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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
There are also some hazards unique to this trail, so be forewarned.
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.
There are benches at several points along the trail to relax and take in the scenery.
There are also a few spots where the trail skirts private property – please respect the homeowner’s privacy.
The Colyer Lake 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 if you enjoy boating, bring along the canoe or kayak (PA Fish and Boat Commission regulations apply).
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.
If you’re looking to stay closer to State College, be sure to check out The 5 Best Scenic Overlooks Near State College.
And of course there’s the granddaddy of all State College hikes, the trek to the top of Mount Nittany!
The Arboretum at Penn State is a fantastic collection of botanic gardens, fountains, ponds, walking trails, and pollinator habitats all located on the north end of the Penn State main campus in State College.
Exploring the Ghost Town of Scotia Near State College will introduce you to a truly unique hike on State Game Lands 176.
The 5 Best State Parks Near State College will show you more of the outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities near Happy Valley.
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