This Pennsylvania/ Mid-Atlantic style mountain is a beautiful hike in the heart of cenral Pennsylvania. Though merely a hill when compared to the major ranges of other parts of the east coast, it is one of the higher mountains in the region. This mountain is decieving from the valley. It appears to be a pretty easy looking hike with not too much trouble. Once you get on the mountain you start to realize how steep it actually is. The mountain is located South of Gratz, PA and North of Lykens, PA. It splits the Lykens Valley and Tri-Valley from a geographic standpoint. It is in the shape of a large oblonged pyramid with the point at the split of the valley. There is also some very relevant history on the mountain. At the point of the mountain there was a massacre of a white family by the Indians of the valley. Today there is a marker in the field at the base of the mountain as a reminder of the event. The mountain was also heavily strip mined in the middle of the last century. There are many good sized cliffs along the trail which are remnants of the areas mining history. Overall the mountain makes a wonderful hike and provides nice views to the North. There is also an observation tower near the main summit.
The Tulpahocken Path is a famous Indian path used by the Native Americans to travel across the mountains of Central Pennsylvania from the eastern part of the state. The Indian Trail on Short Mountain is a part of this historic trail. The trail runs the mountain southwest from Hegins, PA and continues over the mountain and then across the valley and through the Pillow Gap which can be seen from various places on the mountain. The Path then continues through Hooflander Gap and over Little Mountain up to Sunbury where it crosses the river. There are no historic markers in the Hegins Valley for the path but at the base of Little Mountain, where the path crosses the road from the mountain, there is a state historical marker easily recognizable to most visitors as a place of interest. This is just below Sunbury on Route 147 and provides minimal historical background on this Native American trail that was later adopted and used by settlers of Pennsylvania.
From Interstate 81 near Harrisburg:
-Get off onto Route 322W at the Lewistown/State College exit and drive North along the Susquehanna River. After about 10-15 miles you'll want to take the Halifax exit for Route 225/147 which will take you over Peters Mountain. Continue through Halifax on 147 to Millersburg and at the square turn right onto Route 209. Take 209 East all the way through Elizabethville to Loyalton. From just beyond Millersburg you'll be able to see the mountain and how it slits the valley. In Loyalton you'll get to a blinking light intersection where you'll turn left. This road will take you along the point of the mountain and eventually to the northside. You'll then come to Old Specktown Road where you'll turn right and head up a hill where Indian Trail Road merges with it. Follow this for two miles and look for an old carriage road on the right. If you get to the sharp s-turns below Gratz you've gone a little too far. It is just to the West of the s-turns.
From Interstate 81 near Pine Grove:
-Take the Hegins/Route 25 exit and continue on Route 25 all the way to Gratz. In the middle of Gratz, turn left (South) and follow the road past a baseball field and down a hill to the s-turns. After the last part of the turn you'll come out heading West and the trail which looks like an old carriage road is on the left side along a line of trees. The trail is about 200yds. from the last turn.
There are no permits required. The trail does pass through Gratz Gun Club property, but they allow use of the trail. Farther up, the moutain is all PA State Gamelands.
When To Climb
The mountain is climbable anytime of year but in the winter the top section would be pretty steep and crampoons would be recommended in snow conditions.
There is no known camping on the mountain. For information on where you can camp contact the State Game Commission for camping regulations.
Contact the National Weather Service for the Gratz/Hegins Valley area for weather information.