10 Awesome Hikes in Pennsylvania

Waterfalls. Deep gorges. Bright green forests. Trout-filled streams.

Pennsylvania is one of those states that might surprise you. It has pastoral beauty in spades, but between the rolling hills of farmland and the bustling of major cities is enough wildness to satisfy anyone with a craving for adventure. From the Allegheny Mountains to Pine Creek Gorge and everywhere in-between, you're never far from a trail to hike in this mid-Atlantic state.

Here are a few of our favorite places to stretch our legs in Pennsylvania.-

Adventure by Shannon Kalahan

The Falls Trail at Ricketts Glenn State Park is 7.2 miles of waterfall bliss. Hike past 21 waterfalls, cross and re-cross the creek on a series of wooden bridges, and rock hop along the edge of the water to snag the best views of the falls. This is a very popular trail, so if you're looking for solitude, hike in the off-season or start early in the morning. 

Adventure by Ian Carey

Located near the bustling towns of Harrisburg and Allentown, the Pinnacles and Pulpit Rock trail climbs to sweeping views of the Lehigh Valley. Part of the route follows white blazes of the Appalachian Trail, and two different trails after the Pinnacles allow for a 7-mile or 9-mile roundtrip from start to finish.

Adventure by Brett Rothmeyer

Feel like you're worlds away at McConnell's Mill State Park, where a 12-mile out-and-back trail travels up and down the rock-strewn path through Slippery Rock Gorge. Enjoy the bright green forest in spring and summer, and stop to check out the historic mill and stone bridge along the way.

Adventure by Katch Silva

For a little bit of history with your hike, wander the trails at Valley Forge. Valley Forge was the 1777-78 Revolutionary War encampment of the Continental Army, and its meadows and forests offer a beautiful backdrop for a casual afternoon stroll.

Adventure by Tyler Cranden

The family-friendly trails at Bushkill Falls offer the chance to explore eight different waterfalls tucked into the verdant forest of the Delaware Water Gap. In the summer, a souvenir and snack stand at the trailhead offers tasty treats to help fuel your adventures.

Adventure by Shawn Grenninger

The 6.5-mile Hemlock Mountain Loop can be done as a day hike or, if you want to soak in the panoramic views and rest by the gushing waterfalls, you can turn it into a weekend backpack. Be sure to bring a trail map on this hike, as there are a few different routes that join together to create the loop.

Adventure by Jeff Henderson

It may be a short hike, but a trip to Kinzua Bridge State Park is absolutely worth it. The Kinzua Viaduct was once the longest and tallest railroad structure in the world, and its engineering is a sight to behold. Partially destroyed by a tornado in 2003, the bridge has re-opened as a pedestrian walkway. Two trails—the General Kane and the Kinzua Creek Trail—offer the chance to explore the nearby creek and hills.

Adventure by Shawn Grenninger

Winter or summer, a hike to Jacoby Run Falls rewards adventurers with up-close and personal views of the cascading waterfall. Camping is not permitted along the trail, however, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources does allow primitive camping (with a permit) in other locations within the Loyalsock State Forest.

Adventure by Shawn Grenninger

Combine a bike along the Pine Creek Rail Trail with a hike to Pine Island Vista for beautiful views of the "Pennsylvania Grand Canyon." This route requires a bit of wayfinding, so do your research before you head out.

Adventure by Shawn Grenninger

Speaking of views, the Barbour Rock Trail gives you an eagle-eye vista of Pine Creek Gorge. This easy trail is accessible for even the tiniest of kiddie legs, and the overview is worth every step. Squint to watch kayakers navigate the rapids far below before returning to your car along the 0.7-mile trail.

Cover photo by Shawn Grenninger

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

The Outbound CollectiveAdmin

Your Home for Adventure and Travel