Good Life

Penns View

Penns View is a rugged overlook high above Penns Valley and Penns Creek in Bald Eagle State Forest outside of Coburn, Pa.  CDT/Nabil K. Mark
Penns View is a rugged overlook high above Penns Valley and Penns Creek in Bald Eagle State Forest outside of Coburn, Pa. CDT/Nabil K. Mark

In a single day, one can experience the highs and lows of the Coburn area — an impressive vista and a pleasant trail through a gorge formed by Penns Creek.

The Lewisburg and Tyrone Railroad used to pass through the Penn Township village until the tracks were removed in 1971. Today, its path links a mossy tunnel to Ingleby, a former stop that’s now a smattering of summer homes nestled in a valley.

At Coburn, drive over the sole bridge and follow Penns Creek along the aptly named Tunnel Road. The road loops around the ridge cut by the tunnel, ending in a small parking lot. Explore the old passageway before walking across the creek on a wooden trestle bridge.

Firm enough for mountain bikes, the trail leads through woods full of rabbits and wineberries, then borders the creek before widening into Ingleby. Besides vacationers, it’s also home to the Weather Rock — a stone suspended on a tripod. As the key explains, if it’s wet, it’s raining. White means snow; warmth indicates sunshine; and swinging reveals wind.

The trail continues to another tunnel and the Mid-State Trail. But if Ingleby is far enough, plan on about 90 minutes, round trip.For a different perspective, try the famous Penns View overlook. It offers a panoramic glimpse of Penns Creek, Coburn and eastern Penns Valley about 1,000 feet below. Paul Dubbs, in his 1959 “Where to Go and Place-Names of Centre County,” called it “perhaps the finest mountain view to be seen in Centre County.” Coburn resident Nick Brink also likes it.

“It’s a beautiful view of the valley,” he said.

From Tunnel Road, the spot can be reached by a longish hike up Rider Hollow Trail to Poe Paddy Drive and then left to the overlook. By car, return to Coburn and head toward Spring Mills on Penns Creek Road. Cross the creek at the bridge for the Siglerville/Millheim Pike Road, which becomes gravel, and climb the mountain.Turn left at Pine Swamp Road, then left again on Poe Paddy Drive. Both are unpaved, so choose a sturdy vehicle to enjoy the view.

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