Exploring Indian Lookout in Huntingdon County

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Exploring Indian Lookout in the Rothrock State Forest.

Indian Lookout in the Rothrock State Forest is one of the most spectacular scenic overlooks in all of central Pennsylvania.

Perched high above the former Colerain State Park (now part of the Rothrock State Forest), an expansive view of Spruce Creek, Canoe Mountain, Brush Mountain, and the distant Bald Eagle Mountain awaits the intrepid explorer.

View from Indian Lookout Vista in the Rothrock State Forest.
View from Indian Lookout Vista in the Rothrock State Forest.

Contrary to what the name might imply. Indian Lookout was not used by Native Americans as a lookout, but rather by early European settlers in the region as a lookout for potential Indian war parties.

One trip here and you’ll understand why – the commanding view of the area is superb.


How to Find Indian Lookout in the Rothrock State Forest

Indian Lookout is located along the Yellow Arrow Trail in the Rothrock State Forest.

How to find Indian Lookout Vista in the Rothrock State Forest.
How to find Indian Lookout Vista in the Rothrock State Forest.

To reach the Yellow Arrow Trail, turn off of Route 45 in Colerain/Spruce Creek Township onto Colerain Road.

Unfortunately, Colerain Road has no road sign that I’ve ever seen, but the GPS coordinates for its intersection with Route 45 are 40.62684, -78.11355.

Once you’ve made the turn off of Route 45 onto Colerain Road, you’ll cross a small bridge over Spruce Creek and see a large parking area in front of you.

This lower trailhead for the Yellow Arrow Trail is located here.

The lower Yellow Arrow Trailhead in the Rothrock State Forest.
The lower Yellow Arrow Trailhead in the Rothrock State Forest.

If you elect to hike up the mountain from the bottom to Indian Lookout, the trail is approximately a mile long and features 750 feet of elevation gain.

Personally, I choose to drive up Colerain Road to the upper Yellow Arrow trailhead and hike downhill 0.2 miles from the road to the lookout.

This also allows you to visit 2 other outstanding roadside vistas nearby.


Exploring Canoe Mountain Vista

Continuing up Colerain Road from the left side of the parking area, you’ll travel 1.17 miles on the picturesque state forest road.

American flag over Colerain Road in the Rothrock State Forest.
American flag over Colerain Road in the Rothrock State Forest.

At a sharp bend in the road, you’ll encounter a roadside pull-off and Canoe Mountain Vista.

Roadside Canoe Mountain Vista in the Rothrock State Forest.
Roadside Canoe Mountain Vista in the Rothrock State Forest.

Canoe Mountain lies on the Blair / Huntingdon county line on State Game Lands 166.

Canoe Mountain Vista along Colerain Road in Huntingdon County PA
Canoe Mountain Vista along Colerain Road in Huntingdon County PA

This is certainly one of the more accessible vistas in the Rothrock State Forest system, even for those with limited mobility.

Canoe Mountain Vista in the Rothrock State Forest.
Canoe Mountain Vista in the Rothrock State Forest.

Exploring Indian Lookout

Continue up Colerain Road another mile to an obvious roadside pull-off and the upper Yellow Arrow Trailhead.

Indian Lookout parking area along Colerain Road.
Indian Lookout parking area along Colerain Road.

The trailhead will be on your left hand side.

The upper Yellow Arrow trailhead in the Rothrock State Forest
The upper Yellow Arrow trailhead in the Rothrock State Forest

The trail to the lookout is a quick 0.2 miles, a gentle downhill slope most of the way.

The Yellow Arrow Trail in the Rothrock State Forest.
The Yellow Arrow Trail in the Rothrock State Forest.

Just before you reach the overlook, the trail slopes uphill and the remnants of a fence come into view.

Indian Lookout along the Yellow Arrow Trail in the Rothrock State Forest.
Indian Lookout along the Yellow Arrow Trail in the Rothrock State Forest.

To the left of the fence is a memorial to one of the two hikers who have fallen to their deaths from Indian Lookout since the mid-70’s, so please use caution and don’t get too close to the edge.

Memorial at Indian Lookout.
Memorial at Indian Lookout.

The 180 degree views from Indian Lookout are simply stunning.

View from Indian Lookout Vista in the Rothrock State Forest.
View from Indian Lookout Vista in the Rothrock State Forest.

To your right you are looking upstream on Spruce Creek in the direction of State College.

Incredible view from Indian Lookout in Huntingdon County.
Incredible view from Indian Lookout in Huntingdon County.

To your left you are looking the direction of Tyrone and Altoona.

Indian Lookout Vista in Huntingdon County Pennsylvania
Indian Lookout Vista in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania

Exploring Colerain Road Vista

There is one more terrific roadside (literally) vista awaiting you 1 mile further up Colerain Road.

From the Indian Lookout parking area, continue northeast and take the upper fork in the road to stay on Colerain Road.

Intersection along Colerain Road in the Rothrock State Forest.
Intersection along Colerain Road in the Rothrock State Forest.

After travelling a mile, you’ll be met by the expansive views at Colerain Road Vista.

The roadside Colerain Road Vista in the Rothrock State Forest.
The roadside Colerain Road Vista in the Rothrock State Forest.

The view from Colerain Road Vista mimics that of Indian Lookout, although you do have a better view of Canoe Mountain from here.

The view from Colerain Road Vista in Huntingdon County Pennsylvania.
The view from Colerain Road Vista in Huntingdon County Pennsylvania.

This is certainly one of the most sweeping vantage points in the Rothrock State Forest.

Colerain Road Vista in Huntingdon County PA
Colerain Road Vista in Huntingdon County PA

The fact that it is so easily accessible makes it an ideal spot for any nature lover, regardless of mobility issues.

Just a few hundred feet past Colerain Road Vista, a large turnaround area near the mountaintop makes a good spot to do just that, and you can then backtrack down the mountain to Route 45 where you started.


Nearby Attractions

Rainbow Falls is just one of the many awesome attractions at Trough Creek State Park in Huntingdon County.

Rainbow Falls Pennsylvania Huntingdon County
Rainbow Falls Pennsylvania Huntingdon County

Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County, the largest lake entirely situated with the state of Pennsylvania, is home to 4 magnificent scenic overlooks of its own.

Observation area at Hawn's Overlook above Raystown Lake.
Hawn’s Overlook at Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County.

Saint Mary’s Covered Bridge is the lone remaining covered bridge in Huntingdon County.

Saint Mary's Covered Bridge in Huntingdon County, PA
Saint Mary’s Covered Bridge in Huntingdon County, PA

“The 13 Best Scenic Overlooks in Centre County” introduces you to some of the finest views in and around Happy Valley.

Chocolate Drop Vista sign along Pine Swamp Road in the Bald Eagle State Forest.
Chocolate Drop Vista sign along Pine Swamp Road in the Bald Eagle State Forest.

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