Mid State Trail

The Mid State Trail Is A Long Distance Hiking Path In Beautiful Central Pennsylvania

The M.S.T., with a length of 324.96 miles, (522.98 kilometres) is a long distance network of hiking trails located in the beautiful countryside of Central Pennsylvania.

Its course takes it over the Allegheny Plateau and the ridges and valleys of the Appalachian Mountains. It is sometimes known as "The Wildest Trail In Pennsylvania" because of the apparent remoteness of some of its sections however, it is rarely more than two kilometres away from a road.

It is also part of a planned network of trails intended to run from New York State all the way south to Alabama.

View Out Across The Allegheny Mountains Of Pennsylvania From The Top Of Blue Knob

The Mid State Trail has a unique place in American hiking folklore as it was the very first trail in the United States to use metric measure. The 1973 M.S.T. guide stated that "metrification is seen as a patriotic measure designed to help end our cultural isolation..."

The trail guide, which is published by the M.S.T. Association, is an excellent source for learning about the location of the trailheads.

The northern end of the Mid State Trail is close to the town of Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania which is almost on the border with New York State. It is at this point that it meets the Crystal Hills Trail which is a branch of the Finger Lakes Trail. 

Meanwhile, the southern end of the trail is on the Pennsylania - Maryland border, on the Black Valley Road, close to the town of Flintstone MD.

As of 2012 there is only one unmarked section, 7.29 miles long, which is found south east of Wellsboro near Pine Creek Gorge.

Most of the Mid State Trail runs on state owned lands, such as state forests, parks and game-land. Where it does pass through private land it is with the permission of the owners, these spots generally being found close to the state borders with Maryland and New York. 

A Tree Along The MST Marked With A Typical Blaze 

The trail is marked with a single rectangular orange blaze with two rectangles to indicate turns. Blue blazes mark the side trails. Because of good maintenance the orange markers tend to be newer and brighter than the markers for the side trails. 

Some of this maintenance is carried out by volunteers of the Mid State Trail Association together with the Pennsylvania DCNR.

The trail can often be a demanding hike as it follows many ridge tops however, this is offset by some outstanding views. Although quite widely known about, the trail is seldom crowded and you are more likely to sight a brown bear than other hikers. Don`t let this thought worry you, as bears usually leave very rapidly when coming into contact with humans. 

As previously mentioned, the MST Association is a superb authority to contact if you have any questions about hiking any part of this fantastic trail.

For just a few dollars you can purchase a wonderfully detailed trail map by clicking here