State College, PA Cross Country Skiing Trails and Maps

568 Reviews

Looking for the best Cross Country Skiing trails around State College?

Find the top rated cross country skiing trails in State College, whether you're looking for an easy short cross country skiing trail or a long cross country skiing trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a cross country skiing trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

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18 Results

6 to 10 Trail System

7.5 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone, Dirt

Buffalo Valley Rail Trail

9.5 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Gravel

Cumberland Valley Rail Trail

13.7 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone

Ghost Town Trail

51 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Huntingdon and Broad Top Rail Trail

12.6 mi
State: PA
Concrete, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel

Lower Trail

17 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Lowlands Trail

4.5 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Pine Creek Rail Trail

62.5 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Bellefonte Central Rail Trail

1.3 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Cinder, Crushed Stone

George B. Will Trail

5.6 mi
State: PA
Ballast, Grass

Houtzdale Line Trail

11.08 mi
State: PA

Penn's Creek Path (Mid State Trail)

2.7 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Beaver Dam Trail

2.3 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Bells Gap Rail Trail

6.3 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass

Buffalo Flat Trail

0.5 mi
State: PA

Iron Horse Trail (PA)

10 mi
State: PA
Ballast, Crushed Stone, Dirt
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
Overview Today, the 7.5-mile route between inclines 6 and 10 has been converted into a rail trail featuring both hiking and biking sections, with historical culverts (drainage structures) visible...
PA 7.5 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt
Currently, over 10 miles of the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail are complete. The trail runs between Lewisburg and Mifflinburg, and interpretive signs relate the region's history. The trail is mostly paved...
PA 9.5 mi Asphalt, Gravel
Overview The Cumberland Valley Rail Trail rolls 13.7 miles through a bucolic valley that’s hemmed in by the Blue and South Mountains in south-central Pennsylvania. Running from Shippensburg to east...
PA 13.7 mi Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
The David S. Ammerman Trail rolls through Pennsylvania coal country for nearly 11 miles between Clearfield and Grampian, skirting the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and two of its tributaries....
PA 10.6 mi Crushed Stone
Part of a larger system in Western Pennsylvania known as the Trans Allegheny Trails, the Ghost Town Trail was named for the long-abandoned towns strung along the tracks of the Ebensburg & Black Lick...
PA 51 mi Crushed Stone
Overview Stretching 12.6 miles through south-central Pennsylvania, this rail-trail runs between Riddlesburg and Everett. About the Route Tracing a relatively flat path from the community of...
PA 12.6 mi Concrete, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel
Overview  The Lower Trail runs between Alexandria and Williamsburg, tracing the meandering Frankstown Branch of the Juniata River. The trail, with a mostly crushed-stone surface, is a remote and...
PA 17 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Located in beautiful Sinnemahoning State Park in Pennsylvania, the Lowlands Trail uses the former corridor of the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad. The trail and park are now part of the tour...
PA 4.5 mi Crushed Stone
Overview The Pine Creek Rail Trail is one of Pennsylvania’s destination trails, and for good reason. The 62-mile well-maintained trail runs at the bottom of scenic Pine Creek Gorge, commonly called...
PA 62.5 mi Crushed Stone
Serene year-round, the Bellefonte Central Rail Trail (BCRT) in central Pennsylvania runs along 1.3 miles of the old Buffalo Run, Bellefonte and Bald Eagle Railroad corridor. The original 19-mile line...
PA 1.3 mi Asphalt, Cinder, Crushed Stone
The George B. Will Trail in Tiadaghton State Forest is named for an early 20th-century Pennsylvania forest ranger. The trail is popular with cross-country skiers and travels through a mixed-pine...
PA 5.6 mi Ballast, Grass
The old railroad line known as the Moshannon, or the Mills Branch, crossed the Moshannon Valley during the mid- to late 1800s. The line was the foundation of the region's late 19th- and early...
PA 11.08 mi Gravel
A renovated former railroad tunnel that features a separate entrance for bats is a highlight of the Penn's Creek Path. The path is a relatively flat segment of the 328-mile Mid State Trail that runs...
PA 2.7 mi Crushed Stone
Located in one of Pennsylvanias most popular State Parks, the Beaver Dam Trail follows old railroad grades at Parker Dam State Park in Clearfield County. The trail runs past streams, beaver dams,...
PA 2.3 mi Crushed Stone
The Bells Gap Rail-Trail is really two trails in one-a smooth 2.1-mile southern section with crushed limestone surface, and a rougher, more difficult northern section of 4.2 miles that is best-suited...
PA 6.3 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass
PA 0.5 mi Dirt
The Iron Horse Trail follows two abandoned rail beds: the Path Valley Railroad and the Perry Lumber Company Railroad. Originally, the Path Valley Railroad was going to be an extension for the Newport...
PA 10 mi Ballast, Crushed Stone, Dirt
Included in the seven-mile network of trails in Little Buffalo State Park are two small sections of rail-trail. Together they are called the Newport and Sherman's Valley Railroad Trace. The...
PA 1.16 mi Crushed Stone, Grass

Recent Trail Reviews

Lower Trail

Lifts my soul

June, 2024 by cfbaggett

I've lived in Boalsburg, PA for 10 of the last 13 years and have probably ridden the full 32 miles, there and back, of the Lower Trail nearly 100 times. It's because of this trail and the Pine Creek Rail Trail that I have fallen in love with rail trails and Pennsylvania. I won't repeat everything that has been said in other reviews, but I want to say a few things that have not been said and/or emphasized. These things are not necessarily unique to the Lower Trail by any means, but I promise you they can all be experienced on its path.

1) The Lower Trail is very remote, and this revives the soul! To get to any of the trailheads you are "forced" to drive through fertile farm fields, surrounded by majestic, ancient, and time-worn ridges. There's not a city in sight! It doesn't matter if you are coming from Altoona, State College, Huntingdon, or afar, you can't help but relax and let it all go on the drive there. Roll down the windows and enjoy Central Pennsylvania in all of its glory.

2) It's history, and this inspires! Native Americans forged this trail along the Juniata; the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Canal channeled its way through the ridgelines here; the Pennsylvania Railroad took a shortcut through the gorges to bypass Tyrone when traffic was heavy; Amelia Earhart spent her weekends in Williamsburg; there are hidden locks, loading docks, and long lost railroad bridges over the Juniata with only a few stacked stones of abutments left. Just think, Charles Dickens spent time on this trail as he was pulled upstream on a canal boat by a team of donkeys. He wrote fondly about this trail!

3) There's a river, and you can kayak it! It's called the Juniata! Leave your bike at Alfarata or Mount Etna Station, drive your kayaks to Williamsburg, kayak downstream along the Juniata back to your bike, and bike ride back to your car. You get the drift? You can spend a whole day biking and kayaking along this magnificent corridor. There's something incredible about paddling your boat under ancient railroad viaducts while navigating occasional rapids and waving to bikers on the trail as they ride by!

4) Human diversity abounds! Infants to retirees frequent this trail all year long. There are strollers, tricycles, gravel bikes, mountain bikes, street bikes, electric bikes, scooters, one-wheeled skateboards, recumbents, horses, and folks using their good old-fashion two feet. But, it's never too crowded, and everyone is so kind and courteous. The trail is wide enough to pass safely with a soft ding of a bell or a quick verbal cue of on your left. You can ride fast or slow, lazily or with determination. There is an in fact an 11 mile stretch with zero road crossings. Imagine the time trials one could ride! Or you can slow down and take it all in.

5) Natural diversity envelops you! Foliage and fauna, marmots and birds. My most memorable moment with nature occured while kayaking and a bald eagle on July 4th stayed with us for about a mile. Continually swooping past us, about 10 feet over our heads, gazing at us as he passed, perching in a tree just in front of us, and performing this dance over and over again.

My apologies if this review is a bit personal. The Lower Trail is truly a hidden gem. It's shaped me and my family - kept us sane and whole, and I give so much thanks to those who had the vision to make this trail a reality. There's nothing that gives me greater joy than when I ask my teenage daughter each spring if she'd like to go on a bike ride with me on the Lower Trail, and her eyes pop open and she enthusiastically says yes.

Lower Trail

June 2024

June, 2024 by jpcvt135

Rode this trail on a Tuesday morning in June, starting in Alexandria. The parking area is easy to find and has a bathroom. I encountered maybe 10 or 15 other people/groups in about 2 hours, mostly cycling with an occasional runner/walker. Lots of benches along the way with an occasional bathroom at other parking areas. The first 11 miles is all shaded with no road crossings, flat, and very peaceful once the trail veers away from the road after a mile or so. It is well maintained (didn’t see a single piece of trash), the surface is nice for cycling, and while the asphalt section had some bumps from tree roots, they were well marked. I turned around shortly after Williamsburg (about 12 miles) due to the heat, but will absolutely be back to do the entire trail. HIGHLY recommend.

Ghost Town Trail

A great history ride

June, 2024 by

A friend and I rode the Ghost Town Trail from Blacklick (Saylor Park) to Nanty Glo and back in June 2024. Temps were in the low 90s with some humidity.
The trail surface is generally good - mostly packed dirt with occasional gravel spots. Between mileposts 20 and 21 there was a washout on half the trail. The other half has ravines and requires caution. Orange cones mark the damage.
The trail is uphill virtually all the way from Blacklick to Nanty Glo. Several sections are steeper than others. Plan to spend more time riding west to east.
The trail has frequent historical signage and some photos at the sites of the 9 ghost towns. We enjoyed reading the signs' text. Unfortunately in most cases there is nothing to see (no foundations or chimneys). Several coal seams are reminders of the mining.
The trail is very rural, and reminded us of the Katy in Missouri. It is important to carry hydration and food, as we saw no place to buy food until Nanty Glo. All restaurants in town were closed at lunchtime Monday, so we bought snacks at the RiteAid.


Lower Trail

Made in the shade

June, 2024 by

A friend and I rode the Lower Trail in June 2024. Temps were in the low 90s; it was humid. Fortunately the trail is very well shaded. The section from Alexandria to Williamsburg is nearly flat and mostly 2-track well-packed dirt. The last 3 miles are paved asphalt. The pavement used to be rough. It's much better now, with occasional tree root bumps.
The trail has LOTS of benches and several picnic shelters. It's quiet so we heard a variety of birds. En route we chatted with Mike, a local who's a trail keeper. We also encountered a local who was removing invasive species along the trail.
The only disappointment was the Lower Trail Creamery in Williamsburg. We (and another couple) saw an employee enter the Creamery at 11:30am. We knocked on the door and asked if we could be served soon. We were told to wait until the posted noon opening. Very disappointing on a hot day!
Years ago when we first rode the Lower Trail, we would only see one or two riders or walkers. Today there were 10 vehicles in the Alexandria parking lot. Mike said the parking lot fills up on weekends.

Lock Haven Levee Trail

A beautiful trail for walking only. There are signs stating no bikes, rollerblading, and no skateboarding.

June, 2024 by jenn7_24

A beautiful trail for walking only. There are signs stating no bikes, rollerblading, and no skateboarding.

Pine Creek Rail Trail

Awesome ride. Just completed this incredible trail over two days. Rode Wellsboro to Jersey Shore with an overnight pause at Slate Run. The trail is an easy ride with spectacular views of nature. Can't wait to ride again.

June, 2024 by hughes29187

Awesome ride. Just completed this incredible trail over two days. Rode Wellsboro to Jersey Shore with an overnight pause at Slate Run. The trail is an easy ride with spectacular views of nature. Can't wait to ride again.

Pine Creek Rail Trail

Wellsboro Junction South

May, 2024 by bespo09

Having completed 2/3 of trail beginning at jersey Shore, we decided to start at the northern end today. Beautiful ride in the gorge! Great picnic area at Darling Run. Will definitely return to ride again!

Lower Trail

A Great Trail…

May, 2024 by bespo09

Always a favorite trail as it’s close to State College, PA, I rode it again yesterday with friends. Scenic and really well maintained, the trail offers a little bit of everything. Thanks and appreciation to those who maintain the trail—especially at the picnic area.

Buffalo Valley Rail Trail

Great Little Rail Trail

April, 2024 by hughes29187

Drove about 3 hours to try this wonderful little trail. Parked at western terminus in Mifflinburg next to the Rusty Rail Brewing Company, which was a great post ride visit, and rode east to Lewisburg. At both ends of the trail are paved with crush ballast for most of the ride. Some soft gravel so stay in the worn track is recommended. Two cautions: watch the gates and poles as you cross the country roads and there is one very small disconnected section once into Lewisburg and need to cross US15. Recommend head north to light (with bike lane) cross and then ride up half a block and make a right. You'll run into trail that completes a few blocks later. Bonus are the facilities at both ends of the trail.

Huntingdon and Broad Top Rail Trail

good ride

April, 2024 by eisamanj

Did the entire trail with e-bike. Great ride in lowest pedal assist mode! Few areas washed out by recent rains but able to navigate.

Bald Eagle Valley Trail

Can't wait until this connects to the Pine Creek Trail

December, 2023 by ericdurante

I'm rating this trail for its future potential more than its current condition.

The two segments that currently exist are nice enough, and the trailhead in Castanea is great. The existing trail segments are well-maintained with decent scenery as they follow close to Bald Eagle Creek and the West Branch of the Susquehanna. They can also easily be connected by traveling a couple of miles on quiet roads in between.

When complete, this trail will effectively become a roughly 10-mile extension of the spectacular Pine Creek Trail, creating a continuous path from Lock Haven nearly to Wellsboro.

I spent a few days bikepacking to, from, and on the Pine Creek Trail in early October 2023, and I attempted to use the existing parts of the Bald Eagle Valley Trail since they were more or less along my route. On my way to Pine Creek I took the existing trail segment east from Castanea and then took the roads to the beginning of the second trail segment. I then rode the second trail segment and crossed the (fantastic) bridge over the West Branch of the Susquehanna. After studying maps and satellite images, I thought that it might be possible to exit the trail from the eastern end and continue on a local road toward Jersey Shore. However, the improved trail ends abruptly after crossing the bridge over the West Branch, and I found that there was definitely no way to access any road from this point (especially with a loaded touring bike). The banks on either side of the trail fell away steeply and were thick with brush, and the adjacent land was posted private property. The old rail bed obviously continued east from this point, but it was too overgrown with weeds to ride. I had to backtrack the second trail segment to the bridge on McElhattan Drive in order to cross the West Branch and continue on my way.

I really look forward to the day when I can hop on this trail in Castanea or Lock Haven (or maybe someday even further south?) and travel all the way to the beginning of the Pine Creek Trail in Jersey Shore...

6 to 10 Trail System

Great trail with a few recent issues

November, 2023 by michael.farabaugh

I ride my bike on this trail everyday except when it's pouring rain or there is snow on the ground. It was just about perfect until Sunday, November 5th, 2023. One of those ride on leaf blowers started down by Dry Run Road and went to the top near Mullshoe. It blew off most of the pea gravel that was on the trail and exposed the big loose stones and the dirt. After just a little rain last night the trail was a muddy mess. I had to take off my sweat shirt before getting into my car because it was covered in mud on the back of it. By spring the trail will be a disaster.

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