Anyone who’s traveled in Pennsylvania can attest that it’s breathtakingly beautiful. However, there’s only so much we can see by car. If we really want to experience the natural beauty, we have to put on our hiking shoes and get out there and explore some of the best hikes in Pennsylvania. But where do we start? The following 18 trails represent some of the
best hikes in Pennsylvania and offer something for everyone, whether you’re looking for an easy trek with the kiddos or a challenging overnighter.
Best Hikes In Pennsylvania
With more than 1,600 hiking trails in Pennsylvania, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re striking out on your first trek or you’re a seasoned hiker. If you prefer a leisurely stroll along a riverwalk, you’ll find it in Pennsylvania. But if you’re all about challenging, rugged terrain, you’ll find a trail in Pennsylvania that fits the bill.
Here are three of the best hikes in Pennsylvania. Each promises a unique adventure, but all three have one thing in common: Spellbinding beauty that showcases some of the best Pennsylvania has to offer.
1. Mount Minsi via Appalachian Trail
Mount Minsi, Mt Minsi, Delaware Water Gap, PA 18013, USA
Location: Roseto, PA 18013, USA Mileage: 4.8 miles Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail.
Mount Minsi via the Appalachian Trail
on a moderately challenging hike that tallies nearly five miles. Since you'll be climbing to the top of Mount Minsi, be prepared for some rocky terrain and elevation changes. Some spots are quite steep, but you'll be well-rewarded as you pass cascading waterfalls and local wildlife, culminating with spectacular views from the top of the mountain. The trail winds through Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and features two overlooks, both ideal for stopping to admire the views and have a picnic. Find more information on Mount Minsi Trail via the Appalachian Trail on
2. Rickets Glen Falls Trail Loop
Ricketts Glen Falls Trail, Fairmount Township, PA, USA
Location: Ricketts Glen State Park, 695 PA-487, Benton, PA 17814 Mileage: 7.2 miles Difficulty: Moderate FYI: The Falls Trail is closed in the winter, unless you have the right equipment for ice climbing and hiking. Winter hikers must register with the park office before hiking. Follow the trail as a loop or an out-and-back.
at Ricketts Glen State Park is perhaps the most epic waterfall hike in Pennsylvania, earning it a nod as one of the best hiking trails in Pennsylvania. Because it's a relatively difficult trail with such challenges as rocky, slippery, and steep terrain, you'll want to dress appropriately with sturdy shoes. Bring plenty of water and snacks, and let someone know where you'll be in case you don't have cell reception.
Your journey will take you on perhaps one of the most beautiful hikes in Pennsylvania as you pass 21 named waterfalls, including the 94-foot Ganoga Falls. Find more information on the Falls Trail on the official website of
3. Appalachian Trail, Pinnacle Trail, Valley Rim, and Pulpit Rock Location: State Game Lands 106, 1 Christian Ln, New Ringgold, PA 17960 Mileage: 13.6 Difficulty: Moderate/Hard FYI: Leashed dogs are allowed.
Once named the most scenic trail in Pennsylvania, the
Appalachian Trail, Pinnacle Trail, Valley Rim, and Pulpit Rock
has been called moderate to difficult, depending on your hiking skills. The 13.6-mile path requires concentration as you navigate rocky, steep, and sometimes overgrown terrain. Wear comfortable shoes, as you'll be crossing a stream or two. However, you'll be treated to some of the most breathtaking beauty from the trail that features two natural overlooks. Bring plenty of water, snacks, and a camera. Learn more about the most scenic trail in Pennsylvania on
Best Short & Easy Hikes in Pennsylvania
Short and sweet defines countless Pennsylvania trails. While these easy trails in Pennsylvania may not tally many miles, they’re certainly packed with gorgeous natural scenery. Bring the kiddos and your pups (as long as they’re leashed) along on the best short and easy hikes in Pennsylvania.
4. Hawk Falls Trail
Hawk Falls, Kidder Township, PA 18210, USA
Location: Hickory Run State Park, 3613 PA-534, White Haven, PA 18661 Mileage: 1.2 miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: Kid-friendly. Dogs are allowed on a leash.
Chase a waterfall along the short and sweet
Hawk Falls Trail
. A popular trail, the path can get really busy so, if you want to avoid the crowds, go early in the day. You'll pass such natural beauty as wildflowers, a river, and a forested area. The highlight of the trail is, undoubtedly, the 25-foot Hawk Falls. Learn more about this pretty path on the official website of
5. Ferncliff Trail
Ohiopyle State Park, 124 Main St, Ohiopyle, PA 15470, USA
Location: Ohiopyle State Park, 124 Main St, Ohiopyle, PA 15470 Mileage: 1.8 miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: Kid-friendly. Dogs are allowed if they remain on a leash.
Bring the kids along on the
, an easy trek that tallies just under two miles. But those nearly two miles are packed with natural beauty - butterflies, wildflowers, rock formations, and even waterfalls. Pack a picnic, too, so you can explore more of Ohiopyle State Park after your hike. The Western Pennsylvania state park is home to several waterfalls and natural waterslides. Find a map and more photos on the official trail page on
6. Chickies Rock Overlook Trail
Chickies Rock Overlook Trail, Chickies Rock Overlook Trl, West Hempfield Township, PA 17512, USA
Location: Chickies Rock Overlook Trl, West Hempfield Township, PA 17512 Mileage: .05-mile Difficulty: Easy FYI: Kid-friendly. Leashed dogs are allowed.
For absolutely stellar views of the Susquehanna River, follow the half-mile
Chickies Rock Overlook Trail
. This is a fun one for the kiddos, too, since it's short, sweet, and predominately flat. While the path is lined with trees, you'll still want to bring water and lather on the sunscreen as there are some sunny spots. On beautiful weather days, the trail can get quite crowded, so keep that in mind before you set off. Learn more about Chickies Rock Overlook Trail on its official page on
Hardest Hikes in Pennsylvania
On the hunt for a challenging hike in Pennsylvania? Look no further! The three hardest hikes in Pennsylvania will put your hiking skills to the test, but you’ll be more than sufficiently rewarded with some of the best views (views not everyone gets to see) in the entire state.
7. Thousand Steps Trail
Thousand Steps - Standing Stone Trail, William Penn Hwy, Mapleton, PA 17052, USA
Location: Standing Stone Trail, William Penn Hwy, Mapleton, PA 17052 Mileage: 3.4 miles Difficulty: Hard FYI: Although dogs are allowed, this has been called a strenuous hike that requires hiking up 1,000 stairs.
Just a small section of the 84-mile Standing Stone Trail, the
Thousand Steps Trail
promises quite the workout as you travel up 1,000 stairs and back down again. The trail leads to the top of Jacks Mountain and some of the most spectacular views in Pennsylvania. As you're traveling up the mountain, give a thought to the workers who once followed this path every morning and evening going to and from work. Find more information on the Thousand Steps Trail on its official pages on
8. Old Loggers Path
Old Loggers Path, Pleasant Stream Rd, Canton, PA 17724, USA
Location: Old Loggers Path, Pleasant Stream Rd, Canton, PA 17724 Mileage: 27 miles Difficulty: Hard FYI: Ideal for hiking portions, or making it a backpacking trip, which usually takes between two and three nights.
Get ready for an epic challenge along the
Old Logger's Path
, a 27-mile trail that scores a difficult rating. Your journey will take you along a former logging trail through Loyalsock State Forest. Be prepared to face some challenges, including rocky terrain and swamp-like conditions. Rattlesnakes are particularly abundant after a rainfall. Most hikers plan out their trip ahead of time. While the trail promises a mighty workout, you'll also get to see some of the prettiest parts of the forest - waterfalls, streams, and scenic views. Learn more on the official page of Old Logger's Path on
9. Clark Run Rager Mountain Loop Trail
Gallitzin State Forest, Ogle Township, PA 15963, USA
Location: Gallitzin State Forest, Ogle Township, PA 15963 Mileage: 4.9 miles Difficulty: Hard FYI: Leashed dogs are allowed. Trekking poles are recommended on this trail that's also popular with rock climbers.
Although it spans just under five miles,
Clark Run Rager Mountain Loop Trail
has a difficult rating. Meandering through Gallitzin State Forest, the scenic trail features some steep climbs, rocky terrain, loose ground, and steep drop-offs. Hikers report a gate in the middle of the trail that you'll have to pass to continue. (Hikers recommend going right of the gate to pass it.)
The trail is bursting with natural beauty, including waterfalls, rock formations, streams, and plenty of lush green. Learn more on the official page of Clark Run Rager Mountain Trail on
Best Waterfront Hikes in Pennsylvania
From lakes to rivers, Pennsylvania’s brimming with beautiful bodies of water. It’s only natural then that there are some amazing waterfront hikes in Pennsylvania that give a glimpse of those rivers and lakes. From an easy riverwalk to a moderately-challenging trail, these waterfront hikes are perfect all year long.
10. Susquehanna River Walk and Timber Trail
Susquehanna Riverwalk, Pennsylvania, USA
Location: Susquehanna Riverwalk, US-220, Williamsport, PA 17701 Mileage: 11 miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: The riverwalk is predominately paved, so it's accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. Popular for hiking, biking, and walking.
Whether you meander the entire 11 miles of the
or just part of it, you'll be treated to spectacular views. The riverwalk features a three-mile loop too, and, when you need a break, grab one of the benches along the path. Take your time along this predominately paved path that's dotted with educational markers, offering insight into the history of the area. While this is a popular trail most of the year, it is not maintained during the winter months. As a result, it can get snowy, icy, and slippery. Your biggest challenge during the warmer months will be dealing with bugs; bug spray is a must. See more photos on the official page of the Susquehanna Riverwalk on
11. Parker Dam Boardwalk Trail
Parker Dam State Park, 28 Fairview Rd, Penfield, PA 15849, USA
Location: Parker Dam State Park, 28 Fairview Rd, Penfield, PA 15849 Mileage:1 mile Difficulty: Easy FYI: Kid-friendly
Stroll along the easy
that stretches a mile through Parker Dam State Park. The easy trail is popular with hikers of all ages and skill levels, even the little ones. As you stroll along the boardwalk trail, you'll pass such scenic beauty as forested areas, a lake, and the dam. Be sure to bring your camera. Find more information on the official page of the Parker Dam Boardwalk Trail on
12. Lake Border Trail
Blue Marsh National Recreation Area, Blue Marsh Nat'l Recreation Area, Pennsylvania, USA
Location: Blue Marsh Nat'l Recreation Area, Pennsylvania Mileage:7.1 miles Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Leashed dogs are welcome. Watch out for horse droppings and overgrown spots.
A moderate challenge awaits along the picturesque
Lake Border Trail
, a 7.1-mile path that features uneven terrain and some steep cliffs. The trail can also get quite buggy in the warmer months, so be sure to use bug spray. You'll likely run into an abundance of wildlife - turtles and frogs, for example. Wildflowers are prominent during the warmer months on this trail that also attracts mountain bikers and horseback riders. Find more information on the Lake Border Trail on its official page on
Best Winter Hikes in Pennsylvania
A fresh snowfall transforms the landscape into a winter wonderland. Instead of staying inside curled up with a hot chocolate, bundle up and follow one of the best winter hikes in Pennsylvania. From sweeping views from the tallest point in the state to a short but sweet journey to its tallest waterfall, these winter hikes in Pennsylvania belong on your bucket list.
13. Mount Davis Highpoint Trail
Mount Davis Pennsylvania Highpoint Trailhead, Mt Davis Rd, Meyersdale, PA 15552, USA
Location: Mount Davis Pennsylvania Highpoint Trailhead, Mt Davis Rd, Meyersdale, PA Mileage:5.4 miles Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Leashed dogs are allowed. While rocky, the trail is kid-friendly.
A hike along the
Mount Davis Highpoint Trail
is a must during the wintertime, especially after it has snowed. The trail leads to a 50-foot lookout tower that offers sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. Although it's predominately flat, the path does feature some elevation changes. If you're not up for the entire trail, you can still drink in those gorgeous views. The observation tower is approximately a mile into the hike. Dress for the weather, including sturdy boots, especially if you plan to climb the tower. (Don't forget your camera either.) See more photos on the official page of the Mount Davis Highpoint Trail on
14. Raymondskill Falls Loop Trail
Raymondskill Falls, Dingman Township, PA 18337, USA
Location: Raymondskill Falls, Dingman Township, PA 18337 Mileage: Half-mile Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Dogs are not allowed on the trail. Wear proper shoes as the trail can get quite slippery and icy during the winter.
A journey along the .05-mile
Raymondskill Falls Loop Trail
will lead you straight to the tallest waterfall in Pennsylvania. The towering waterfall cascades down 150 feet. However, if you're visiting when it's freezing or after snow, you might get to see it frozen in place. Dress for the weather conditions as the path to the three-tier waterfall features uneven terrain, stairs, and an elevation gain of 178 feet. This is one of those trails that you'll definitely want to check out in each season. View more photos and information on Raymondskill Falls Loop Trail's page on
15. Little Falls Trail
Little Falls Trail, Lower Lake Rd, Greentown, PA 18426, USA
Location: Little Falls Trail, Lower Lake Rd, Greentown, PA 18426 Mileage: 1.4 miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: Kid-friendly. Dogs are allowed.
Bundle up for your trek along the picturesque
Little Falls Trail
in Promised Land State Park. The short but sweet trail is particularly pretty after it snows. Soak up the winter beauty - icicles dangling from trees, streams gushing over packed snow, and tiny waterfalls - and keep an eye out for local wildlife, including bald eagles in the trees. The state park is also popular with snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. You can even go ice skating. Check out the official page for Little Falls Trail on
Best Hikes Near Philadelphia
When you need a break from the excitement of big-city life, get out there and explore one of the best hikes near Philadelphia. Stroll past gorgeous scenery – a covered bridge, waterfalls, and lush foliage – and you can even make music by tapping a hammer on rocks on one of the best hikes near Philadelphia.
16. Wissahickon Creek Gorge Trail
Valley Green Road, Valley Green Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19128, USA
Location: Valley Green Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19128 Mileage: 9.3 miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: Kid-friendly and dog-friendly
Wissahickon Creek Gorge Trail
is one of those trails that appeals to all ages and skill levels, making it bucket list-worthy. The path, which is predominately crushed stone, passes such beautiful features as a covered bridge, Wissahickon Creek, waterfalls, and rock formations. Make a note to hike this trail - some or all of it - during the peak of fall foliage, too, for some of the most breathtaking views in Pennsylvania. View more photos and more information on
17. Ringing Rocks Trail
Ringing Rocks County Park, Ringing Rocks Rd, Upper Black Eddy, PA 18972, USA
Location: Ringing Rocks County Park, Ringing Rocks Rd, Upper Black Eddy, PA 18972 Mileage: .09 miles Difficulty: Easy FYI: Leashed dogs are allowed. Bring a hammer.
Bring your hammer for your journey along this short but sweet .09-mile
Ringing Rocks Trail
. The easy trail will take you past a stunning waterfall and to a field of rocks. Gently tap the rocks with your hammer, and listen as they make music. To ensure a safe and comfortable experience at Boulder Field, make sure you wear sturdy shoes that support your ankles as you walk on the rocks. Find more information about Ringing Rocks Trail on its official page on
18. Full White Trail Loop
Ridley Creek State Park, 1023 Sycamore Mills Rd, Media, PA 19063, USA
Location: Ridley Creek State Park, 1023 Sycamore Mills Rd, Media, PA 19063 Mileage: 4.3 miles Difficulty: Moderate FYI: Kid-friendly, dog-friendly, parts can be overgrown.
A half-hour outside of Philadelphia, Ridley Creek State Park boasts 13 miles of hiking trails, including the picturesque
Full White Trail Loop
. Meander along the fairy tale-esque path that features a charming footbridge, a tunnel, and a canopy of trees. Sit on a bench overlooking a small pond, too. You'll also pass some tiny waterfalls. Find more information on Full White Trail Loop on its official page on
Do you agree that these are some of the best hikes in Pennsylvania? Let us know in the comments! These hikes in Pennsylvania, however, are just a launching point. There are hundreds of amazing trails all across the state.
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More to Explore
Best Hikes In Pennsylvania
Does Pennsylvania have good hiking trails?
We've got some of the best hikes in Pennsylvania, making it the perfect place to explore. From easy to difficult and kid-friendly to backpacking, Pennsylvania got the perfect hikes for everyone. If you want to chase waterfalls, for example, check out these
waterfall trails in Pennsylvania:
Falls Trail winds more than seven miles through Ricketts Glen State Park and showcases 21 named waterfalls. It's a bucket list must.
Double Run Nature Trail in Worlds End State Park leads to several waterfalls, including Cottonwood Falls. The trail tallies just 2.5 miles.
The three-mile Meadow Run Trail in Ohiopyle State Park will take you to Cucumber Falls and Ohiopyle Falls. If you're hiking in the summer, glide down the Meadow Run Natural Waterslides.
Bushkill Falls is often called the Niagara Falls of Pennsylvania. The private park, which requires admission, leads to eight beautiful waterfalls. Choose from one of several trails.
What are the best months to hike in Pennsylvania?
Hiking is generally associated with the warmer months, but you can hike in Pennsylvania all year long. Spring and summer often mean waterfalls at their finest, a lot of bugs, and beautiful sunshine. Autumn hikes promise a view of Pennsylvania's spectacular foliage while winter allows us to explore a wonderland when there's snow on the ground. Whenever you set off, make sure you're prepared with plenty of water and the right gear for the weather.