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Why this Hike?
Click here for photos and a description of a similar hike in the area.
The hike will begin in the Bear Meadows Natural Area, which was recognized in 1966 as a National Natural Landmark.
A vast diversity if plant and animal life, including exotic species such as pitcher plants, dot the area.
Since the area was never glaciated like other northern bogs, it is not only unique in Pennsylvania, it is a boon to scientists and nature lovers alike.
The hike climbs up the ridge of Fourth Mountain to the Indian Wells Vista. The vista gets its name from a series of depressions, and according to Tom Thwaites, father of the Mid State Trail and author of 50 Hike in Central Pennsylvania, they were made by Native American youths to collect water while on vision quests.
The view from the talus slope is one of the best in Pennsylvania, and on a clear day, mountains over 30 miles away are clearly visible. Since almost the entire area is within the Rothrock State Forest, there is no trace of human encroachment.
What will it be like?
The hike will be over pretty rocky terrain, which is 'standard' ridge hiking in the region. The rocks are fun, and not so large that you need to be a rock climber. In rock climbing terms, they aren't even a class 1.
There will be about a 700 foot vertical rise at the start of the hike, and the length depends on what the group decides that day, but about 6 miles. Depending on the speed of the group, this should take about 5-6 hours including lunch.
No special equipment is needed, but you should be prepared for an all-day hike, and you'll want to bring sturdy boots, trekking poles if you have them, a camera, a water bottle or bladder, and a small daypack.
The hike will start at 11:30am and last as longs as it takes, depending on breaks and speed of the group. We will be on the Bear Meadows Trail, the Gettis Trail and part of the Mid-State Trail. This area is covered by the Mid State Trail Association series of maps, as well as the Rothrock State Forest public use map.
For an overview map of the area, click here
The hike is in northern Huntingdon County and starts at the Bear Meadows Natural Area in Rothrock State Forest. We will meet at the Tussey Mountain Ski Resort on Bear Meadwos Road. Take Route 322 4 miles east of State College and follow the signs for Tussey Mountain Ski Resort. We will meet in the lower end of the parking lot, and you should be able to see our National Trails Day banner.
That's army talk!
Since September 11th and the release of Blackhawk Down, a lot more people are familiar with the Army's signature grunt--Hooah! At HikePA, we've been yelling it for years, and we'd like you to come along so you can have the experience first hand.
Each branch of the armed forces have their own style of yell . . . hooah is the Army yell, and since they have historically been some of the best hikers around, it's only fitting to borrow their 'gutteral grunt'. Hooah is not really pronounced like it's spelled. It sounds like something you might yell after being punched in the stomach, sort of like "HHooah" where the H's are over-emphasized to the point of the whole thing becoming unspellable..
Hooah! expresses an attitude of indominability, and it can be a great motivator, so get off the couch, yell Hoorah, and take a hike!
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