Photo Winding

Best Hiking Locations In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is full of rolling hills, mountains and wooded areas that are perfect for hiking. Scenic destinations will take your breath away, but they also provide a physical challenge for those who love to hike.

13/05/2013 by Jeff Barnes

Pennsylvania is full of rolling hills, mountains and wooded areas that are perfect for hiking. Scenic destinations will take your breath away, but they also provide a physical challenge for those who love to hike. Camping is always an options, and there is no shortage of campsites within the state either. Here are some of the best hiking destinations in Pennsylvania.

Ohiopyle

Ohiopyle Hiking

Ohiopyle is the state park for the outdoors lover. You will find tons of activities here, and hiking is just one of them. Plan your trip by starting with a nice hike on one of the many trails. You will find wooden bridges that take you across chasms and rivers. Most of the park is shaded by lofty trees. This is perfect to escape the middle-of-summer heat. There are also river tours, rafting, fishing, biking and Laurel Caverns to explore.

Flat Rock Trail & Vista

The View

This hike is a difficult one that is about 5.1 miles in duration. You can expect it to take longer than most hikes due to the difficulty. Once you reach the vista, you will get a breathtaking view of the area around the trail. This spot is absolutely incredible for those who want a panoramic view. It is located in Colonel Denning State Park.

Laurel Caverns

Laurel Caverns Cave

Laurel Caverns is one of the best cavern experiences in this area. Tours through Laurel are guided and last roughly one hour. Caving and repelling are the two activities available here, and you will quickly fall in love. The cave has ceilings as high as 50 feet in some areas, but most average to about 15 feet high. Laurel Caverns is the largest cave in Pennsylvania, and it has the most pristine water source flowing through it. Upper caving and lower caving have a cost of $25 each trip. It's pricey, but your money goes towards maintaining and protecting the natural environment.

Allegheny Islands State Park

Allegheny Islands State Park

This park is located in Allegheny county, and it is undeveloped. It is still open to the public however, and there are plenty of things to explore in this area. Caution is advised when you head out to the park for hiking and camping. There are beautiful rivers flowing through the park, and there is plenty of wildlife to spot during the spring and summer months.

Bald Eagle State Park

Bald Eagle State Park

If you're interested in watching wildlife, then Bald Eagle State Park is the place to go. Located in the center of Pennsylvania, this park is filled with hills, wetlands and fields. There are campsites throughout the area, and dozens of trails you can take while you enjoy the lush scenery. If you are a new hiker, try Butterfly Trail. Lakeside Trail and Hunter Run West trails are ideal for advanced hikers that can tolerate difficult climbs. There are 14.5 miles of trails in the park. Each trail isn't very long.

Delaware Canal State Park

Delaware Canal State Park

This park is the perfect place for canoeing and hiking. It's a historical park with the Delaware Canal being the only continuously intact canal from the 19th century. American history is a major part of this park. History buffs will love exploring the area by canoe or by foot. Hiking, camping, fishing, swimming and cross-country skiing are popular activities. It is open all year for visitors. The winter months open up the park for skiing and other snow activities.

Presque Isle State Park

Presque Isle State Park

This pristine park is situated by Lake Erie. It is considered Pennsylvania's sea shore. This sandy park is perfect for swimming, hiking, camping and watching wildlife. It is home to endangered species and rare wildlife you won't see anywhere else. This park is an educational opportunity for families, but it is also a great spot for photography and a romantic camping trip. Long Pond Trail is one of the best trails for hiking near water, and Pine Tree Trail will take you through the edge of a sandplain community.

Appalachian Trail: The Pinnacle

Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail runs through Pennsylvania, and The Pinnacle is one of the best hiking spots in the state. This historical trail gives you amazing views of Hawk Mountain, Blue Rocks and Lehigh Valley. This trail is a vigorous hike, and there are a lot of rocks and rock scrambling involved. Hiking shoes are a must for protection. After the rocky path ends, you will come to a dirt road that offers relief from the intense struggle of climbing up the rocky path. Elevation gain is 868 feet and the path is 8.7 miles there and back.

Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail

Laurel Highlands Hiking

This long-distance trail is a challenge for even the most seasoned hiker, but it can be scaled down to meet anyone's needs. You don't have to finish the trail to enjoy the gorgeous views along the way. Waterfalls, fossils, vistas, flowers and wildlife make this trail one of the best in the state. It's gorgeous and full of diversity as you make your way through. It is 70 miles in total length, and some of those miles can be biked. Elevation gain is minimal. This is good for those with breathing problems. It can be an easy hike or a strenuous hike depending on how far you go.

Wissahickon Creek Gorge, Fairmount Park

wissahickon creek gorge trail

This gorge is located northwest of Philadelphia. It is about seven miles long along the Wissahickon Creek Gorge. Stone bridges, forests and historical battle sites are part of what make this trail so unique and enjoyable. The hike here is a total of 11.2 miles. You don't have to hike it all at once, and there are shuttle tours that take you along the entire path. It's also a fairly easy hike. Most hikers will have no trouble making it through parts of the trail. It's open all year, and bikes are permitted in the park too. Hikers often claim that this is one of the best sites to see in Philly. It's a great educational opportunity, and it lets you escape the city life to enjoy the solitude of nature.

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