This past weekend a few of my friends and I decided to take a night hike to the top of Mt Nittany. For those of you who don't know what Mt Nittany is, it is a local Penn State Icon. Mt Nittany is the closest mountain to the campus and can often be seen on television during PSU football games. It is a common thing to hear that you can't graduate PS without hiking to the top. This is my second summit of the mountain since I have been here. We started out driving through Lemont PA then turned up Mt Nittany rd. This road leads to the trail head. From the trail head it is 700 vertical feet straight up to the top. The trail starts out on an old road that often is very wet due to a stream that runs down it. Shortly we turn off the road and up the main trail to the top (white blazes). Back in my parents time the trail went straight up the mountain but since then the Mt Nittany conservancy has thoughtfully added some switchbacks to the trail. About a third of the way up I found myself huffing and puffing for breath. This is the area where the switchbacks begin and there is also a nice bench to rest on. After a ten min break we continue or trek up the mountain. At this point the trail gets extremely rocky and you are never sure of your footing. This problem was made even worse due to the low light we were hiking in. By the time I reached the summit not only am I huffing and puffing I have also worked up a good sweet. From here it is just a few hundred yard to the overlook that looks out on State College. The top of Mt Nittany is pretty very flat but sometimes rocky. We stayed at the overlook for a while admiring State College at night. While up there a few frogs hopped by us but that is the extent of the wildlife we saw. The trip back down was just as hard as the trip up but this time we had gravity going with us. Even so I had a few hairy moments slipping on lose rocks which resulted in a few impressive looking saves. Mt Nittany is a very popular hike but it is defiantly not an easy one. If you go be sure to wear boots with good ankle support and bring plenty of water. From the base to the top it is .75 miles and usual takes about 30 to 45 minutes to do. On the top there are a lot of trails and overlooks to go to but be careful because there are a lot of unmarked trails. For more information on hiking Mt Nittany check out [url=http://www.hikepa.com/trails/central/mount_nittany.htm]http://www.hikepa.com/trails/central/mount_nittany.htm[/url
Great report, thanks for sharing. Never been up to PA for hiking, but your report peaked my interest. Is Mt Nittany public or private land?
Mt Nittany is technically private land but it open for anyone to hike. The land is owned by the Mt Nittany Conservancy which is basically a group of Penn State alums that got together to preserve the mountain from development. The trails are maintained through the conservancy with the help of the Penn State Outing club and other volunteers. Basically you can treat it as public land the only restriction the conservancy has put on the mountain is no fires. Although walking around the top you will soon see that not many people pay attention to the fire ban. Here is the link for the conservancy
just realized the first url for the trail guide isnt correctly entered so here it is again