National Hiking Day is this Friday and there’s no better way to celebrate than by escaping the confines of the concrete jungle and exploring the great outdoors in the Philadelphia region. Whether you’re hoping to get a great workout, soothe your soul or simply see some waterfalls, there are hiking options for you that aren’t too far outside of the city. Here are some of our favorite places to go hiking near Philadelphia.
Ricketts Glen State Park
695 State Route 487
This park in Benton is comprised of 13,050 acres and spreads across three counties. The Falls Trail System is great for hiking and as the name would suggest, contains a ton of waterfalls to see — 22 in total. The largest of those is Ganoga Falls, which is 94-feet-tall. Their website advises that sandals are prohibited when hiking this trail, so make sure you’re prepared with proper footwear.
Lehigh Gorge State Park
3613 State Route 534
White Haven, PA
Lehigh Gorge State Park is “gorgeous.” With 6,107 acres and 20 miles of trails (that follow abandoned railroad tracks by the river), you’ll be able to hike as well as take beautiful photography. If you feel like biking, the trail is closed to motor vehicles, so that could be fun to add onto your day’s agenda as well. Need a break? Stop and have a picnic at Buttermilk Falls. The name alone is enough to induce peaceful vibes.
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Worthington State Forest
Old Mine Rd.
If you’re looking to really “elevate” your Instagram feed, take a hike on the Red Dot Trail in Worthington State Forest. 1.2 miles in length, it leads to an incredible view of the Delaware Water Gap from Mt. Tammany. You’ll pay a price for the pretty picture, however. The National Park Service describes it as a “difficult” trail and the most challenging in the park. Better eat your Wheaties before attempting this!
1700 Hawk Mountain Rd.
Love bird watching? Then you should definitely plan a hike at Hawk Mountain. This 2,600 acre sanctuary features eight miles of trail, plenty of beautiful scenery and is the world’s first first refuge for birds of prey. The most popular trail is the Lookout Trail, which comes highly recommended if you are new to hiking. One mile in length, the trail will eventually lead you to North Lookout, which is super popular with bird watchers around the world.
Jacobsburg State Park
400 Belfast Rd.
Hiking with kids? Jacobsburg State Park has the Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center, which is a great way to introduce children to the joys of nature and hiking. The park itself is comprised of 1,168 acres and even is home to Henry’s Woods, one of the remaining Old Growth forests in Pennsylvania.