Elevation Profile of Trail
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I had done this same hike over 2 and a half years ago, but this time I was doing it in the fall and not the spring. Just like the last hike, this hike was also being done with a fellow coworker, but this time I was employed by someone else and not the same company. I had been talking about the Shingletown Gap area and how nice it is to hike there. When Tim, the coworker who hike Mount Nittany with me about a month ago, expressed interest in doing a hike in Shingletown Gap, this hike immediately came to mind. Offering a good work out with the pintail climb to the top of Tussey Mountain, this hike also offered some nice vistas, including that at the "Roman Tower" and at Skyline Vista.
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Located in Rothrock State Forest, the trailhead for this hike is easily accessible from State College. Coming from State College, either via route US322 or business route US322 (South Atherton Street), you will need to turn right onto route PA45 west near Boalsburg. Once you are on route PA45 west heading towards Pine Grove Mills, you will want to travel 1.8 miles where you will reach the town of Shingletown. Here turn left onto Mountain Road and travel another mile where you will come to the parking area and the trailhead.
As I stated previously, this was an identical hike that I had done over 2 years ago. I like this hike as it offers a good work out (early on, I might add) and also gives you some real nice views. We started out from the trailhead parking area following the main trail in Shingletown Gap which parallels Roaring Run. After about 0.2 miles we turned right off the main trail and crossed Roaring Run. We were now on a blue blazed side trail that would ultimately make it's way to the top of Tussey Mountain. .
After crossing the stream, the trail for the next 0.15 miles was very steep. We stopped once on this short section to catch our breaths. Even though this section of the trail was steep, it was relatively clear of obstacles, and aside for the steady ascent, the trail was rather easy to navigate. The trail made its way through a stand of rhododendrons as we made our way up and further away from Roaring Run below..
After the steep climb, then next quarter mile was a more leisurely ascent. However, this soon ended, and our next climb was just as steep if not steeper then how we started. For the next 0.2 miles we climbed up the side of Tussey Mountain. Finally, after 45 minutes and 0.8 miles later we were standing at the top of the mountain. We took a small break at the "Roman Tower" vista as we enjoyed the view of Happy Valley below. Over the past 5 years of hiking here I have noticed that the view at the "Roman Tower" was becoming less spectacular as the surrounding trees grow to block the view. I fear that in another 5 years there won't be a "Roman Tower" vista.
The next vista that we wanted to see was on the south facing side of the ridge, so we headed south west on the Mid State Trail. We hiked along the ridgeline for another 1.3 miles. At 2.1 miles into our hike we came to our second vista. This vista overlooks the Rothrock State Forest with views of Hubler Gap, Greenlee Mountain, and Broad Mountain in the distance. This vista is commonly referred to as the Skyline Vista. If we were to continue to hike southwest from this point, we would have had the Skyline Vista to our left for the next quarter mile. Again we paused here for a few minutes to rehydrate ourselves and to take in the view.
We turned around and hiked back the Mid State Trail towards the Shingletown Gap trails. At 2.8 miles into our hike we came across the first of the Shingletown Gap cross connector trails: Deer Path. We beared left onto Deer Path and descended from the ridge top to the valley below. At 3.3 miles the Deer Path trail intersected with another trail along Cruiser Run and we continued our descent along the edge of the stream.
At 3.6 miles Cruiser Run flows into Roaring Run. The trail bears left here and heads down stream, paralleling the north side of Roaring Run. We only hiked along the stream for less than a tenth of a mile until we came upon a large tree that spanned Roaring Run. The tree had been made into a bridge, with the rounded top side of the tree flattened and two steps carved into the log on both sides of the stream. Once we crossed the stream we were back on the main trail and after 3.8 miles of hiking we were back at the trailhead.
The Shingletown Gap area is a great place to get away and enjoy the outdoors. With a variety of trails, you can plan a short stroll or a boot buster day hike, with steep climbs and great views. If you live within a 50 mile radius of State College, Pennsylvania, you owe it to yourself to head over to Shingletown Gap and enjoy the many trails here. You'll be glad you did.blog comments powered by Disqus