Lifestyle

Get outdoors in nature at Colyer Lake in Centre County, PA



A day trip to Colyer Lake will not disappoint those looking for ways to relax and find inspiration in a scenic and serene setting. The 77-acre lake is one of just several in central Pennsylvania and located approximately 15 minutes outside of Boalsburg in Centre Hall. Colyer Lake is home to permanent residents and a favorite year-round destination for visiting anglers, hikers, mountain bikers and birdwatchers.

On Sunday, June 26, Wednesday June 29, and Thursday, June 30, ClearWater Conservancy’s Centred Outdoors program will host free guided nature walks around a portion of the perimeter of the lake. During an approximately 2-mile guided walk, you can expect to come across picturesque views of the lake and surrounding landscape while learning how plants and wildlife in and around the lake support the area’s ecosystem and surrounding natural resources.

There are many historic, artistic and delicious points of interest within a 15-minute drive of this destination. Those looking to extend their adventure before and after a guided walk with Centred Outdoors can add one or more extra stops on their way to and from Colyer Lake.

One possible route for a miniature road trip to the lake begins in Boalsburg, a town home to a great deal of local and national history. At the Pennsylvania Military Museum, for example, a half-mile paved and flat walking loop passes by 30 outdoor monuments and shrines honoring Pennsylvania’s service men and women. Parking at the museum is free and there is no cost to walk around the outdoor grounds.

The Pump Station Café is located across the street from Military Museum and is an optional stop for picking up a caffeinated drink or snack on the way out of town and toward the lake. About five minutes after leaving downtown Boalsburg on U.S. Route 322 heading east, Tait Farm Foods will be on the right. A visit to Tait Farm will likely last longer than planned as there is much to see in their Harvest Shop and Greenhouse including native plants and seeds, locally-made goods such as the farm’s own specialty shrubs and foods, and a variety of hand-crafted art and jewelry by regional artists.

The Colyer Lake parking area is located about six miles from Tait Farm Foods. Participants can meet at the Centred Outdoors welcome table to join the guided walk which will take a little over an hour. Following the adventure visitors can stay at the lake to fish and relax or continue on their adventure.

Approximately ten minutes north of Colyer Lake stands the historic Neff Round Barn, located at 2519 Earlsytown Road in Centre Hall. The highly-recognizable bright red barn is on the National Register of Historic Places. While many have seen the barn in paintings and photographs since its construction in 1910, to see it in person is an especially unique sight. While the barn is not open for visitors the memorable structure can be seen from the road.

A final stop on the Colyer Lake “microadventure” might include Tussey Mountain and Rothrock State Forest, located just seven minutes from the barn and a little over ten minutes from Colyer Lake. The pond at Tussey Mountain is open for public fishing and its fun center includes miniature golf, batting cages and go karts. A parking area for Rothrock State Forest several nearby and easy-to-walk trails is located just a couple of minutes past the pond Tussey Mountain. The whole area includes many scenic spots for picnicking and watching the sunset after a relaxing, fun, and informative day in central Pennsylvania.

Centred Outdoors adventure coordinators will lead free guided hikes at Colyer Lake on Sunday, June 26 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., Wednesday June 29 at 6 p.m., and Thursday June 30 at 10 a.m. Those interested in joining the hike can meet at the Centred Outdoors welcome table to meet up with a group and hike a portion of the Colyer Lake Loop for approximately 2 miles. This adventure is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, with options to modify length and pace as needed. For complete event details visit www.centredoutdoors.org.

Address to use: 211 Lake Road, Centre Hall

Route for entire microadventure: https://goo.gl/maps/4pBwYTwBD23acbXW9

What to bring:

  • Filled water bottle

  • Sturdy footwear

  • Sun protection, including hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses

  • Bug spray and long pants and sleeves for protection from ticks and insects

  • Fishing license and equipment if planning to fish

  • Picnic or light snack

  • Binoculars for birdwatching

Additional Information:

  • Portable restrooms are available at this location

  • Swimming is not permitted at Colyer Lake

  • Safety tips at www.centredoutdoors.org/safety

  • Dogs on a leash welcome, please responsibly clean up after your pets

  • Confirm hours of operation for businesses and museums to plan your day ahead of time

Andrea Murrell is ClearWater Conservancy’s strategic communications coordinator.





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