Editor’s note: This is the final installment of a nine-part weekly column about the Centred Outdoors program, organized by ClearWater Conservancy and community partners with funding from a Centre Foundation Centre Inspires grant.
Centred Outdoors invites you to the season’s last event as we hike Mount Nittany from 2-5 p.m. Sunday and 6-8 p.m. Wednesday. Come visit Centre County’s famous landmark, and learn about local historic and natural features.
A tour or self-guided hike takes you high above State College to the beautiful Mike Lynch Overlook. As an impressive mountain and symbol of the area, Mount Nittany is a popular hiking trail among locals and visitors alike. The hike up the wooded mountain stretches across many switchbacks and opens up to a scenic view of Penn State at the top. A longer path along the ridge is lined with rhododendrons, mountain laurels and blueberries. There are more overlooks with impressive views of other areas around the different sides of the mountain.
Guided tours are offered for various ability groups at 2, 3 and 4 p.m. on Sunday and 6 and 7 p.m. on Wednesday. After 3/4 of a mile, hikers will reach the peak and may return to the trailhead or continue on the full 4-mile trail.
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The trail is about 1 1/2 miles to the peak and back, which should take about an hour to complete. If you are planning on hiking the full 4-mile trail, the path at the top is relatively flat, but plan your time accordingly. Wear hiking boots or shoes that can handle steep and rocky terrain. Be sure to bring a water bottle and binoculars to view the many birds around the area. Deer are occasionally observed by hikers, especially on the top of the ridge where there is generally less foot traffic. Friendly dogs are allowed on leash, and please remember to pick up after your pets.
Parking is available on Mount Nittany Road in Lemont. Once you turn onto Mount Nittany Road, continue until you reach the trailhead and parking area. The road can get a bit narrow if there are many cars parked along the side, so drive carefully. We hope to see you there for our last Centred Outdoors event for the summer.
Lanagan is a Penn State graduate in geoscience and science education. She is currently working for the National Parks Service.
If you go
What: Centred Outdoors guided outing
When: 2-5 p.m. Sunday and 6-8 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Mount Nittany Road, Lemont