Route:  The East Aaron Loops
Mileage:  4.4 and 5.4
Hillage: The two East Aaron Loops each take you to the bottom of Big Hollow and back out again. Twice. They both start on the bike path connecting College Heights and Overlook Heights, which takes you in and out of the narrow part of the hollow. They both go down another part of the same hollow on East Aaron Drive. The Inner Loop then immediately goes back out of the hollow via the 4 Hills rise on Big Hollow Rd. The Outer Loop gives you a break before coming out of the hollow on Fox Hollow Rd.

Elevation change: Inner Loop - 187 ft.; Outer Loop - 220 ft.
Average Grade: 3%. Notable hills: 

College Heights/Overlook
Heights Bike Path:
The bike path connecting College Heights and Overlook Heights is a roller-coaster ride for bicyclers. Going downhill from the corner of Mckee and Adams in College Heights, the ravine descends 130 ft in about 0.4 miles. Grade: 6.3%. Going uphill into Overlook Heights, the bike path hill and its continuation onto Curtin St. ascends 115 ft in 3/8-mile. Grade: 5.9%. In places, these hills have grades of over 8%.
East Aaron Dr.:  East Aaron Drive descends 104 ft. to the bottom of Big Hollow at the intersection of Big Hollow Rd., a 5.3% grade 
4 Hills Rise: The rise out of the hollow on the Inner Loop is 89 ft over three-tenths of a mile to the gate at the top, an intense 5.6% climb. The rise is broken into four bumps called "4 Hills".
Fox Hollow Road: A 135 foot rise in nine-tenths of a mile from corner of Fox 
Hollow and Big Hollow Rds to the final rise on Porter Rd. near Beaver Stadium to the : Long 2.9% uphill.

Description:  Start in front of Rec Hall and run northwest on the walkway that passes the Nittany Lion Inn heading toward Park Avenue. Carefully cross Park Avenue and immediately go left on North Burrowes. Two blocks later, go right on Adams Avenue. Take Adams all the way to McKee St. and take a left. Pass Joe Paterno's house (the last house on the left before Sunset Park) and then head down the bike path that begins at the end of the parking lot for Sunset Park. This bike path connects the neighborhoods of College Heights and Overlook Heights, but crosses a deep ravine (part of "Big Hollow"). After the climb at the far end of the bike path, take a right on Curtin St, which continues the climb even more. Take a right on E. Aaron Drive to where it ends about half a block later. At the gate, E. Aaron becomes a university dirt road. Continue on this road as it heads down the slope of Big Hollow. Bear right at the bottom of the hill to the intersection of Big Hollow Rd. 

Inner Loop: Make a right on Big Hollow Rd. and head up "4 Hills" to the intersection "T" at Services Rd. next to the Penn State Salvage Building. Go right on Services Rd., follow it as it bears left and becomes Bigler Rd. Carefully cross Park Avenue and continue on Bigler Rd. to Curtin Rd. Take a right on Curtin Rd. and head back to Rec Hall.

Outer Loop: Make a left on Big Hollow Rd. and follow it for about 2/3-mile to Fox Hollow Rd. Make a right on Fox Hollow Rd. and head up the hill for about a mile. Make a right on Curtin Rd, just past Beaver Stadium, and follow Curtin all the way back to Rec Hall.

Remarks: The two East Aaron Loops give you the option of starting out on a short, intense hill run and ending up, if you choose, doing a longer, intense hill run. Both of the East Aaron Loops intersect large sections of the 4 Hills Loop, and between the two of them, they cover the entire 4 Hills route.

The Inner Loop is a short, but intense run. The route takes two trips to the bottom of Big Hollow and back up. The terrain and surfaces vary as the route traverses residential neighborhoods, a bike path, University farmland and campus roads. The loop samples the hillier parts of numerous other popular running routes. The first trip to the bottom of Big Hollow is part of the Heritage Oaks Loop, the Toftrees Loop, and the Wal-Mart Run. The section of the route from the bottom of 4 Hills to the end, about 2 miles, is also the last 2 miles of the 4 Hills Loop.

The Outer Loop covers the same turf as the Inner Loop for the first 2 miles or so, but instead of going up 4 Hills, the route gives you a half-mile break before climbing out of Big Hollow via Fox Hollow Rd. The route ends up taking a longer trip through the east campus. The last 3 miles of the route overlaps the part of the 4 Hills Loop not covered by the Inner Loop.

Inner Loop
Outer Loop

                           Added: 5/01