This trail has many access points along its route, but for access on Jacks Mountain is via the top of Thousand Steps.
The Link Trail is a 74 mile long trail that links the Tuscarora Trail and Mid-State Trail. It is one of the newer trail systems in the state of PA, created in the 1970s. Until the mid-90s the trail was becoming over-run with new plant growth and fallen trees/rocks. In 1996 the trail was cleaned up and is now back to its former glory. Not only is this a wonderful hiking trail but there is much history to go along with the sights it passes by such as Thousand Steps, Greenwood Furnace, and Cowans Gap.
Jacks Mountain Summit Route via Thousand Steps:
This part of the trail meets up with Thousand Steps just below the col on Jacks Mountain. For a nice view of the town of Mount Union, head south for 0.3 miles to where one of the incline tracks heads down the mountain. To continue to the summit of Jacks Mountain, turn left (North) from Thousand Steps and you'll see numerous open vistas in all directions. You'll also pass the mine headquarters building on your way to the West Ridge.
From the top of Thousand Steps it is another 2.4 miles to the summit with 621 feet in elevation gain. You'll head through six switchbacks on your way to the scree fields just below the summit of Jacks Mountain. From here the views are simply grand. You can see west towards Tussey, Tuscarora, and Bald Eagle Mountains, north to Mill Creek and its many summits, and east to the lower summits near Lewistown. That makes the total round-trip distance 6.8 miles with an elevation gain of 1,800 feet. Enjoy the hike!
Comfortable hiking shoes, food/water, trekking poles, and a camera.