Pennsylvania is home to many high-elevation spots, but only one holds the title of the second-highest point in PA: Blue Knob.
Blue Knob, which is located in northern Bedford County is part of the Allegheny Mountains and is 3,146 feet above sea level at its highest point. Until 1921, it was considered the highest point in PA. However, reevaluation by the U.S. Geological Survey gave that title to Mount Davis in Somerset County (which is 3,213 feet high).
Still, despite only being the second-highest spot in PA, the peak of Blue Knob is still an interesting and easy spot to check out when exploring the region.
The peak of Blue Knob is located on the edge of Blue Knob State Park and is located within the Blue Knob All-Seasons Resort, which bills itself as the home of the highest skiable mountain in PA. It is just beyond the parking area for the Pavia Lookout Look Trail.
While I haven’t gone skiing here, many consider this to be one of the steepest and most challenging ski areas in the state, so, if that’s your thing, it’s a good spot to check out beyond simply visiting the peak and seeing the view.
Because this peak is located adjacent to ski slopes, it can be visited in any season as the road is paved and well maintained throughout the year.
The peak of Blue Knob is located adjacent to the ski lodge. This is one of several ski slopes in PA, like Jack Frost Resort in the Poconos, where the lodge is located at the top of the mountain instead of at the bottom.
This peak used to be home to the Claysburg Air Force Station from 1952 until 1961, and the lodge is one of the few structures left from this era.
The combined use as an Air Force base and as a ski resort means that portions of the peak of Blue Knob were cleared decades ago. Thanks to the clearing of the trees, the views here are much better than you’ll get from the peak of Mount Davis (though you can climb a fire tower there for great views).
From the peak, you can see primarily to the north and east, and the views here are quite expansive on a clear day.
There isn’t much here to mark this as the second-highest point in the state (and once the highest point). In fact, it would be very easy to miss if you didn’t know that it was there.
That’s because the spot is marked with a simple information sign behind and to the right of the ski lodge (if you are facing the entrance to the building). If visiting when there is no snow, a small gravel parking area is located about 100 feet from this sign.
This information sign only features only a couple of lines of text but does provide a nice map showing the names of the surrounding peaks that you can see from the vista, as well as the location of several nearby communities including Altoona and Roaring Spring.
It can also be interesting to see the ski lifts and slopes of the ski resort, especially if you visit when things are closed in the summer. However, keep in mind that these structures are privately owned (even if some of the land is part of the state park), so don’t disturb things or get too close.
Ultimately, visiting the summit of Blue Knob is an interesting little spot to check out if you find yourself visiting Blue Knob State Park or the ski resort. Since it’s only the second-highest point in the state, it’s probably not worth going far out of your way to see, like Mount Davis is, but it’s still quite a nice view and a neat little geographical spot to check off your list.
The peak of Blue Knob can be found at the following coordinates along Pavia Road: 40.288422, -78.562124.
[Click here for information on how to use the coordinates in this article to find your destination.]