Hiking Mount Nittany Near State College

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Penn State campus as viewed from the MIke Lynch Overlook on Mount Nittany.

Hiking Mount Nittany is one of those “bucket list” items that every past and present Penn Stater aspires to do!

Looming large on the horizon of State College and the Penn State main campus, Mount Nittany is a symbol of pride in “Happy Valley”.

Sunrise over Mount Nittany in State College PA
Sunrise over Mount Nittany in State College, PA.

There are 7 named overlooks along the 8 miles of maintained trails on Mount Nittany, trails maintained by Mount Nittany Conservancy volunteers.

The Boalsburg Overlook on top of Mount NIttany.
The Boalsburg Overlook on top of Mount NIttany.

But by far the most popular overlook is the Mike Lynch Overlook, which offers up sweeping views of downtown State College, Beaver Stadium, and the Penn State campus.

Beaver Stadium as viewed from the MIke Lynch Overlook.
Beaver Stadium as viewed from the Mike Lynch Overlook.

In fact, when most people say they’re going to “hike Mount Nittany”, they really mean they are going to hike to the Mike Lynch Overlook on Mount Nittany.

Mike Lynch Overlook memorial on Mount Nittany.
Mike Lynch Overlook memorial on Mount Nittany.

AKA the State College Overlook on Mount Nittany.

Construction cranes in downtown State College visible from Mount Nittany.
Construction cranes in downtown State College visible from Mount Nittany.

AKA the Penn State Overlook on Mount Nittany.

The Bryce Jordan Center and "Hockey Valley" as viewed from the top of Mount Nittany.
The Bryce Jordan Center and “Hockey Valley” as viewed from the top of Mount Nittany.

So the focus of this write-up will be on getting you safely to and from the Mike Lynch Overlook on Mount Nittany, whether you’re a Penn Stater or simply a nature lover who enjoys a good hike!


Hiking Mount Nittany FAQs

How do I find Mount Nittany?

The Mount Nittany hike begins at the end of Mount Nittany Road in the village of Lemont.

How to find the Mike Lynch Overlook on Mount NIttany.

Where do I park to hike Mount Nittany?

There is parking along Mount Nittany Road at the base of the mountain at GPS coordinates 40.81146, -77.80702.
There are also few residences along this stretch of Mount Nittany Road as well.
DO NOT BLOCK ANYONE’S DRIVEWAY!
Mount Nittany parking area in Lemont.

Are there restrooms near the Mount Nittany Trailhead?

There is a porta potty near the Mount Nittany Trailhead and parking area.
Restroom at the Mount Nittany Trailhead.

Where can I find a map of the hiking trails on Mount Nittany?

There are normally maps at the informational kiosk at the Mount Nittany Trailhead, or you can download one from the Mount Nittany Conservancy website.
Mount Nittany information kiosk at trailhead.

Which trail do I take to get to the Mike Lynch Overlook?

You will utilize the White Trail on your way up and down Mount Nittany.
Trail signs along the hike to the top of Mount Nittany.

Is the Mount Nittany hike steep?

The hike from the parking area to the Mike Lynch Overlook entails approximately 600 feet of elevation gain over the course of 0.6 miles. Once on top, the reminder of the trails to the other 6 overlooks are relatively flat.
The White Trail leading towards the top of Mount Nittany.

Are there places to rest on the Mount Nittany hike?

Yes – there are benches and logs along the trail.

Rest area along the White Trail on Mount Nittany.

Can I see into Beaver Stadium from the Mike Lynch Overlook?

You can see the upper stands inside Beaver Stadium, not the playing field. So if you’re looking for a cheaper way to see a Penn State football game, this isn’t it!
The view of Beaver Stadium and Medlar Field from Mount Nittany

How crowded does the Mike Lynch Overlook get?

On a hot, summer afternoon you might have the place to yourself. On a weekend during the Penn State school year, expect lots of company!
The Mike Lynch Overlook on Mount NIttany overlooking Penn State and State College.

Why does the Mike Lynch Overlook appear different than I remember?

It was rebuilt a few years ago to add tiers for easier viewing and cut down on soil erosion.

The multiple tiers of the Mike Lynch Overlook on top of Mount Nittany.

What is the best time of day to hike Mount Nittany.

I prefer morning, as it’s typically less crowded.
Looking towards downtown State College from Mount Nittany.

Is Mount Nittany a good place to watch the sunset?

Yes!
Summer sunset over Penn State campus while a baseball game takes place at Medlar Field..

Besides downtown State College and the Penn State campus, what else can I see from the Mike Lynch Overlook?

You have an excellent view of Mount Nittany Medical Center (complete with solar array) and some of Penn State’s research barns.
Mount Nittany Medical Center as viewed from the top of Mount Nittany.

How long does it take to hike Mount Nittany?

If you’re simply hiking to the Mike Lynch Overlook, expect the hike to take roughly 30 minutes each way, plus however much time you spend at the overlook itself.
The White Trail on Mount Nittany, near the top of the mountain.

How tall is Mount Nittany?

The peak of Mount Nittany is 2,077 feet above sea level, and 800 feet above the valley floor.
Mount Nittany standing 2007 feet above sea level.


Nearby Attractions

Looking for even more scenic overlooks near Happy Valley?

Then be sure to check out “The 5 Best Scenic Overlooks Near State College”.

Blue skies over David's Vista near State College.
Blue skies over David’s Vista near State College.

Indian Lookout, located 45 minutes south of State College, is another scenic vista in Central Pennsylvania.

Exploring Indian Lookout in the Rothrock State Forest.
The author at Indian Lookout in Huntingdon County.

Yost Run Falls and it’s sister falls on Kyler Fork are approximately 45 minutes north of State College in the Sproul State Forest.

The author at Yost Run Falls on a spring day.
The author at Yost Run Falls in Centre County.

And don’t forget about “The 5 Best State Parks Near State College” as well!

The Lake Loop Trail at Black Moshannon State Park.
The Lake Loop Trail at Black Moshannon State Park.


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