Hiking the 1000 steps near Mount Union, PA

Hiking the 1000 steps near Mount Union, PA

If you happen to be in the south-central
region of Pennsylvania and you’re looking for an interesting place to hike, you might want to pay a visit to the
thousand steps. The trailhead for the thousand steps is
located on route 22 about two miles west of Mount Union. This is where the road follows the
Juniata River through a narrow gorge known as Jack’s
Narrows with high ridges on either side. This was named for a trader by the name
of Jack Armstrong who lived in the 1700s. It was near this
location in February of 1744 where Jack and his two servants were
killed by some indians after a dispute over a horse. The thousand steps were built in the
1930s by miners who climbed the mountain each day to work in the
quarry. Sandstone mined from the quarry was
then taken to Mt Union where it was made into bricks. At one time Mt Union was the largest
producer of silica bricks in the world and became known as the “brick capital of
the world”. How long it takes to climb the steps
depends on how physically fit you are but for most people will take between
twenty minutes and one hour. At each 100-step interval you’ll
see a number of painted on the rocks to tell you how many steps you’ve climbed. The actual number of steps is 1043. Upon reaching the top of the steps you
can turn either right or left to continue exploring.
Turning to the right will take you to a lookout that will allow you to catch a
glimpse of the town of Mt Union. If you turn left the path will lead you
to a concrete building. This building housed the locomotive that
moved the sandstone from the quarry to the bottom of the mountain. If you still have some energy left,
climb the steps beside the building that lead a little higher up the mountain. After a short climb you’ll come to trail that
leads further along the mountainside. After walking about half a mile you’ll
come to a lookout that allows you to see the town of Mapleton along with the
railroad, route 22 and the Juniata River. This section of land is available to the
public because the work and financial support of many individuals and
organizations. So take the time to enjoy it, and be sure
to leave it as you found it,

12 thoughts on “Hiking the 1000 steps near Mount Union, PA

  1. Yes, its a nice place to hike. An office-dweller like me could benefit from a climb up the steps once a day, if only it wasn't a hour's worth of driving to get there. Thanks for the comment.

  2. I've been up there a couple times, and its a great place to go, a few fresh water springs, plus a old brick yard at the top. Great place to go for a hike.

  3. Yes it is a nice place – I went twice last year and will probably do it again this year as well. Of course, I'm always sore for about three days following.

  4. Yes, it is. After my first trip there last summer, I had to take my wife and son there a couple of weeks later. I am planning to visit again this year. It's a lot of fun, and I feel great afterwards – definitely better than I do after a day at the office. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Yeah, my pregnant black lab took a sip when we were there and she had a pup with two heads and five legs! OK, I made that up. I'll just take your word for it and not drink it. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  6. Thousand Steps is part of the Standing Stone Trail and provides for 80+miles of hiking. http://www.standingstonetrail.org/

  7. i hate this place haha no just kidding its pretty awesome actually but i hate climbing those steps ugh ! definitely not for everyone , it took us 30 minutes to walk up , then we walked the trails at the top which offer some amazing sights . i thought for sure i was going to need to call for help to get back down haha it was so intense lol

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