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Elevation Profile of Trail

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The Stone Valley Recreation Area is located within a 7000 acre experimental forest owned by the Pennsylvania State University. The recreation center itself includes a 72-acre lake, a resident camp facility, a day use recreation site, the Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, and more than 700 acres of varied eco-systems. Included on this recreation area are over 25 miles of trails suitable for hiking, snow-shoeing, and cross country skiing. This hike was on one of the longer trails, the Homestead Trail, and included shorter sections of the Lake Trail, Sawmill Trail, and Ironstone Trail.

Trailhead: N 40° 39.82'
W 77° 54.68'
Total Elevation: 826'
Trail Length: 5.4 miles
Hike Time: 3 hour
Hike Type: Loop
Difficulty Rating: 71
Near: Stone Valley Recreation
Area near Shaver's
Creek Environmental
Center.
Note regarding hike time and
elevation traversed.

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The Stone Valley Recreation Area is located within a 7000 acre experimental forest owned by the Pennsylvania State University. The recreation center itself includes a 72-acre lake, a resident camp facility, a day use recreation site, the Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, and more than 700 acres of varied eco-systems. Included on this recreation area are over 25 miles of trails suitable for hiking, snow-shoeing, and cross country skiing. This hike was on one of the longer trails, the Homestead Trail, and included shorter sections of the Lake Trail, Sawmill Trail, and Ironstone Trail.

The trailhead for this hike is in the main lake access area of the Stone Valley Recreation Area. To reach the trail head you will need to get yourself on to route PA26. Route PA26 can be found off of route US322 in State College and route US22 in Huntingdon. If you are coming from the north, make your way to Pine Grove Mills, either on PA26 or route PA45. Once you are in Pine Grove Mills, take PA26 south for 4.1 miles. You will go over Tussey Mountain and when you are almost at the end of your descent you will turn right onto Charter Oak Road. Stay on Charter Oak Road for 1.7 miles and look for signs that indicate you are approaching the East Entrance of the Stone Valley Recreation Area. Turn left onto Red Rose Road and follow this road, bearing left at 0.3 miles and then making a sharp right, staying on the paved road, at 0.5 miles. At 1.5 miles from turning off Charter Oak Road you will see the main parking area on your right. Pull in at the first access road and park in the parking area. If you are coming from the south, from route US22, turn onto north PA26 in the town of Huntingdon. From the intersection of PA26 and US22 stay on route PA26 north for 23.5 miles. You will then turn left onto Charter Oak Road at the base of Tussey Mountain. Stay on Charter Oak Road for 1.7 miles and look for signs that indicate you are approaching the East Entrance of the Stone Valley Recreation Area. Turn left onto Red Rose Road and continue for another 1.5 miles, as described earlier.

49°
°F | °C
Stone Valley Rec. Area
Sunny
Humidity: 100%
4 mph
Wed
Partly Cloudy
48 | 76
Thu
Mostly Cloudy
55 | 84

The main part of this hike was the Homestead Trail. It wasn't until we were halfway through our hike that I soon discovered how the trail got its name. This area was once an old farm that was slowly reverting back to forest. This trail meanders through the old homestead of the farm, passing right by the remnants of either the old farm house or an old barn; I'm not sure which it was.






Our hike started at the main parking area and we had to navigate on some other trails prior to getting to the Homestead trail proper. We began our hike on the orange blazed Lake Trail. This trail circumvents Lake Perez and is about 2.9 miles in length. We left the parking area and hiked east on the Lake Trail for about 0.35 miles. At this point the Lake Trail beared left and crossed Shaver's Creek on a bridge. We would finish our hike in that direction but right now we continued straight on the blue blazed Sawmill Trail.

Shortly after getting on the blue blazed Sawmill Trail you will reach the paved road that you just drove on to get to the trailhead. There is a blue blazed trail, the Mountain View Trail, that you will see directly across the road from you. You will want to make a sharp left and continue on the Sawmill Trail without crossing the road.

After another 0.35 miles you will reach the beginning of the Homestead Trail. The Sawmill Trail continues straight with the Homestead Trail bearing off to the left. Turn left here, and cross the paved road at 0.9 miles into the hike and cross the dirt Red Rose Road at 1.1 miles into the hike. Once you cross the road you will now be on an old forest road and will begin the only major climb of the entire hike. Walk around the gate and continue up the hill, following the blue blazed trail.

We reached another road, though not nearly as well traveled as the one we were on, at 1.3 miles into our hike. Turning right here we had finished our ascent and the terrain leveled off. Shortly after reaching the top of this small ridge, bear left once again at the intersection of Homestead and Rudy trail.

For the next mile we had a nice hike across the top of a small ridge. The trail was free of debris and obstacles and very wide. Shari and I were able to walk side by side and enjoy our surroundings, not having to worry about looking at our feet and tripping over rocks. We did encounter a deer on this section of the trail. It came out of the thick, small trees to our right and ran across the trail about 300 feet ahead of us, heading down the side of the ridge. Of course it happened so fast that I couldn't get my camera up in time to get a picture of him. We paused for a moment to see if we could spy the deer or if there were others following it, but no such luck.

At 2.3 miles into the hike we emerged onto a power line. As we were still on top of the ridge, we did get a nice view of the valley below and Tussey Mountain beyond that. The trail followed the eastern edge of the power line for about 0.1 miles before it crossed it again, a little further down the side of the ridge, and we reentered the woods.

After hiking for another 0.4 miles we came upon another dirt road where the trail made a sharp left. It was here that we saw the stone foundation of the old farm homestead. We also encountered a couple hiking the other direction towards us. They had a small pug dog that they were walking with and we took a few moments to stop and talk to the couple.

We hike for the next 0.6 miles through old farm lands. The fields were full of brush, briars, and small trees. At 3.2 miles we reentered the woods once again, at the intersection with the Ironstone Trail and the end of the Homestead trail. After another 0.2 miles we soon crossed Shaver's creek on a well built bridge and the trail made a sharp left with the intersection of the Woodcock Trail.

We continued on the Ironstone Trail, crossing Red Rose Road at 4 miles into our hike. Once on the other side of Red Rose Road we had a small ascent for about 0.2 miles. After our short climb, we descended once again and met up with the orange blazed Lake Trail at 4.6 miles. We continued straight on the Lake Trail as the Ironstone continued off to our right.

About four and three quarters into our hike we emerged from the woods in front of the Shaver's Creek Environmental Center. After a short walk across a stone parking area, the Lake Trail reentered the woods and continued a gradual descent back to Shaver's Creek. We crossed Shaver's Creek at 5 miles and turn right onto the Lake Trail, passing again the intersection with the Sawmill Trail that we hiked on earlier. Another 0.4 miles later we were back at the trailhead and our car.

The Stone Valley Recreation Area offers many activities. There is the Shaver's Creek Environmental Center with it's aviary, Lake Perez with boating and fishing, and of course the many hiking trails. I plan on coming back here many more times, perhaps even doing some snow shoeing in the winter. I'd like to try cross country skiing as well, and the trails here look like they would be a great place to learn. Ideally I will be able to hike all the trails in this area and post the GPS tracks and maps here to share with all. If you don't want to wait until I get around to hiking all these trail, maps are available and can be picked up at the main office.

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