The Best Outdoor Activities in Pennsylvania
Discover the best hiking, camping, backpacking, fitness, and more.
Hike the Falls Trails in Ricketts Glen State Park
Pennsylvania / Evergreen Parking Lot
Ricketts Glen State Park in Pennsylvania sprawls over 13,050 acres in the Luzerne, Sullivan and Columbia counties. The park boasts a lake, 21 named waterfalls, diverse wildlife and old growth timber.
Hike the Pinnacles and Pulpit Rock
Pennsylvania / The Pinnacles Trailhead (Hamburg Reservoir)
Park in the lot near the Hamburg Reservoir and hike around the barrier and up the gravel road. Shortly on your right the Appalachian Trail branches off the road.
Hike to Bushkill Falls
Pennsylvania / Bushkill Falls Parking Area
Bushkill Falls offers visitors a choice of 4 different trails to explore. All trails are very well maintained, making this trip safe for the whole family. The most rewarding trail is the Red Trail.
Hiking McConnell's Mill State Park
Pennsylvania / Hell's Hollow
A trip to McConnell's Mill is a great idea at any time of year.
Hike Valley Forge
Pennsylvania / Valley Forge National Historic Park
There are many trails to choose from on Mt.
Exploring Kinzua Bridge State Park
Pennsylvania / Kinzua Bridge Parking Area
Considered the Eighth Wonder of the World when it was built, the Kinzua Viaduct is truly amazing and a must see.
Explore Dingmans Falls
Pennsylvania / Dingmans Falls Visitor Center
The waterfall is about 0.2 miles into the hike.
Hike the High Rocks State Park Loop
Pennsylvania / High Rocks Vista Parking Area
High Rocks State Park, a section of Ralph Stover State Park, offers visitors some of the best views in Eastern Pennsylvania. Across from the parking lot on Tory Road, you will find the main trailhead.
Hike Through Hells Hollow
Pennsylvania / Hell's Hollow
Hells Hollow is part of McConnell's Mill State Park.
Hike Mount Minsi
Pennsylvania / Mt Minsi Parking Area
This is a great 5.5 mile hike at the Delaware Water Gap. You follow the Appalachian Trail the entire time (white marked trail) as it climbs to the top on Mt Minsi.
Pennsylvania / Fallingwater Visitor Center
"Fallingwater is the name of a house built over a waterfall in southwest Pennsylvania. Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s most famous architect, designed the house for his clients, the Kaufmann family.
Hike the Wissahickon Creek Gorge Orange and White Trail
Pennsylvania / Wissahickon Creek Gorge Orange and White Trailhead
Wissahickon Creek Gorge Orange and White Trail is lush, quiet, and teeming with wildlife. Keep your ears tuned for chickadees, woodpeckers, titmice, blue jays, and more as you hike.
Hike to Glen Onoko Falls
Pennsylvania / Glen Onoko Parking Area
There are several WRONG ways to do this trail.
Climb at Safe Harbor
Pennsylvania / Safe Harbor, PA
Directions: Drive to Safe Harbor. From Safe Harbor, take River Road south to Green Hill Road--this road is very windy. Drive towards Shenk's Ferry Wildflower Preserve.
Canoe and Camp in the Delaware Water Gap
Pennsylvania / Delaware River Launch, Dingmans Ferry
This is one of those easy, simple and truly relaxing adventures you can embark on this summer.
Hike the Hawk Mountain Lookout Trail
Pennsylvania / Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
The 4.5 mile loop Hawk Mountain Lookout Trail takes you up to great views of the skyline of Pennsylvania.
Hike to Cliff Park Ridge
Pennsylvania / Raymondskills Falls Parking Lot
This 6.4 mile out-and-back trail (2.7 miles each way) is an excellent trail for those looking to spend an early morning or afternoon outside without the strenuousness of all-out mountain hiking.
Camp at Cherry Springs State Park
Pennsylvania / Cherry Springs Visitor Center
Cherry Springs State Park was my first ever International Dark Sky Park and it stole my heart, and I promise it will steal yours too.
Hike to Jacoby Run Falls
Pennsylvania / Jacoby Falls Trail
The trailhead is at a large gravel parking area off of Wallis Run Road. The trail begins on a boardwalk over a wetland that leads into hemlock forest and mixed hardwoods.
Hike the Shades of Death Trail
Pennsylvania / Hickory Run Park Office
The trailhead and parking are available by the park office or along PA 534 by the nature center and amphitheater. This trail is beautiful and seemed to change around every bend.
Hike the Mineral Springs Loop
Pennsylvania / Frankfort Mineral Springs Parking
Starting at the Frankfort Mineral Springs parking lot, this 1.2 mile loop winds along the creek and leads you up into the waterfall and old resort area.
Backpack the West Rim Trail
Pennsylvania / Northern Terminus
Hiking north to south, the trailhead is just off of Colton Road at a gravel parking lot with bathrooms.
Explore Boulder Field in Hickory Run State Park
Pennsylvania / Hickory Run Boulder Field
Boulder Field is easily found following signs in Hickory Run State Park and has its own parking lot.
Camp at Pine Grove Creek Campground
Pennsylvania / Pine Grove Campground, PA
Located in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pine Grove Creek Campground is prime Pennsylvania hiking territory.
Hike to Hawk Falls in Hickory Run State Park
Pennsylvania / Hawk Falls Trailhead
Hawk Falls is located in Hickory Run State Park, Pennsylvania in the Poconos Mountains.
Hike the Hemlock Mountain Loop
Pennsylvania / Hemlock Mountain
The trail starts where Naval Run Road ends. Follow the the blue blazes into Naval Run. After crossing Naval Run continue right up an old logging skid trail along the run.
Backpack the Old Logger's Path
Pennsylvania / Old Logging Path (Masten)
The Old Logger's Path follows abandoned logging roads in a loop through the Loyalsock State Forest. There are multiple places to join the trail, but most people start in the ghost town of Masten, PA.
Hike to Pine Island Vista
Pennsylvania / Clay Mine Road Pull-Off
The access to this trail is from a mountain road, Clay Mine Road.
Explore Cucumber Falls
Pennsylvania / Cucumber Falls
Just off Kentuck Road, at the southern end of Ohiopyle State Park, you arrive at Cucumber Falls' marked parking lot. Access to this lot is limited (about 20 cars).
Hike the Barbour Rock Trail
Pennsylvania / Barbour Rock Trail
The parking can be found along Colton Road heading toward Colton Point State Park. There is a large sign opposite the parking and the trail is a wide gravel path through the woods. It is 0.
Hike to Slippery Rock Creek from Hell's Hollow
Pennsylvania / Hell's Hollow
This nicely groomed trail starts at Hell's Hollow and branches off to the left. The trails total length is 24 miles long, but we chose to start off slow and go with an out and back just to the creek.
Climb Boxcar Rocks
Pennsylvania / Boxcar Rocks Pull-Off
The parking lot can be tricky to find your first time. From I-81 Take Tower City exit on Rt. 325 W. Before airport, take Gold Mine Rd south over first major ridge.
Kayak Camp the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon
Pennsylvania / Big Meadows Access
Start at the Big Meadows parking area in Ansonia. The water access is at Marsh Creek but almost immediately meets up with Pine Creek.
Hike to Bake Oven Knob
Pennsylvania / Bake Oven Knob Trailhead (Appalachian Trail)
The trail is VERY rocky and stepping up the rocks requires proper footwear. From the beginning of the trail, hike until you reach an opening filled with rocks and boulders.
Run the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk
Pennsylvania / Schuylkill Boardwalk
The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk is part of the Schuylkill River Trail.
Camp at Dewdrop Recreation Area
Pennsylvania / Dewdrop Recreation Area
The Dewdrop Campground in Northern Pennsylvania brings you in touch with the Allegheny Reservoir, a tranquil refuge in a serene national forest.
Explore Rock Run
Pennsylvania / Rock Run
Rock Run is a place that I would not turn down a chance to explore again and again.
Cross-Country Ski on Laurel Mountain
Pennsylvania / Laurel Mountain Warming Hut
Start at the Loop trail, directly across from the warming hut. This groomed trail rolls smoothly along through native rhododendron, hemlocks and large rocks.
Ice Fishing on Presque Isle Bay
Pennsylvania / Presque Isle Bay
If you love ice fishing, you know that waiting until late January can be agonizing.
Hike to Wolf Rocks
Pennsylvania / Wolfs Rocks Trailhead
You'll find the trailhead for Wolf Rocks at top of Linn Run Rd off Laurel Summit Rd. Off the left-hand side you will find what is referred to as parking lot D - the route to Wolf Rocks begins there.
Photograph The Loyalsock Canyon Vista
Pennsylvania / Loyalsock Canyon Vista
Take a drive to World's End State Park through the Loyalsock Valley and enjoy a great view.
Hike the Golden Eagle Trail
Pennsylvania / Golden Eagle Trailhead
The Golden Eagle Trail, otherwise known as the GET, is a challenging day hike north of Cammal, Pennsylvania.
Camp at World's End Park Campground
Pennsylvania / World's End Park Campground
World's End Campground is tucked into a valley in the Loyalsock State Forest. Recreational opportunities abound here.
Hike the Shades of Death Trail in Hickory Run State Park
Pennsylvania / Shades of Death Trailhead
The Shades of Death Trail will show you some of the best of the Pennsylvania wilderness in one easy hike. You can enjoy the peaceful forest setting, the energizing river, and the beautiful falls.
Bike the Lehigh Gorge Trail: Lock #2
Pennsylvania / Lehigh Gorge Trail
It was a rainy day, which brings along mud (but I think mountain biking is better in the rain and mud anyways).
Hike the Rainbow Loop in Settlers Cabin
Pennsylvania / Settler's Cabin
There are three main trails in the park. The Green Loop (2 miles), Blue Loop (2 miles), and Purple Loop (1.5 miles).
Bike the Switchback Trail around Mauch Chunk Lake Park
Pennsylvania / Switchback Railroad Trail
The trail entrance can be found by going up Broadway and taking Hill Road to the right at the Opera House.
Hike the Sugar Run Trail
Pennsylvania / Sugar Run Trail
This trail connects Old Mitchell Trail to Johnathan Run Trail. It is a short but fun hike down to the falls.
Camp at French Creek Campground
Pennsylvania / French Creek Campground
The French Creek State Park Campground is ideal for groups, families, or individuals seeking some solitude.
Hike the Minister Creek Trail
Pennsylvania / Minister Creek Trailhead
The trailhead is located next to the Minister Creek Campground, which is 14.7 miles southwest from the town of Sheffield, via state route 666.
Hike the Falls Trail at Beltzville State Park
Pennsylvania / Christman Trailhead Parking lot
At the Christman Trailhead, hike a quick, flat 2.5 miles following the yellow trail markers through farm meadows and birch forests to the Falls Trail loop/intersection.
Camp at Tobyhanna Park Campground
Pennsylvania / Tobyhanna Campground
Tobyhana Campground is in Pennsylvania's Tobyhana State Park. Hoisted up into the mountains, this spot is truly refreshing.
Explore Raymondskill Falls
Pennsylvania / Raymondskills Falls Parking Lot
This waterfall is just a short walk away from the main parking lot. Just a .30 mile hike will take you to a gorgeous three-tiered waterfall.
Hike the High Rock Trail at World's End State Park
Pennsylvania / Worlds End SP Parking
World's End offers a ton of trails, some for the family, and some for the more adventurous. The High Rock Trail is one of the more difficult trails in the State Park and one of the shortest.
Hike the Bear Run Nature Reserve Loop
Pennsylvania / Bear Run Nature Center
Bear Run Nature Reserve features a number of trail loops that range from 1.7 miles in length to 11.9 miles.
Hike Pole Steeple, Pine Grove Furnace SP
Pennsylvania / Pole Steeple Parking
Pole Steeple begins in Pine Grove Furnace State Park and ends in Michaux State Forest. The hike is short, only a .
Photograph Elk at the Elk Country Visitor Center
Pennsylvania / Elk Country Visitors Center
The aptly named Pennsylvania County (Elk County) is a must for anyone looking to understand why the PA Wilds logo looks the way it does. Setting aside a whole day is a must.
Hike to the Susquehanna Overlook
Pennsylvania / Susquehanna Overlook AT Parking
Once you reach the power lines, about a mile after cresting the top of the mountain you can look one way and you’ll see the Susquehanna River.
Kayak or Canoe Pine Creek: Blackwell to Black Walnut Bottom
Pennsylvania / Blackwell Parking Access
The start of this trip is at the Blackwell boat launch. Get some friends together and organize a trip, leave a car at Black Walnut Bottom for the take out.
Hike the Seneca Trail in Cook Forest State Park
Pennsylvania / Seneca Trail
Right from its entry point, the Seneca Trail parallels the Clarion River, granting you a scenic view the whole way through. This trail is challenging in its narrow footpath and lofty climb.
Hike the Henry's Woods Loop in Jacobsburg State Park
Pennsylvania / Henry's Woods loop trailhead
Only a short drive from the major Pennsylvania cities of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton lies Jacobsburg State Park and environmental center.
Hike the Alpha Pass Trail
Pennsylvania / Alpha Pass
Park in the lot at McConnell's Mill Rd but instead of going down the steps from the lot, walk up to the intersection of Johnson Rd and McConnell's Mill Rd.
Hike Leonard Harrison SP's Overlook Trail to Otter View
Pennsylvania / Leonard Harris Parking
This is a simple .6 mile trail that starts around the bathrooms and loops past Otter View. The trail itself is an easy hike. Otter View is a great spot for a family hike.
Camp at Kentuck Campground
Pennsylvania / Kentuck Campground
Book a site at Kentuck Campground for a chance to explore the Pennsylvania wilderness. Ohiopyle State Park is an amalgam of forest and river, whitewater and waterfalls included.
Hike the Lake Shore Trail at Little Pine State Park
Pennsylvania / Lake Shore Trailhead
Once you pass the famous Happy Acres Resort you better slow down. Coming up quickly on your right is the parking area for the Lake Shore Trail.
Kayak and Fish at Little Pine Lake
Pennsylvania / Little Pine Lake
Little Pine State Park is a beautiful park in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania near Waterville. The lake is just above the campground and dam. Follow the signs at the picnic area to the boat launch.
Hike Hawk Rock, PA
Pennsylvania / Hawk Rock Parking Area
This is a steep and rocky hike, but is well worth the absolutely stunning view of Perry County - including Shermans Creek and the Susquehanna River.
Hike Turkey Path
Pennsylvania / Leonard Harris Parking
This is a fairly steep trail with many switchbacks, which makes it an easy hike down and a tough one back. But don't worry there are bridges and stairs to help you out.
Hike Smith's Knob Hike via the Loyalsock Trail
Pennsylvania / Loyalsock Trailhead
Smith's Knob is a short, but fairly challenging section of the overall Loyalsock Trail. Smith's Knob has a distinctively round peak, and viewed from Rider Park, sticks out to all very easily.
Fish at Rose Valley Lake
Pennsylvania / Rose Valley Lake
Rose Valley Lake, if you did not know is not a natural lake, it is man made. Construction of the 389-acre lake was completed in 1972.
Hike to Bohen Run Falls
Pennsylvania / Bohen Run Falls Parking
Parking for this trail is at the Blackwell access area off of route 414. Then walk across the the bridge over Pine Creek and immediately hop over the guardrail to your right for the Bohen Trailhead.
Hike to the Cumberland Valley Overlook
Pennsylvania / Cumberland Valley Overlook Parking
This hike is steep at points but the climb up the mountain has lots of switchbacks so it isn't just straight up.
Hike the Gas Line Ridge Loop
Pennsylvania / Lance Raisch Trail
Park at the end of Naval Run Road, at the end of the road to the right, follow the sign for Lance Raisch Trail marked with yellow blazes. This is the first of three trails that this loop will use.
Hike the Katy Jane Trail in Rider Park
Pennsylvania / Katy Jane Trailhead
Hiking, trail running, mountain bike riding, cross country skiing and other low impact recreational activities are all part of what Rider Park has to offer. My personal favorite is the 3.
Hike the Haystacks Rapids and Dutchman Falls
Pennsylvania / The Haystacks and Dutchman Falls Trail
The Haystacks is a great end of the overall Loyalsock Trail.
Camp at Pickerel Point Campground
Pennsylvania / Pickerel Point Campground
Pickerel Point Campground rests on a peninsula of the Promised Land Lake, where miles and miles of forest are punctuated by this beautiful body of water.
Camp at Tom's Run Shelter
Pennsylvania / Tom's Run Shelter Parking Area
Starting from the small parking area on Bunkerhill Rd, head north (turn right) onto Michaux Rd.
Hike the Gillespie Point Loop
Pennsylvania / Blackwell Parking Access
From the Blackwell parking access at the route 414 bridge that crosses Pine Creek, walk on 414 east towards Babb's Creek.
Explore George W Child's Park
Pennsylvania / George W. Child's Park Parking
Once parked, enter the trailhead and follow the trail down Dingmans Creek to the first set of falls. Try taking pictures from off the trail to the right of these falls.
Hike Quaker Race's Lakeside Trail
Pennsylvania / Quaker Race Day Use Area
This trail is best accessed from the Quaker Race Day Use Area or from the Cabin Colony for cabin occupants. This trail has a dirt or rocky surface, uneven terrain and one steep but short hill.
Hike the Bob Webber Trail
Pennsylvania / Bob Webber Trail
To get to the Bob Webber Trail, start by heading up one of the most beautiful valleys in Pennsylvania: Pine Creek. Shortly after Waterville jump onto 414 and enjoy the drive past Cammal.
Hike through SGL 252
Pennsylvania / SGL 252
What was once known as the town of Alvira PA, is now known as State Game Lands number 252. During WWII the land was seized by the army and used as an army ordnance.
Camp at Rustic Bear Wallow Cabins
Pennsylvania / Rustic Bear Wallow Cabins
Rustic Bear Wallow Cabins are the ideal compromise between going camping and staying home.
Hike the Wissahickon Gorge: Valley Green and Two Meadows Loop
Pennsylvania / Wissahickon Gorge: Two Meadows Loop
The Wissahickon Gorge offers beautiful hiking without even having to leave the Philadelphia city limits.
Camp at Dingmans Campground
Pennsylvania / Dingmans Campground
Dingmans Campground nestles into Pennsylvania's Pocono mountains.
Hike Trout Run
Pennsylvania / Trout Run Parking
Hike along the creek for about a half mile, we stop where the trail meets the stream and let the kids play in the water for a bit and then head back.
Stroll along the Rapid Run Nature Trail
Pennsylvania / Rapid Run Nature Walk
There are multiple ways to access and start the trail, there is a small parking area near the intersection of McCall Dam Road and Route 192 or you can access from the other end near the beach at Half.
Hike the Buffalo Ridge Trail
Pennsylvania / Little Buffalo SP Parking
This hike is marked as one of the most difficult at Little Buffalo, but we didn't find it to be overly exhausting. For someone that is used to hiking, this trail is a breeze.
Climb at Schaffer Rocks
Pennsylvania / Schaffer Rocks Parking Area
Schaffer Rocks is a great little crag located in South Central Pennsylvania in Michaux State Forest. It is primarily a top roping location with routes ranging from 5.3-5.11.
Hike the Ruth Will Trail
Pennsylvania / Ruth Will Trailhead
Their is a large gravel parking area about 12 miles north of Haneyville on route 44. Parking is on the east side of route 44.
Hike the Skippack Creek Trail
Pennsylvania / Skippack Trailhead, Kratz Rd.
The Skippack Creek Trail was one of my favorites on this most recent trip. Any chance I can hike a trail along side a river, I take advantage of it.
Hike the White Trail in Ridley Creek State Park
Pennsylvania / Ridley Creek State Park - Pavilion #9
The white trail is the only true loop hike in the park. Strangely enough, it has no official trailhead. You can gain access to the trail from either Pavilion/picnic are #9 or Pavilion/picnic area #16.
Take in the View from Hyner View State Park Overlook
Pennsylvania / Hyner View State Park
Hyner View State Park is located in North Central Pennsylvania Between Lock Haven and Renovo on Route 120 along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.
Hike the Meadow Garden at Longwood Gardens
Pennsylvania / Meadow Garden Trailhead, Longwood Gardens
Longwood Gardens, located in Kennet Square Pennsylvania, is one of the premier horticultural display gardens in the country.