end of the trail on the top of the mountain. Oddly enough, and not knowing the date of his crash until I reached the summit, I did this hike on May 23rd, one day prior to the 74th anniversary of his crash.


0.5 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 0.50 (2 Votes)

This is not your typical Mount Nittany hike. There are actually two blazed trails on Mount Nittany: an easy white blazed trail and an more difficult, and longer, blue blazed trail. The hike that Mark and I did this early April evening was a combination of part of the white and part of the blue blazed trail.