Hike Challenge 12: Thousand Steps

This week we are heading to Thousand Steps!  It sounds intimidating and it can be, but if you take the slow and steady approach, this hike is totally doable even for our younger Scouts.  The hike is predominately uphill with areas to stop and rest along the way.  It is boulder hiking, so each step is either a root or a rock that you will be stepping up on as you move up the hill.  Please be sure to take water with you on this hike.  There are several stopping points with great views of the area and at the top there is a hiking trail with an overlook.  We’ve also done this hike in the fall and it is lovely to do then too.  Take your time and enjoy the process.  Keep your eyes out for the step markers indicating 100, 200, 300, etc.  They go by a lot faster than you might think!  Going down can sometimes be harder than going up as your calves may start twitching on the way down.  Do not attempt this hike before or after potential rainfall because it would be slippery. 

Week 12 Hike:  Thousand Steps  


Distance:  3.4 miles out (up) and back (down) 1125 foot elevation change

Thousand Steps Trail Map

Directions:  Take PA 26 S for 24 miles toward Mill Creek Hollow Rd.  Turn left onto Mill Creek Hollow Rd./ State Route 1005 for 1.4 miles, continue onto Mill Creek Rd. for 2 miles, continue onto SR 1005 for 3.7 miles.  Turn right onto   PA 655/Big Valley Pike for 1.5 miles.  Turn left onto US 22 E and continue for 4 miles.  Parking will be on your left-hand side.  There is a trail marker at the beginning of the trail just off the road, but it is past the parking area and across a mini waterfall area.  You will have to keep your eyes peeled.  

Thousand Steps Directions

Bonus:  While the Thousand Steps offer access to the beauty of Huntingdon County, they also serve as a reminder of a bygone era. Originally the Steps were meant to only provide an easier commute to the mountaintop quarry, but today they allow us to imagine the sacrifices our forefathers made. Constructed in 1936 during the area’s boom in the brickmaking industry, the steps were used by employees of Harbison-Walker to access ganister and bring the rock down the switchbacks to the refractories where it would be turned into fire bricks used to line steel-making furnaces. After World War II, the need for steel fabrication gradually declined and eventually the quarry above Thousand Steps closed.  Read more HERE.

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