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The Hiking Trails and Fall Foliage Vistas at PA’s Rothrock State Forest

Named in homage to Pennsylvania’s “Father of Forestry,” Joseph T. Rothrock, the Rothrock State Forest comprises a near-100,000 acre tract of ridges, forest, and marsh in Huntingdon, Centre, and Mifflin Counties. As clear-cutting rapidly deforested the state, once covered in 95% forest, Rothrock battled desperately to purchase land from lumber companies for use in conservation. It’s through the efforts of Rothrock that Pennsylvania’s second-growth forests are now flourishing.

The beauty of Pennsylvania’s forests are breathtaking enough in the summer, when the expanse of verdant green stretches up and over the rolling hills and mountains, pausing only momentarily for the blue of rivers and lakes. But it’s in the fall that the forests, ironically, seem to come alive. In brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow, Penn’s Woods become fields of living fire until they are swallowed by the hills on the horizon. The Little Juniata River offers the splash of blue to complement the warm fall colors as well as provide an excellent trout fishing location.

Rothrock holds over 30 miles of hiking trails, providing its visitors with numerous opportunities to appreciate and discover Pennsylvania’s natural beauty and the woodlands that have made the state famous. The Pennsylvania Mid State Trail runs 326 miles from the Green Ridge State Forest in Maryland all the way north to the Finger Lakes Trail in New York. It crosses Rothrock State Forest for 42 miles. Take this trail and climb to the top of Tussey Mountain for astounding views of the fall foliage. The Tussey Mountain Trail is a 6.2 mile loop trail of moderate difficulty known for its wildflowers and ridges covered in blueberries. In October, Tussey Mountain also hosts the legendary Mountainback, an ultramarathon 50 miles long on unpaved course through Rothrock. The Mountainback ultramarathon is held on October 8th, when peak fall foliage has just begun. Visit the event’s website for more information, FAQ, and winners from past years. Tussey Mountain also has paddleboats available exclusively for picnickers so take advantage of the special treatment and catch sight of the spectacular views from the water of the catch-and-release fishing pond.

Within the steep valleys of Rothrock State Forest, you will also find a National Natural Landmark, Bear Meadows Natural Area. It is one of seven Natural Areas in Pennsylvania with National Natural Landmark recognition. The ten thousand year old bog, a 320 acre boreal bog within the Natural Area’s 890 acres total, is well-known among scientists for its heavy pollen and spore accumulation which has allowed researchers to track and predict climate change. It’s also helped educate the students of nearby State College for generations, providing them with the rare chance to trace the area’s botanical history, starting with the retreat of the Ice Age 10,000 years ago. It takes centuries to from a bog, with moss growing so thick it can be walked upon, and Bear Meadows (frequented by black bears) is an otherworldly, alien zone complete with the carnivorous sundew. A loop trail 3.5 miles long encircles the bog.

To view more information about Rothrock State Forest, as well as its namesake’s owner, the first forestry commissioner, visit the state’s website  And, of course, your Pennsylvania fall foliage adventure wouldn’t be the same without a quality bed and breakfast stay. Plan your visit today.

Rothrock District Office

181 Rothrock Lane

Huntingdon, PA 16652

814-643-2340

PA Inns Nearby

Stay at One of These Great Inns

The Gage Mansion Bed & Breakfast

Huntingdon
The Gage Mansion
Victorian B&B near Raystown Lake

Our historic Queen Anne Victorian home, commissioned by Colonel George F. Gage in 1896, has been restored to its original grandeur.

Average Rate: 
$100 - $199
Distance: 3mi

The Inn at Solvang

Huntingdon
Inn at Solvang
Best Gourmet Breakfast

Our three story brick, southern colonial home provides a tranquil retreat surrounded by forests and spacious lawns located 25 miles south of State College.

Average Rate: 
$100 - $199
Distance: 4.2mi

Deer Hollow Bed and Breakfast

Tyrone
Deer Hollow
Country Charm Awaits!

Take a break from the fast pace of everyday life with a stay at our quiet country bed and breakfast surrounded by the beautiful mountains of central Pennsylvania.

Average Rate: 
$100 - $199
Distance: 10.9mi

Laurel Ridge Bed and Breakfast

Warriors Mark
Laurel Ridge
Quiet and secluded and with easy access to nearby cities

An easy interstate drive brings you to within 2.5 miles of a secluded & quiet world. We possess a welcoming combination of amenities:

Average Rate: 
$100 - $199
Distance: 16.5mi

Hill Store Guest Cottages

Belleville
Hill Store Guest Cottage
Big Valley Amish Countryside near State College

Our charmingy restored 1853 General Store is located in the quaint village of Belleville, PA.

Average Rate: 
$100 - $199
Distance: 17.8mi

The Chatelaine B&B

Pine Grove Mills
Chatelaine Bed and Breakfast
Keeper of the Keys

The Chatelaine Bed and Breakfast is a vintage farmhouse on the 1791 homestead purchased by Thomas Ferguson, founder of the village of Pine Grove Mills.

Average Rate: 
$100 - $199
Distance: 18.3mi

Hudson House

State College
Hudson House
Green design for comfort in the Nittany Valley

Architect-designed and situated on nine acres of meadows, you are just minutes from the Penn State Campus.

Average Rate: 
$100 - $199
Distance: 19.2mi

Springfield House

Boalsburg
Springfield House
Only minutes from the Penn State campus

The graceful blend of Victorian and federal architecture, beautifully enhanced by its generously proportioned wrap-around porch, has made it one of the village's most treasured and frequently p

Average Rate: 
$100 - $199
Distance: 23.4mi

Bed and Breakfast at The Rock Garden

Boalsburg
Rock Garden B&B
Scenic views in a country setting at the base of Mt Nittany

Located just 5 miles East of State College and the Pennsylvania State University, our farmhouse style B&B offers clean, lovely rooms in a private setting.

Average Rate: 
$100 - $199
Distance: 24.4mi

Earlystown Manor Bed & Breakfast

Centre Hall
Earlystown Manor
Panoramic views of Happy Valley awaits you!

The Earlystown Manor is an estate style bed and breakfast with seven guest rooms. Our property is located on 10 private acres with views of both Mount Nittany and Tussey Mountain.

Average Rate: 
$100 - $199
Distance: 26.1mi

The Station Inn

Cresson
Station Inn
Watch the trains from our front porch!

A resort hotel in the 1890's, today we are a destination for railfans. The Inn sits 150 feet from the Norfolk Southern Pittsburgh main rail line.

Average Rate: 
$200 - $299
Distance: 29.2mi

Reynolds Mansion Bed & Breakfast

Bellefonte
Reynolds Mansion
Affordable, elegant and close to Penn State

Built in 1885, the historic Reynolds Mansion features an eclectic blend of Gothic, Italianate, and Queen Anne styles.

Average Rate: 
$100 - $199
Distance: 32.1mi

The Queen, A Victorian Bed and Breakast

Bellefonte
The Queen
We treat our guests like royalty...

Relax by the fireplace in your room, the foyer, or the Victorian parlour with working victrola, player piano and stereoscopic viewers.  All of our accommodations are beautifully decorated with

Average Rate: 
$100 - $199
Distance: 32.3mi

Our Fair Lady - A Victorian B&B

Bellefonte
Our Fair Lady
Elegant but comfortable is this Victorian Home.

A Victorian B&B in a historic town near Penn State.

Average Rate: 
$100 - $199
Distance: 32.3mi

Juniata Valley Winery Wilson House Bed & Breakfast

Mifflin
Wilson House Bed & Breakfast
Indulge: Charming Historic Country Manor House

Juniata Valley Winery Wilson House Bed & Breakfast, a 19th century country manor home, speaks both elegance and comfort, a place to be pampered and to relax.  Sleep in one of our five comfo

Average Rate: 
$100 - $199
Distance: 33.4mi

Olde McMillen Homestead B&B

Loysville
Olde McMillen Homestead
A Romantic Getaway in the Country

Looking for a getaway for just the two of you? Relax, unwind and enjoy the coziness of our B&B cottage. Snuggle up to the electric fireplace or sit on the porch overlooking the farm pond.

Average Rate: 
Under $100
Distance: 34.2mi