Hiking the Colyer Lake Trail Near State College

The Colyer Lake Trail just outside State College Pennsylvania.

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.

Details of the Colyer Lake Trail, from a map posted near the Lake Road trail head.
Details of the Colyer Lake Trail, from a map posted near the Lake Road trail head.

How to Find the Colyer Lake Trail

Located 10 miles east of State College, just off of Route 322, there are two trailheads/parking areas for this loop hike.

Looking across Colyer Lake towards the Lingle Road parking area.
Looking across Colyer Lake towards the Lingle Road parking area.

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.

A map to the parking areas for the Colyer Lake Trail near State College Pennsylvania.
A map to the parking areas for the Colyer Lake Trail near State College.

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.


Exploring the Colyer Lake Loop Trail

Being a loop trail, it doesn’t really matter in which direction you hike it, and as the Colyer Lake Loop is relatively flat, there’s really no “easy route” or “hard route”.

The Colyer Lake Loop Trail outside State College Pennsylvania.
The Colyer Lake Loop Trail outside State College.

There are, however, three “wet crossings” near the dam and spillway, so if visiting during a “high water” period, like after a heavy rain, I’d recommend hiking in the direction of the dam first.

Wet crossing along the Colyer Lake Trail below the dam's spillway.
Wet crossing along the Colyer Lake Trail below the dam’s spillway.

That way, if you CAN’T make it across the wet crossings, you don’t have to back track the entire loop to get back to your vehicle.

A map of the Colyer Lake Trail posted near the Lake Road trail head.
A map of the Colyer Lake Trail posted near the Lake Road trail head.

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.

A springtime scene from the Colyer Lake Trail near State College.
A springtime scene from the Colyer Lake Trail near State College.

There are also some hazards unique to this trail, so be forewarned.

Beware of trolls along the Colyer Lake Trail near State College.
Beware of trolls along the Colyer Lake Trail near State College.

This is a popular lake for the fishing crowd, so don’t be surprised to see folks wetting a line at just about any point along your route.

Folks enjoying the afternoon fishing at Colyer Lake in Centre County.
Folks enjoying the afternoon fishing at Colyer Lake in Centre County.

There are benches at several points along the trail to relax and take in the scenery.

Bench along the Colyer Lake Trail outside State College Pennsylvania.
Bench along the Colyer Lake Trail outside State College.

There are also a few spots where the trail skirts private property – please respect the homeowner’s privacy.

Sign post along the Colyer Lake Trail in Centre County.
Sign post along the Colyer Lake Trail in Centre County.

The Colyer Lake Trail is far enough outside State College to enjoy some starry nights, without the light pollution of the “big city”.

Starry night along the Colyer Lake Trail.
Starry night along the Colyer Lake Trail.

Towards the northern end of Colyer Lake you’ll hike amongst some particularly tall pines.

Tall pines along the Colyer Lake Loop Trail near State College Pennsylvania.
Tall pines along the Colyer Lake Loop Trail near State College.

The sheer amount of diverse scenes along this relatively short trail makes it a wonderful beginner’s hike or hike for/with children.

Springtime along the Colyer Lake Loop Trail in Centre County Pennsylvania.
Springtime along the Colyer Lake Loop Trail in Centre County.

And if you enjoy boating, bring along the canoe or kayak (PA Fish and Boat Commission regulations apply).

View from the Lake Road parking area and boat launch at Colyer Lake.
View from the Lake Road parking area and boat launch at Colyer Lake.

Nearby Attractions

The 13 Best Scenic Overlooks in Centre County will introduce you to some of the best mountain vistas in the area, including Bear Meadows Overlook less than 5 miles away.

Bear Meadows Overlook in Centre County Pennsylvania
Bear Meadows Overlook in Centre County, Pennsylvania.

If you’re looking to stay closer to State College, 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.

And of course there’s the granddaddy of all State College hikes, the trek to the top of Mount Nittany!

Penn State campus as viewed from the MIke Lynch Overlook on Mount Nittany.
The view of State College and Penn State from Mount Nittany.

Exploring the Ghost Town of Scotia Near State College will introduce you to a truly unique hike on State Game Lands 176.

Looking down on the ore washer remains from one of the earthen ramps.
Remnants of the ghost town of Scotia near State College, PA.

The 5 Best State Parks Near State College will show you more of the outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities near Happy Valley.

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

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Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

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