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The Dos And Don’ts Of Hiking Mount Nittany

As you’re getting settled in and figuring out how to navigate a pandemic-ridden semester, you’re likely brainstorming some fun, socially-distanced outdoor activities. In addition to being a classic Penn State bucket list activity, hiking Mount Nittany is always a great choice.

Whether you’ve never made the trek to 2,077 feet above sea level or you’re a Mount Nittany hike veteran, you can never be too prepared.

We’ve compiled some crucial tips to help make your hike a breeze.


  • Expect A Thigh Burner: Especially if it’s your first time hiking Mount Nittany, it’s important to not underestimate the hike. While it isn’t the biggest mountain, it certainly provides its challenges on the way up. Depending on the route you take, you could run into some extra rocky or steep points, and you should expect a solid leg workout.
  • Bring Water: Hydration is always key. Whether you go on a hot, sunny day or a chilly State College morning, you will instantly regret it if you forget to bring some H2O.
  • Check The Weather: Make sure you are aware of the weather before starting your journey. Dressing for the wrong weather or going during a storm will immediately ruin what is meant to be a joyful trip.
  • Line It Up With The Sunrise Or Sunset: Who isn’t a sucker for a beautiful sunrise or sunset? I know I am. In my experiences, going for the sunset is the best. But either way, watching the sun rise or fall behind Penn State’s beautiful campus is sure to make your day or night (and lead to some great photos, too).


  • Eat A Big Breakfast (Or Any Meal, For That Matter): Look, folks. Everyone knows breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But nothing is going to put a damper on your scenic hike like a large Sowers Harvest Cafe cheese omelet doing flips in your tummy. I (managing editor Matt DiSanto!) made that unfortunate mistake last fall and certainly plan to settle on a post-hike meal next time. Although it pains me to say it, breakfast can wait.
  • Wear The Wrong Shoes: The trek is definitely a rocky and bumpy one. You’ll want to make sure that you’re wearing some good, closed-toe shoes to avoid anything unexpected. You aren’t hiking Mount Everest, but you are still hiking a good-sized mountain and you will need to have some traction.
  • Go On The First Few Sunday Mornings Of The Semester: We are probably past the beginning of the semester rush to go on Sunday morning. But especially in a pandemic, it would be smart to avoid going during a hot spot to avoid an accidental large gathering. Plus, who wants to run into a bunch of other groups on a nice, peaceful hike?
  • Go With Your Phone On Low Battery: Charge your phone! While it wouldn’t be easy to get lost in the sunlight, you never know what could happen after the sun goes down. You will always want to have the safety net of your phone.

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About the Author

Trevor Grady

Trevor is a junior majoring in management information systems, minoring in journalism, and is a writer for Onward State. He is from Dublin, Ohio but is the furthest thing from an Ohio State guy. He is a college football fanatic, and loves everything about the show Prison Break. His parents are both from Boston, so he is a Boston sports fan which is understandably and unapologetically unpopular.

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