Mount Nittany Blue Loop

A comprehensive 5-mile tour of Mount Nittany with 6 prominent overlooks.

Trail Running Moderate

Distance
7.5 km
Ascent
295 m
Descent
295 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
410 m
High Point
621 m
Gradient
12˚
Mount Nittany Blue Loop Map

Overlooking State College from the east, Mount Nittany is one of the best places to head for a trail run near town. 6 vistas are packed into this sub-5 mile loop, and there is no better option around to see this much in such a short amount of time. With views reaching as far as Penn State to the west and Tussey Mountain to the south, this run is considered moderately difficult, though the trail brochure considers the 1000-foot climb a healthy challenge with a "diverse assortment of trees, flowers, and grown cover that is inspiring, and, in some cases, even tasty."

Description

In contrast to many of the rocky and multi-use trails central PA is known for, Mount Nittany is one of the few areas only open to foot traffic - making it a desirable area for hikers and trail runners. Accessible year-round, loose sand and shale make up most of the trail, and there is no shortage of wildflowers and unique fungi that you may see through the spring and summer. You may have to toss on a few extra layers to brave the cold, but winter offers views reaching much further once the trees have dropped their leaves. Deer and other wildlife can also be spotted along the trail - no matter the season.

To reach the trailhead, search "Mount Nittany Trailhead" on Google or Apple Maps, and either will lead you straight there. A kiosk with printed maps is available, and if you're looking to change it up, the white-blazed trail is an excellent alternative to this run - though shorter in mileage. Every trail on the mountain is blazed, and the Mount Nittany Conservancy installed signs at major intersections, making it hard to get lost. You can also download or print a high-resolution version of the map here.

Source

Difficulty

Moderate

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area