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Cool Day Trips To Take Outside State College

With the only football game still three months away, the spring semester is a long, cold time in State College and it can sometimes feel like there’s not much to do. When you inevitably get bored of daylonging and hanging around campus and downtown, consider venturing out on the weekends. Surrounding State College are a number of sight-seeing opportunities perfect for fun day trips with friends. Here are our recommendations for where to explore in central Pennsylvania.

Penn’s Cave

Located about 30 minutes away in Centre Hall, Penn’s Cave and Wildlife Park is a great place to go if you’re looking to get closer to nature in a way that’s not hiking Mount Nittany. The boat tour through the cavern is a unique experience that’s perfect for a day trip. You can observe the rock formations brought to life by the multi-colored lights that shine throughout and learn about the surprisingly interesting history of the limestone cave.

Penn’s Cave is closed through January, but will re-open on Saturday, February 2.


Known as the Weather Capital of the World, Punxsutawney is home to the world’s most famous groundhog. Although the accuracy of his predictions is disputed, thousands gather to see if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow and whether spring is near every year on February 2. Groundhog Day falls on a weekend this year, so this winter may be the perfect opportunity to check off this bucket list item.

You can also visit Punxsutawney year-round and see the legendary groundhog residing in Phil’s Burrow at Barclay Square and Gobbler’s Knob, where the main event happens each winter.

Black Moshannon State Park

Once you’ve climbed Mount Nittany at least a few times and feel up to taking on a new challenge, Black Moshannon State Park is beautiful year-round and worth a look when you start itching to get outside.

Moshannon offers more than just hiking. The park also hosts a variety of events, including “Fun In The Snow At Black Mo” on Saturday, January 19 at noon. The event will feature a number of activities including ice bowling and cross-country skiing. The next day, you can watch the lunar eclipse at the park from 9:30 p.m. to midnight.

Bald Eagle State Park

Like Black Moshannon, Bald Eagle is a great spot for hiking. Trails also accommodate mountain bikers, and the park offers ample camping space. Additional activities here include fishing, boating, and bird-watching. Located just up I-99, Bald Eagle State Park is about 30 minutes away from campus.

Pine Creek Gorge

Known also as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, Pine Creek Gorge is located within the Allegheny Plateau and Tioga State Forest, just less than two hours from campus up US-220 North in Wellsboro. With depths exceeding 1,000 feet, the canyon is widely regarded as one of the most “must-see” of its kind. In addition to the well-known scenery, the area is also considered ideal for biking.

World of Little League Museum

Located in South Williamsport, PA, the World of Little League Museum pays homage to Little League Baseball. The museum is within close proximity to Volunteer and Howard J. Lamade Stadiums, which have hosted the Little League World Series for 60 seasons. This historic sports atmosphere is perfect for any sports fan.

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About the Author

Andy Mollenauer

Andy is a writer for Onward State, a senior majoring in journalism, and a die-hard Wisconsin pro sports fan despite being from our nation's capital. His taste in music is absolute garbage, ranging from Bon Jovi to Slipknot to Avril Lavigne. If you want to talk sports or share memes and cute photos of French bulldogs, email him at [email protected].

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