Hiking Mount Nittany

Want a big-sized adventure for free? Look no further than Mt. Nittany Conservancy. Located behind the small village of Lemont, PA, this mighty mountain is home for adventure and fun, while seeing many great views of the entire Happy Valley in the south end and Penn’s Valley in the North end.

Known by the students, faculty, and alumni as an annual tradition, this mountain can provide one of the most amazing views of Happy Valley. According to the mountain’s website, the mountain became a conservancy back in 1945.

The Lion’s Paw Alumni Association saved about 525 acres of the mountain from being lumbered and becoming residential. The reason for the conserving the mountain was to help Centre County and future Penn Staters enjoy the great outdoors. But the mountain is not your average mountain. While it may look like a beast on the outside, it is just a smooth way up. And at the top of the mountain, it is all flat.

Many of the trails could be a hassle for the first time especially the climb up. However, when the hikers get to the top of the mountain, it is smooth sailing. Many of the trails are well marked and easy to follow with signs. But as a precaution, watch out for the water at the entrance and the rocks on the way up. Also, before your hike, watch the weather for current conditions and be sure to wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes.

The best trail to hike up for the first time is the White trail. This trail, while it looks like it a challenge, it really is not. At first, when you get to the trail’s entrance near by the main entrance to the mountain, the white trail looks very steep. The trail is just steep for ten minutes before you get to the top. The trail travels in an s curve shape pattern. Watch the rocks when you get more towards the top of the mountain.

If you take the Blue trail, this is a straighter path and less steep parts. However, when you get to the end of the trail, there are loose rocks so do watch your footing. When you make it to the top of the mountain, it is all flat. There are many stops while exploring the top of the mountain. For example, the Nittany Mall overlook is a sight to behold. From here, you can see the entire business district of the State College area. But the main overlook that became a tradition is the Mike Lynch.The Mike Lynch overlook is the prime spot to see the whole entire campus. It is a great spot to bring a date if they are willing to make the climb. And this spot will explain why Penn State is in Happy Valley in the first place.

About: Matthew Vine

Matthew Todd Vine is a 2011 Penn State University graduate, with a B.A. in Journalism.
He loves to travel and get to know new faces. He loves everything about Penn State and the community that surrounds it.