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In accordance with the goals of the Trail Assessment, the overarching goal of trail development is to increase and upgrade the trail system to make it more sustainable and require less maintenance.  The first phase, part of the comprehensive plan to significantly increase the available miles of trails, will lead to the construction of approximately 7.5 miles of new trails to connect the Musser Gap area to Pine Swamp Road.  

This would allow for an interconnect between the Musser Gap Greenway (shown below in cyan), on Penn State lands, located between Whitehall Road and Route 45 and would increase access to the current and future trail system within Rothrock State Forest from the State College area.

Funded largely by a $365,700 grant awarded to the Rothrock Trail Alliance, Phase One can be broken down into three separate sections as follows.

  • Section One of the new trail development, shown above in orange, will begin by departing from the current gravel road/trail familiar to anyone that has visited the Musser Gap area.  The trail is intended to feature multiple switchbacks to allow all user types a more gradual, natural trail surface access trail that gains nearly 700 feet of elevation to reach the trails above the valley. 

  • Section Two, shown above in purple, effectively contains two segments as a short portion is concurrent with Section One described earlier.  The first segment to the north, or lower elevation, is planned to connect the existing trail network of the area to Section One and the power line access road.  The second segment will again feature switchbacks to ease the elevation gain from the power line to the top of the Tussey Mountain ridgeline, and the Mid-State Trail, at roughly 2100 feet above sea level.  

  • Section Three, the longest section and shown above in blue, will lead from the ridgeline and traverse along the mountain side until reaching Little Shingletown Trail, losing about 500 feet of elevation along the way.  In addition, a separate spur will branch off and lead to an existing logging road that ultimately leads to the west end of Pine Swamp Road.​

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