Before European colonists arrived, Pennsylvania was an estimated 97 percent forested. Centre County is in an ecological region in which the aboriginal forest was dominated by white pine and hemlock, both of which had lucrative industrial applications that attracted colonists and entrepreneurs.
ClearWater Conservancy of Central PA is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to conserving and restoring natural resources across central Pennsylvania, notably the Spring Creek watershed.
Moshannon State Forest is a 190,000-acre forest in the Allegheny Plateau region of central Pennsylvania, managed by the Commonwealth for both ecosystem preservation and the production of timber for sale.
McCoy’s Dam on Spring Creek provided hydroelectric power for Centre County during the first half of the twentieth century. The dam, south of Milesburg, was idled for five decades before being razed in 2007 to improve the creek’s water quality.
Bear Meadows Natural Area is an 890-acre protected zone within Rothrock State Forest that is known for its unusual swamp and rare plants. It is protected both as a State Forest Natural Area and as a United States National Natural Landmark.
Scotia was the scene of iron ore mining from the late 1700s to the 1940s, supplying ore to Centre County’s early iron furnaces and, years later, to Andrew Carnegie’s Pittsburgh steel mills.The iron pits are part of a larger area now known as the Scotia Barrens, covering parts of Half Moon, Patton, and Ferguson townships.
The Allegheny Front Trail is a 42-mile loop through Moshannon State Forest that roughly encircles Black Moshannon State Park. Completed by volunteers in the 1990s, it is the longest hiking trail entirely within Centre County.
Mount Nittany is probably Centre County’s most famous geographical feature. Thanks to the Penn State football team fans across the country are familiar with the name and image of the iconic ridge. As a result, Mount Nittany has become an integral part of the lore and identity of the school and region since the mid-nineteenth century.
The Mid State Trail is a 327-mile hiking trail that runs from the border of Maryland in Bedford County to the border of New York in Tioga County. Marked with rectangular orange blazes, many miles of the trail pass through the southern and eastern parts of Centre County. The trail originated in the late 1960s, […]
Penn’s Cave near Centre Hall is a natural limestone cave that has been a popular tourist attraction for more than 130 years. Visitors tour the 1,300-foot-long, water-filled cave by flat-bottom boats. Some of the stalactites and stalagmites appear to resemble sculptures such as the Statue of Liberty and natural landmarks like the Rock of Gibraltar […]