The Mid-State Trail

The Mid-State Trail system is a series of trails that cut across the middle portion of Pennsylvania from Maryland to New York (or, if you prefer, from New York to Maryland).  The word "trail" is somewhat a misnomer by California standards.  If you climb to the top of Mt. San Gorgonio in So. California, you will have a nice trail that leads right to the top of the mountain.  It's very hard to get lost (I hiked it in the winter with lots of snow in the ground and made it there and back, no maps or anything, with only minor discomforts).  In Pennsylvania, you have to have trails marked with "blazes" on trees every 30 yards or so, which are very necessary since it's sometimes impossible to determine from the "trail" where the trail actually is.  The other factor is the rocks.  In California, you can hike the trail with tennis shoes (or at least you could 25 years ago when I was hiking there).  In Pennsylvania, sometimes the "trail" consists of hopping from rock to rock, hoping against hope that you don't fall.  Also, lots of rocks "teeter" when you put your weight on them.  You're always only a step away from a sprained ankle on the MST.  You better have ankle-high boots with Vibram soles to protect your feet and give you some support.  That said, the MST is equally beautiful to the high country in Colorado or California.  It's different, but it's just as nice.

A very rare treat on the MST

Much more typical


Now it's getting tough

But, once there, the views are magnificent!


State College from the MST