Living Local: Ingleby Trail

May 4, 2014 

After a long winter with harsh, unpredictable weather, many people can’t wait to get out of the house, to get out into nature, to stretch their legs on a nice, long walk.

Ingleby Trail could be just what they need.

The gentle path meanders along Penns Creek near Coburn in the eastern part of Centre County.

You drive through town, then over the metal bridge that spans Penns Creek. When the paved road stops being paved, you know you are close. Just look for the parking area and put on your hiking shoes. A fishing pole might not be a bad idea, if you are the angling sort and like to combine a good walk with a battle of wits with some trout. The folks at the Feathered Hook in Coburn can help you out with supplies if you need them.

You should definitely bring your camera. From the perfectly framed stones of the tunnel that once let trains pass through the hill to the wooden slats of the old trestle still surprisingly sturdy as they cross the creek; from the play of light on water to the filter of light through leaves, amazing photo opportunities abound at every turn.

The trail traces its winding path, often right along the creek, just like the trains used to do years ago when following the water meant letting nature lead your way through the woods. For one trim lady in a pair of bright red shoes, it’s a regular ritual that lets her unplug from her busy life and force herself to slow down.

“I love it,” she said. “There’s just no tension out here.”

But as the season of hitting the trails gets started, there is one more piece of gear you might want to remember — an umbrella. That lady in the red shoes cut her relaxing walk short when the sky opened up and sent her running back to her car.

If only she had made it through to the end of the trail, she might have gotten a bit of meteorological prognostication. About 40 minutes into the walk, there is a tongue-in-cheek reward for making it that far. The Ingleby Weather Rock is a local legend that even has its own Facebook page. A rock dangles from a tripod of wooden legs, and a placard beneath tells how the rock makes its mystical predictions.

If it’s wet, it’s raining, the placard tells you. If it’s hot, it’s sunny. If it’s white, it’s snowing. If it’s swinging back and forth, it’s windy.

Hard to argue with, and even if your eyes roll, it can bring a smile to your face at the same time. The carefree walk through the Coburn countryside can do the same.

— Lori Falce

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