Good Life

Indian Steps

The Indian Steps Trail in Rothrock State Forest.  CDT/Nabil K. Mark
The Indian Steps Trail in Rothrock State Forest. CDT/Nabil K. Mark

Regardless of who made it, Indian Steps presents a mysterious sight.

Did native tribes really build the stone tiers that climb two mountainsides not far from Pine Grove Mills? Local lore says so.

Or should credit go to the Civilian Conservation Corps, as mapmaker Michael Hermann once suggested in his “Lizard Tracks” hiking columns. In 1998, he interviewed a then-97-year-old man who recalled the long rock staircases being built in the 1930s to repair an original log skid trail.

Either way, they’re odd enough to warrant mention in trail guides, including “Hiking Pennsylvania: 55 of the State’s Greatest Hiking Adventures” by John L. Young and “The Short Hiker” by Jean Aron.

The steps are part of the Crownover Trail, which leads to the lofty Mid State Trail to the northwest and the Stone Valley Recreation Area in the other direction.

To see the steps, take state Route 26 to Pine Grove Mills and then over the mountain. At the first sharp curve on the descent, turn right onto Harry’s Valley Road. Take the dirt road for 1.9 miles. From the road, the trail heads in opposite directions, but the longest and steepest steps are on the path to the right.

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