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[Photo Story] Musser Gap: Your New Favorite Fall Hike In Happy Valley

You can’t graduate from Penn State without hiking Mount Nittany. Part of the obligation includes posting both a Snapchat story of the view from the summit and an Instagram picture of you and your friends squadding up while overlooking Happy Valley.

However, once you’ve already done all that and are looking for some more sober fun on a non-football weekend (yes, that surprisingly exists), what other options do you have? Consider taking a hike at Musser Gap Trail.

Musser Gap is part of Rothrock State Forest and located about four miles from campus off of West College Avenue. There are a few different trails on it, so you can spend anywhere from one to four hours exploring Central Pennsylvania’s wildlife. In total, the hike is about six miles.

The trail begins with a steep incline, so be ready to get the blood pumping once you start climbing. However, once you’ve survived the incline at Mount Nittany (and Mount Shortlidge every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), you might as well be ready to scale Mount Everest.

Fall began a little more than two weeks ago, but the mountain foliage is already in full force. Nice hues of orange, red, and brown are mixed in with what’s left of the State College greenery to create plenty of harlequin photo opportunities.

This is the type of stuff John Denver sings about.

The streams running through the trails are perfect for taking an artsy picture or stopping for a drink of (hopefully) fresh water. Choose your own adventure.

A beautiful panorama awaits you at Lions Valley Vista. From 2,250 feet above sea level, you can take in views of State College and the farmland separating you and the rest of civilization, making the early wake-up and steep, muddy climb worth it.

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci is Onward State’s managing editor, a preferred walk-on honors student, and a senior majoring in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected] All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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