Adventures in Central PA: Thousand Steps

There's a little sign marking this spot along the road between Huntingdon and Mount Union (Mt Union is famous for the Creation festivals each summer). We've driven by dozens of times and I've always wanted to stop and climb the steps. Check out these Google search results for more info on the history here.
Three days ago some friends were planning to do this and we joined in.
If you do this, go with people older than you. We went with some teens who bounded up the mountain like it was nothing.

These really aren't steps as we know them. They are boulders fashioned into a climbing area. Some are thin, some are thick. Some are tilted, some are straight. Some are wet from a natural spring, most are covered with pebbles and rocks.

An up close look at what is next to the steps

There are some parts that are pretty steep. Going up was difficult. I'll admit, I slowed the group down. My heart was pumping so hard I could feel it in my ears.

My friend and I making goofy faces. It was either that or die. 
The steps are marked at every 100. Was so happy to finally get to this one.

View from the top. I want to do this again in October when the leaves are changing.

Views along the path

Another view.

Found a lizard that lives up there. 
I was unaware that we had lizards in PA. I know that we have salamanders but didn't know about the lizards. This is about the size of reptile that I like. Glad we grow them small here.
We didn't see any other creatures on our adventure. A man we passed told us that there was a big black snake at about step 800, but by the time we got there it was gone.

I do want to do this again. Next time though I am taking a walking stick with me. I would have liked something to steady myself, more so on the way back down. The way up was a heart pounding workout and my legs burned. I was sure I was going to be sore, but it was the way down that was treacherous. The uneven steps, the tilt, the stones on them. I felt like an old woman as I did them sideways, one at a time. 
You also have jello legs by then.

Three days later and I can tell you that I only had a little pain from this workout, and it was in my calves.

It took me 35 minutes to get up there.

I will do it again.


  1. I'm glad you got to go! Scott and I were doing the Insanity work out at the time we went, and it didn't help us one bit. I was pretty sure I was going to die before I got to the top. Thank goodness for that little spring by the steps. It provided a refreshing drink! The view at he top is certainly worth it, but you're also right about the walk down. It's pretty terrifying because your legs are wobbly, but at least it was easier to go down! :)


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