Pennsylvania is a hiker’s paradise, with thousands of miles of trails to explore in its state parks, national forests, and scenic areas. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly hike, a challenging backpacking trip, or a stunning waterfall loop, you’ll find it in the Keystone State. Here are some of the best trails to go hiking on in Pennsylvania, according to various sources12345.
Mount Minsi via Appalachian Trail
If you want to experience a section of the famous Appalachian Trail, which spans 14 states from Georgia to Maine, you can hike the Mount Minsi loop in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. This 4.8-mile trail offers spectacular views of the Delaware River, Mount Tammany, and the surrounding Appalachian Mountains. The trail is well marked, in good condition, and easy to get to. There are also several waterfalls and rock outcrops along the way to add some interest and variety. The trail is moderately difficult, with some steep and rocky sections, so wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water.
Ricketts Glen Falls Trail Loop
One of the most popular and beautiful hikes in Pennsylvania is the Ricketts Glen Falls Trail Loop in Ricketts Glen State Park. This 4.1-mile trail passes by 21 waterfalls and countless other cascades along two branches of Kitchen Creek. The waterfalls range from 11 feet to 94 feet in height, and each one has its own unique shape and character. The trail is well maintained, but it can be slippery and steep in some places, so use caution and wear appropriate footwear. The trail can also get very crowded on weekends and holidays, so plan to arrive early or visit on a weekday.
Pulpit Rock and Pinnacle Loop
For a rewarding hike with stunning views of the Lehigh Valley and beyond, try the Pulpit Rock and Pinnacle Loop on the Appalachian Trail. This 9.2-mile loop takes you to two of the most scenic overlooks in Pennsylvania: Pulpit Rock and The Pinnacle. Both spots offer panoramic vistas of the rolling hills, farms, and forests below. The trail is moderately difficult, with some rocky and steep sections, but it’s well worth the effort. The trail can also be very busy on nice days, so be prepared to share the views with other hikers.
If you’re looking for a flat and easy hike that’s suitable for all ages and abilities, check out the Montour Trail, which was named Pennsylvania’s Trail of the Year in 2017. This 63-mile rail trail is one of the longest non-motorized trails in the country, and it goes through Allegheny County and Washington County. The trail follows an old railroad corridor that was once used to transport coal and coke from the mines to the steel mills. Along the way, you’ll see historic landmarks, bridges, tunnels, wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife. You can hike any section of the trail at your own pace, or bike it if you prefer.
Glen Onoko Falls Trail
For a challenging but rewarding hike that takes you to three spectacular waterfalls, try the Glen Onoko Falls Trail in Jim Thorpe. This 3.7-mile trail follows Glen Onoko Run as it cascades down a steep gorge in the Lehigh Gorge State Park. The trail is very steep and rocky, with some scrambling and climbing required, so it’s not for beginners or faint-hearted hikers. You’ll need good shoes, water, snacks, and a sense of adventure. The trail also requires careful attention to avoid getting lost or injured. But if you make it to the top waterfall, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the valley below.
These are just some of the best trails to go hiking on in Pennsylvania, but there are many more to discover and enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a short stroll or a long adventure, you’ll find a trail that suits your needs and interests in this diverse and beautiful state.