This year’s Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance Media Marketplace took me to somewhere I’d never been before —State College, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding regions. So, of course, I had to run.
Our schedules are always pretty packed during the MATPRA Media Marketplace, but I always find time to get in a run. This year, I was able to run between activities Wednesday and fit in another before I left the area Thursday.
During both of my runs, I enjoyed taking in the views of the beautiful fall leaves, which were ahead of what we’d seen in Salisbury, more than a five-hour drive southeast.
On the first day, I explored the Penn State campus and downtown State College. The campus was huge, and many miles would need to be run to see the entire thing. State College was having some colder weather during this mid-to-late October week (Oct. 18-20), but I was comfortable. There was also some light rain on this afternoon, but I knew there would not be many other opportunities to run. In the 5K I ran that day, there were 172 feet of elevation gain, a decent amount for this flatlander.
Earlier that day, I did a self-guided walking tour of some of the campus that was provided with our MATPRA materials, including the Nittany Lion shrine.
The next day, I wanted to explore a couple trails I found online and end my run at Berkey Creamery, on the Penn State campus. I left the hotel, The Graduate, and ran up through campus to the Nittany Lion shrine, then continued through campus until I came to McKee Street and went into a pretty residential area. There was a class meeting outside.
I went to Sunset Park, where there was a bathroom available. It looked like a trail connected to this park from the maps I saw, and I thought I was on the Gerhold Wildflower Trail at the Arboretum at Penn State. However, I actually ended up running on the McKee Street – Clinton Avenue Bike Path, which was paved and had nice scenery. It was pretty short.
I then ran on the Bellefonte Central Rail Trail, which was nice. The part of the trail I was on had a crushed stone surface. I decided to try to map a loop so that I could stay on the trail a little longer and see more things. I found a hill that took me up to more of Penn State’s campus — this hill is a Strava segment called “Cardiac Hill,” with a 12.3 percent grade.
I looked at how to get to Berkey Creamery, and I ended my run there as planned, ordering a cone of the WPSU Coffee Break ice cream. I enjoyed it as I walked back to the hotel. This run had 224 feet of elevation gain over about 3.5 miles.
We get to go on familiarization tours of the area as part of the MATPRA Media Marketplace, and I was interested in the outdoorsy options. On my tour in Centre County, Pennsylvania, we learned about the Harvest Fields Community Trails in the Rothrock State Forest and got to take a short walk along the edge.
The next day, I traveled with a group to Curwensville Lake in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. Although we didn’t have enough time for a hike, we went on a guided tour of the park on a large wagon, and it looked like a great place to run.
Learn more about the Central Pennsylvania MATPRA destinations that hosted this year’s Marketplace: