We did the entire loop, 3.9 miles. The first mile (steps) is straight up the mountain, a really steep incline, it doesn't level off any until the top. It's a long hard mile, but the views at the top are beautiful. When you get up there follow the trail to the left and it is a fairly level hike with views along the way. The best view is where Pennsylvania Furnace meets the Pump House Road! It's not an easy hike and I'd definitely recommend proper footwear.
Tussey Mt. Trail to the Beer Tap, as shown on Purple Lizard Map (out-and-back route). Awesome hike in general - took about 3.5mi to get to the beer tap, and overall, was very lightly trafficked and well marked. Moderate seems right as the rating, mostly due to the length. Some uphill parts, but nothing strenuous. Would recommend, would do again. Bring water and hiking boots! Total; ~7.5-8mi // 2.5-3hr total.
Moderately challenging but achievable. Poorly marked trail but if you pay attention you will find your way. We accessed the trail from Otter Gap Lane just passed Savage Cabin. You will pass 1 cabin, then a wooden bridge. This lane will bring you to another cabin, stay to the left of the cabin. The trail starts behind the cabin. Take Lingle Valley Trail. You will cross many streams the larger one is Lingle Valley Creek very beautiful. You will eventually climb a steep hill, about 45 degrees with about 100 ft elevation gain. Your final climb will be about another 200 ft elevation gain. Good cardio before you emerge on Chestnut Spring Trail. Take Chestnut until you hit Brush Ridge Trail. There were still remaining blueberries on Brush Ridge. You will start your descent from here. Brush Ridge will take you back to Otter Gap Trail. This is one wet trail with lots of water probably from all the rain. You will get to a very rocky area. Just remember to keep the creek on your right side. Otter Gap will bring you back where you started. This would be 5.4 miles.
The trail isn't marked well, I had to have fellow hikers point me in the right direction. Also if your looking forward to a view at the top from "roman tower" it's pretty sub par. It's not even a tower, just some rocks stacked in a tower shape. I did enjoy the trail, and the hike its self, just not a great pay off once you summit. I would recommend it to someone who wants to continue on with another trail once you reach the top. 3/5 stars
Lower terminus starts at Bailey Gap Road just inside the state forest boundary. White blazes are used until the trail intersects the Stone Mountain Trail. After that red blazes are used. Without the blazes, the trail up the mountain side is difficult to follow. There is little in the way of a footpath. It is frequently rocky and steep. Once on the summit of Stone Mountain, the footpath is very evident. The trail continues to its upper terminus on Rag Hollow Road. The trail on the summit is relatively flat and easy going.
Trailhead: N 40 41.86', W 77 42.79'. Loop trail. Head SW past several hunting camps. Lingle Valley Trail really starts in the "backyard" of the second camp. You cross several small streams, but in rainy weather expect to get wet feet. The Lingle Valley part of the trail could use better marking, but reasonable terrain-reading skills will get you to Chestnut Spring Trail. About 1.5 miles from the trailhead. Follow that a few hundred feet west to where another trail intersects. I don't remember a marker, but the trail itself was easy to spot (heads north over a slight knob). This trail leads to Brush Ridge Trail, heading northeast around Otter Gap. After about 2 miles you reach the intersection of three trails - Brush Ridge, New Otter Gap, and Indian. Take Indian Trail southwest to the trailhead.