Rothrock State Forest is a Pennsylvania state forest in Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry District #5. The main offices are located in Huntingdon in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania in the United States. Rothrock State Forest is located in Centre, Huntingdon, and Mifflin Counties. State College, home of Penn State University is only a few miles from many of the entrances of Rothrock, leading to high utilization of the forest by students and staff of the university. Rothrock shares a common border on its eastern portion with Bald Eagle State Forest and is just north of areas of Tuscarora State Forest.
Rothrock State Forest was formed as a direct result of the depletion of the forests of Pennsylvania that took place during the mid-to-late 19th century. Conservationists like Dr. Joseph Rothrock, for whom the forest is named, became concerned that the forests would not regrow if they were not managed properly. Lumber and iron companies had harvested the old-growth forests for various reasons. They clear cut the forests and left behind nothing but dried tree tops and rotting stumps. The sparks of passing steam locomotives ignited wildfires that prevented the formation of second growth forests.
Neighboring state forest districts:
Nearby state parks:
- Sproul State Forest (north)
- Bald Eagle State Forest (northeast)
- Tuscarora State Forest (east)
- Buchanan State Forest (south)
- Gallitzin State Forest (west)
- Moshannon State Forest (northwest)
Four PA State Parks are located within Rothrock State Forest:
Various events are held in Rothrock each year including the Wilderness 101, a 101-mile (163 km) mountain bike race, and the Tussey MountainBack 50 Mile Relay, a 50-mile (80 km) race and Ultramarathon, and the Stoopid 50 mountain bike race. In 2005 the Single Speed World
Championship race was held in Rothrock. The Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic 7-day Stage Race is held annually in the park, with stages in both Rothrock and Bald Eagle State Forests.
Pennsylvania Mid State Trail, Standing Stone Trail
- Alan Seeger Natural Area: Huntingdon County, 390 acres (160 ha) north of Greenwood Furnace State Park. Includes about 25 acres (10 ha) of old-growth Eastern White Pine and Eastern Hemlock, with some trees 4.5 feet (1.4 m) in diameter and nearly 1,000 years old.
- Bear Meadows Natural Area: Centre County, 890 acres (360 ha) four miles south of Boalsburg. Protects a 320 acres (130 ha) boreal bog with old-growth Black Spruce and Balsam Fir forests.
- Big Flat Laurel Natural Area: Huntingdon and Centre Counties, 184 acres (74 ha) four miles south of Boalsburg. Includes extensive stands of Mountain Laurel.
- Detweiler Run Natural Area: Huntingdon County, 463 acres (187 ha) southeast of Boalsburg. Includes 185 acres (75 ha) of old-growth Eastern White Pine and Eastern Hemlock forests above a Rhododendron understory.
- Little Juniata Natural Area: Huntingdon County, 624 acres (253 ha) west of Barree. Includes a slope of Tuscarora sandstone scree and a horizontal thrust fault.
- Rocky Ridge Natural Area: Huntingdon County, 150 acres (61 ha) south of Martin Gap. Includes exposed sandstone and limestone beneath an oak woodland.
- Thickhead Mountain Wild Area: Centre and Huntingdon counties, 4,886 acres (1,977 ha). Forested ridges and mountains with over 50 acres (20 ha) of old-growth ridgetop Chestnut Oak forests including trees up to 350 years old.
- Trough Creek Wild Area: Huntingdon County, 1,703 acres (689 ha).