On Sunday and Wednesday, members of the Mount Nittany Conservancy will guide hikers up the mountain to one of Centre County’s most famous landmarks, the Mike Lynch Overlook. The climb is a healthy challenge, starting at 1,350 feet at the base of the mountain and reaching a maximum elevation at 2,000 feet in approximately .6 miles.
After taking in the gorgeous view State College and Beaver Stadium, participants have the option of returning to the base of the mountain or exploring more vistas via the White or Blue Trails for longer treks of 3.7 or 4.8 miles. Those planning to take a longer hike are encouraged to bring extra water and snacks, while all participants will want to remember appropriate footwear for the steep incline and a camera for the many photo opportunities at the overlooks.
Whether this will be your first hike up Mount Nittany or your 10th, the experience promises to be unique, as no two trips could ever be the same. The time of day you arrive, the trails you choose to take, the season you visit and who you hike with will determine the memories you take home with you that day. This time of year you can expect to see raspberry and blackberry bushes, teaberry and perhaps an assortment of different mushrooms between the trees which include a variety of oaks, pines and maples. Folklore enthusiasts might appreciate visiting the Mount Nittany Conservancy’s website, mtnittany.org, before their trip to brush up on the legendary tale of Princess Nittany whose burial site turned into a mountain in the center of a valley.
Mount Nittany is conserved by the Mount Nittany Conservancy. The primary mission of the Conservancy is to preserve Mount Nittany for future generations of Centre Countians, Penn Staters and other lovers of the outdoors. Its all-volunteer membership conserves 800 acres of land, maintains 8 miles of trails and overlooks, conducts cleanup projects, and takes action against invasive species in the area. They also work to prevent further development encroachment on the view of the mountain, and look for parcels of land to obtain/conserve in the future.
Centred Outdoors is hosted by ClearWater Conservancy and made possible by many partnering organizations that host this summer-long series of free, guided adventures for Centre County residents and visitors. Adventures take place every Sunday from 2-5 p.m. and every Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. from now until Aug. 15. The finalized schedule is available at www.centredoutdoors.org, where users can log in to create their own profile, RSVP and receive weekly emails about each event. While online registration is not required, it is the best way to receive event updates. Look to the Good Life every week and centredaily.com for complete details about the upcoming Centred Outdoors destination.
Planning to attend this week’s adventure? Here’s what you need to know:
What: Centred Outdoors: Mount Nittany
When: Sunday: Guided hikes will leave from the trailhead at 2, 3 and 4 p.m. Fitness hike is offered at 2 p.m. Wednesday: Guided hikes will leave from the trailhead at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. Fitness hike is offered at 5 p.m.
Where: Mount Nittany Road, Lemont, PA 16827
Parking: Once you turn onto Mount Nittany Road, continue 7/10 of a mile until you reach the trailhead and parking area. Overflow parking will be available if the main area is full.
What to bring:
A refillable water bottle
Sun protection including a hat and sunscreen
A light snack (remember to carry out wrappers, fruit peels, etc. with you)
Good hiking boots or sneakers that can handle rocky trails and steep incline
Backpack/child carrier for very young children
Difficulty of hike: Due to the steep incline and rocky terrain, this adventure is of intermediate to strenuous difficulty. Everyone who joins the hike is encouraged to go at the pace that is most comfortable for them.
Next week’s adventure: Centred Outdoors will be visiting Millbrook Marsh Nature Center on July 29 and Aug. 1.
Andrea Murrell is the strategic communications coordinator at ClearWater Conservancy.