Hobie’s Trail (formerly known as the Colyer Lake Trail) is a scenic and relatively easy to hike 2.6 mile trail that loops around the PA Fish and Boat Commission’s Colyer Lake in Centre County.
The trail is named in honor of Hobart “Hobie” Kistler, who originally conceived and built a trail around Colyer Lake as his Eagle Scout service project in 2006.
The trail was dedicated in Hobie’s name in April, 2022, and several markers along the trail are reminder’s of his vision and hard work.
How to Find Hobie’s Trail at Colyer Lake
Located 10 miles east of State College, just off of Route 322, there are two trailheads/parking areas for this loop hike.
On the north shore of the lake you’ll find the Lingle Road parking area/boat launch; on the southeastern shore you’ll find the Lake Road parking area/boat launch.
If navigating by GPS, use coordinates 40.77808, -77.68377 for the Lingle Road lot, use coordinates 40.77247, -77.68094 for the Lake Road lot.
No matter where you park or which direction you hike the loop, it’s a beautiful trail in all seasons.
It’s an especially peaceful hike in the winter, when you’ll often have the trail all to yourself if you hike it on a weekday.
Exploring Hobie’s Trail at Colyer Lake
The Colyer Lake Loop is relatively flat with some slight undulations, there’s really no “easy route” or “hard route”.
A series of bridges carry you over water crossings, a recent improvement to the trail if you hiked it in the past.
The American flag near one of the bridges is a particularly nice touch, and a fitting tribute to Hobie’s service in the United States Navy.
I find this a relatively easy winter hike, as it lacks any really steep, slippery sections.
And the reflections of the winter sky off the non-frozen portions of Colyer Lake certainly make for some pleasing photos.
Scenes Along the Colyer Lake Trail
As you’d probably expect with a lake loop trail, there are plenty of excellent views of Colyer Lake along this trail.
Even the views from the parking areas are impressive.
The trail passes below the spillway of the lake.
There are benches at several points along the trail to relax and take in the scenery.
This is a popular lake for the fishing crowd in the warmer months, so don’t be surprised to see folks wetting a line at just about any point along your route.
There are also a few spots where the trail skirts private property – please respect the homeowner’s privacy and stay on the trail easements.
Hobie’s Trail is far enough outside State College to enjoy some starry nights, without the light pollution of the “big city”.
Towards the northern end of Colyer Lake you’ll hike amongst some particularly tall pines.
The sheer amount of diverse scenes along this relatively short trail makes it a wonderful beginner’s hike or hike for/with children.
As a fall foliage hike, this is a fantastic trail as well.
And don’t forget about Hobie’s Trail when the snow starts to fly!
If you enjoy boating, bring along the canoe or kayak (PA Fish and Boat Commission regulations apply).
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If you’re looking to stay closer to State College, be sure to check out The 5 Best Scenic Overlooks Near State College.
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