Lace up your hiking shoes and get ready for adventure in Pennsylvania’s great outdoors. No matter where you live in the Keystone State, you’re bound to be near the spectacular beauty of a state or a county park where you can explore the Pennsylvania landscape on its hiking trails. Here are just 14 of the magnificent trails in Pennsylvania that you have to hike before you die.
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1. Falls Trail – Ricketts Glen State Park
Falls Trail takes top billing on the must hike trials simply because it takes you past 18 of the 22 breathtaking waterfalls in Ricketts Glen State Park. The nearly six mile loop trail promises amazing beauty and a pretty hefty challenge with some of the terrain.
2. Glen Onoko Run Trail – Jim Thorpe
Editor's Note: Glen Onoko Run Trail is permanently closed.
Loop around gorgeous waterfalls as you hike the two mile Glen Onoko Run Trail. The moderately difficult trail is worth the effort, however, as you'll pass scenic waterfalls and lush greenery, culminating at Glen Onoko Falls, the largest waterfall along the trail.
3. Golden Eagle Trail - Tiadaghton State Forest
Prepare for beautiful views of Pine Creek Gorge as you embark on the nearly nine mile Golden Eagle Trail. Although challenging, the Golden Eagle Trail has been called one of Pennsylvania's best hikes for its spectacular scenery that includes waterfalls, quarries, dams, and canopies of trees to keep you cool.
4. Wissahickon Trail - Philadelphia
Explore nature in the heart of suburban Philadelphia as you hike some or all of the 20 mile Wissahickon Trail. The picturesque hike travels along the Wissahickon Creek for much of the trail.
5. Canyon Vista Trail – Worlds End State Park
Follow the blue blazes as you hike the Canyon Vista Trail in Worlds End State Park. The challenging four mile loop will reward you with breathtaking views of Loyalsock Creek Gorge, as you stand on an overlooking vista some 1750 feet above the gorge.
6. Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail – Ohiopyle State Park
Go backpacking or simply plan a day hike as you tackle the gorgeous Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail that spans 70 miles, beginning in Ohiopyle State Park and ending in Laurel Ridge State Park. The scenic trail features eight overnight areas, between eight and 10 miles apart, to allow the million annual visitors to enjoy the full beauty of the entire trail.
7. Shades of Death Trail - Hickory Run State Park
Face the challenging one mile Shades of Death Trail in Hickory Run State Park. Although sporting a pretty bleak name, the Shades of Death Trail will lead through some of the most jaw dropping areas of the park, including old logging mills, rock formations, and lush greenery.
8. Mt. Davis Highpoint Trail – Mt. Davis
Wear comfortable shoes as you embark on this somewhat difficult 5.2 mile loop that will reward you with a stop atop Mt. Davis, the highest point in Pennsylvania. Dogs on a leash are allowed on the trail.
9. Shawmut Trail - Kinzua Bridge State Park
Start your hike along the two mile Shawmut Trail, rated as easy, in the scenic town of Smethport. Pass picturesque farmland, the former Kinzua railroad, meadows, and Marvin Creek along the way.
10. Lakeside Trail - Tobyhanna State Park
Prepare for breathtaking views as you hike the beautiful five mile Lakeside Trail in Tobyhanna State Park. Rated as easy, the trail leads around the entire span of Tobyhanna Lake. Some of the trail is paved and, although it is not marked wheelchair accessible, individuals have successfully completed the trail in a wheelchair.
11. 1,000 Steps Hiking Trail – Huntingdon
Follow in the footsteps of Pennsylvanians before you, who routinely walked the 1,000 steps to and from work in local brick factories and mines back in the early 20th century. The 3.5 mile trail will take you to the top of Jack's Mountain, into which the steps were built.
12. Dingman's Ferry Creek Trail – Dingmans Ferry
Stroll across a wooden boardwalk as you embark on the easy Dingmans Creek Trail, which spans a mere .03 of a mile. The easy hike, which follows the wooden boardwalk the entire way until you reach stairs, offers views of the striking Silverthread Falls.
13. Wildflower Trails – Raccoon Creek State Park
Embrace the tranquility of nature - and beautiful wildflowers - as you hike the Wildflower Trails in the Wildlife Reserve at Raccoon Creek State Park. The array of trails, ranging from easy to difficult, span less than five miles. The easiest trail at only a quarter of a mile, the Art Witt Trail leads through a beautiful portion of the pine forest.
14. West Rim Trail – Pine Creek Gorge
Pack your backpack as you embark on the 30 mile West Rim Trail that winds along the western rim of Pine Creek Gorge. The moderately difficult trail provides sweeping views of the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, an 800 foot deep gorge.
These magnificent trails in Pennsylvania are only the beginning of the beauty that awaits in our state.
Click here to discover 10 more magnificent trails in Pennsylvania that will lead you to unforgettable places.