10 Hiking Trails In Pennsylvania For Ultimate Adventure

Pennsylvania is home to countless trails that offer the most fascinating landscapes through mountains and woodlands. From short trails to multi-day hikes, there are all kinds of hiking spots in Pennsylvania that allure the outdoor enthusiasts. With a variety of forests, parks, lakes, and hills offering hiking in Pennsylvania, the Keystone state has become a trekker’s paradise. While trails like Heritage Rail and Pine Creek are easy to hike, others like northern Appalachian are sure to test the adventurer in you. If you are a trekking enthusiast and wish to explore the diversity of terrains the state offers, look at these 10 best hiking trails in Pennsylvania:

1. Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail HikingImage Source: wikimedia.org

Extending about 2,189 miles from Georgia to Maine, the Appalachian Trail is one of the best places to hike in Pennsylvania that passes through 14 states. Pennsylvania has 229.6 miles of the trail with the northern side featuring steep descents, famous as the “place where boots go to die” among hikers, and the southern area offering the lowest and the flattest sections of the trail. The elevation on this trail ranges from 124 feet to 6,643 feet making it suitable for hikers of all skill levels. 

Difficulty level: Moderate

Attractions along the way: Appalachian Trail Museum

2. Standing Stone Trail

Standing Stone Trail HikingImage Source: wikimedia.org

Offering backpackers and hikers wild flora and fauna along scenic views, the Standing Stone trail extends about 84 miles and is a part of the Great Eastern Trail. The trail was named as 2016’s Trail of the Year and follows beautifully wooded ridgelines in Mifflin, Fulton, and Huntingdon. With an elevation gain of 3,372 feet, the Standing Stone Trail offers spectacular wildflowers, numerous year-round activities and is easily accessible for dogs on the leash. 

Difficulty level: Moderate

Attractions along the way: Stone Mountain, Sandstone Pillars

3. Heritage Rail Trail, County Park

Heritage Rail Trail, County Park HikingImage Source: wikimedia.org

A point-to-point trail taking the hikers past seven railroad structures, Heritage Rail Trail covers about 20.9 miles and has an elevation gain of 954 feet. One of the best bike trails in Pennsylvania, the trail is also historically scenic and serves as a family-friendly recreational spot. This pet-friendly trail is an excellent option for all skill level hikers looking to escaping into nature for a few hours. 

Difficulty level: Easy

Attractions along the way: Railroad Structures, Tourism Train

4. Montour Trail

Montour Trail HikingImage Source: wikimedia.org

A recreational rail trail offering a plethora of activities like cross-country skiing, camping, bicycling, hiking and walking, the Montour Trail stretches 36.1 miles and has an elevation gain of 1,309 feet. Featuring picturesque bridges, railroad tunnels, farmlands, and remote woodlands, the trail is a prime spot for the local adventurers. The trail also connects the hikers to other hiking spots like steel valley trail and Ohio River trail making it a multi-use pathway.

Difficulty level: Moderate

Attractions along the way: McDonald Viaduct, National Tunnel, Chartiers Creek High Bridge, Enlow Tunnel

5. North Country Trail

media_gallery-2018-10-25-5-North_Country_Trail_66975260c537ca8644c38dc6515911bd.jpgImage Source: wikimedia.org

Passing through the Allegheny National Forest, the North Country Trail is 96.3 miles long and one of the designated National scenic trails in Pennsylvania. Many hikers try to complete this trail every year and the location is perfect to experience the cultural and natural beauty of the local area. The trail is also suitable for camping and dogs on the leash are welcome here. Promising breathtaking vistas at each step, this is just the right trail for scenic trekking. 

Difficulty level: Moderate

Attractions along the way: Allegheny reservoir, Tracy Ridge, Minister Creek

6. Bushkill Falls Trail

Bushkill Falls Trail HikingImage Source: flickr.com

Bushkill Falls trail is a 1.9-mile loop trail ideal to watch the splendid Pocono mountains. The trails appeal to varying skill levels and provide thrilling views of the eight waterfalls. Visitors also get to witness local and migratory bird species and indigenous wildlife on their hike making the Bushkill Falls one of the best hiking trails in Pennsylvania with waterfalls. With an elevation gain of about 360 feet, the trail is one of the state’s most treasured scenic attraction. 

Difficulty level: Moderate

Attractions along the way: Eight waterfalls

7. Golden Eagle Trail

Golden Eagle Trail HikingImage Source: wikimedia.org

Located in the Tiadaghton state forest, the Golden Eagle trail is well-known for the stunning vistas of Pine Creek Gorge visible from the trail. The 10.6-mile trail is blazed orange and has an elevation gain of 2,559 feet. The trail runs through dense forests, lively streams, fascinating rock formations, splash dams, old quarries and makes for a rugged hike. You may also walk your dog here but on a leash. 

Difficulty level: Moderate

Attractions along the way: Beuhlah Land, Wolf Run, Bonnel Run

8. Pine Creek Rail Trail

Pine Creek Rail Trail HikingImage Source: wikimedia.org

Acknowledged as one of the “10 Best Places to take a Bike Tour” by USA Today, the Pine Creek Rail Trail is a 61.6-mile point-to-point trail and has an elevation gain of 908 feet. Located near Wellsboro, the trail can be best used from March until November and features many campgrounds en-route. Topped with crushed limestone, the rail trail is relatively flat and ideal for family outdoor adventures. Hiking, cross-country skiing, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and horseback riding are some of the activities that you can enjoy along the trail.

Difficulty level: Easy

Attractions along the way: Pine Creek Gorge

9. Turkey Path trail, Leonard Harrison State Park

Turkey Path trail hiking, Leonard Harrison State ParkImage Source: wikimedia.org

One of the best hiking trails in Pennsylvania can be experienced along the Turkey Path trail which gives the trekkers the most stunning views of the state’s Grand Canyon. This 1.7-mile trail is strenuous and leads you a mile down to the Pine Creek Gorge and another mile back up. The loop trail lets you explore bridges, waterfalls, walkways and the state park natural area. The path has an elevation gain of 692 feet and features many steep stairs cut into the rock, perfect to challenge the adventure junkie in you.

Difficulty level: Moderate

Attractions along the way: Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon, State Park Natural Area

10. Quehanna Trail

Quehanna Trail HikingImage Source: wikimedia.org

Located near Driftwood, Quehanna Trail is a 72.7-mile trail offering an elevation gain of 9,655 feet. Best used from March until October, this long-distance loop trail passes through wild and primitive landscapes starting at the Parker Dam State Park. Running through north-central Pennsylvania, the trail features backpacking loops, oak-laurel ecosystem, and northern hardwoods. If you get lucky, you may even spot some wildlife and migratory birds. 

Difficulty level: Moderate

Attractions along the way: Moshannon State Forest, Elk State Forest

With plenty of extensive hiking trails, Pennsylvania is a Mecca for outdoor adventurers. It’s time to unleash the adventurer in you and explore numerous trekking destinations the Keystone state has in store. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A writer by day and reader by night, Preksha is a bewildered soul obsessed with strong coffee and deep conversations ...

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