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Route:  Centre Hills Loop
Mileage:  8.5
Hillage: Rolling, with very long, but not very steep hills.

Elevation change: 275  ft.
Average Grade: 2%. Notable hills: 
 

Easy Starting Downhill: The first mile and a half, from Rec Hall to Easterly Parkway, drops 126 ft. Grade: 1.6%. After a bit of rolling. the drop continues all the way to Branch Road. Total decline in the first 3.5 miles is over 150 ft.
Climb to the Bike Path: The climb on Hunter Ave. from Branch Rd to the Bike Path is 104 ft in about half a mile, a 4.2% grade.
Bike Path:
The Bike Path along the Rte 322 Bypass rolls, but drops 221 ft in the 1.73 miles from Hunter Ave. to Puddintown Rd., a grade of 2.4%
Orchard Rd Ascent: Orchard Rd., Park Ave, and Porter Rd. mark out the long ascent of  192 ft. in 1.3 miles, a 2.7% grade.
 

Description:  The Centre Hills Loop has become a favorite for the occasional long lunchtime runs the Rec Hall Regulars do. The course is challenging, particularly the long final hill, which is also the final ascent of the Nittany Valley Half-Marathon. An option to go through the Millbrook Marsh wildlife area will takes about 0.1 miles off the distance, and will give you some pretty scenery.

Start from Rec Hall by going south on Burrowes Rd. Burrowes stops at Fairmount Ave, but a path will take you down to Prospect. Make a left on Prospect, a right on Allen,  then a left on Irvin. Go right on Pugh St, continuing across Easterly Parkway and then up the hill to Nimitz. Go left on Nimitz and follow it across University Drive. Nimitz ends at a pathway that heads down some steep steps to Sandpiper Dr. Make a left on Sandpiper and continue to Branch Rd. Go left on Branch being careful because of the traffic and the narrow shoulder. Carefully cross Branch as it rises and make a right onto Hunter Avenue. Hunter climbs for about half a mile, at which point you will see the Bike Path that parallels the Rte 322 Bypass. Zig-zag to the Bike Path and make a left. You will be on the path for over a mile-and-a-half. Be careful when the path crosses Branch Rd. because traffic can be heavy there.

The Bike Path intersects Puddintown Rd. and then makes a left to parallel it for a bit. The Bike Path then ends. Continue running on the narrow shoulder of Puddintown, being watchful of traffic. Make the right at Orchard Rd. Orchard is very narrow for a couple of hundred yards, with a blind curve in the road. Run on the right side of the street around this curve. The road then widens and starts up a the last long hill of the run. Orchard gets steeper as it nears Park Ave Make a left on Park, then a left on Porter. The long climb ends at the statue of JoePa at Beaver Stadium. Make a right on Curtin Rd and follow Curtin back to Rec Hall.

Variations:

There is a boardwalk pathway through Millbrook Marsh that affords about half a mile of some great wetland scenery. The pathway meets the Bike Path along Rte 322 Bypass about half a mile after it passes under College Avenue. It is not a boardwalk at this point, and is s bit hard to find unless you've gone that way before. It is easier to spot on the other end, at Puddintown Rd and Orchard. Rd. This variation is a bit more than 0.1 miles shorter than the given route.

Remarks: The Bike Path along Rte 322 also heads to the southeast (right) for another half mile from where this route picks it up at Hunter Avenue. It ends in the Canterbury Crossing and Panorama Village development near South Atherton St. and Scenery Drive.

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                          Added: 11/05