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  • Best 14 Places to Take a Hike Near Philly hiking-in-wissahickon Full view

    Best 14 Places to Take a Hike Near Philly

    Happy National “Take A Hike Day”!

    As I mentioned about my increase of outdoorsy camping lifestyle, I’ve been hitting the trails and challenging myself to bigger and better hikes. In honor of this National hike day, I trolled my Facebook to see favorite hikes possible from a day trip from Philadelphia.

    Top 14 Hikes from Philadelphia:

    1. Hickory Run State Park: About 2 hours from Philly, Hickory Run State Park has 40+ miles of hiking trails, trout steams & a landmark boulder field.
    2. Hawk Mountain. Since it’s along a migration route, it has great birdwatching. According to Katie Edwards, Hawk Mountain has “spectacular views and great trails for all types of hikers.” The nearby Blue Rocks campgrounds” has the most stunning glacial deposit,” according to Heidi Grothaus. You can take the Appalachian Trail around here, including to the highly recommended Pinnacle. Blue Rocks Pennsylvania hikes
    3. Ricketts Glen. Two and a half hours outside of Philly, Ricketts Glen has 26 miles of hiking trails ranging from fairly level to very steep hills. A series of 22 waterfalls includes the 94-foot Ganoga Falls.
    4. East Branch Brandywine Trail is less than an hour outside of Philadelphia, beginning south of Downingtown and follow its namesake river. Charlene Ryan recommended the hiking/biking trails that go along the creek and up the hills.
    5. Hudson Highlands are 2.5 – 3 hours outside of Philly, these mountains were strategically important during the American Revolutionary War to cut off the British from isolating New England. Shelly Coppola recommends the Storm King & Breakneck Ridge trails.
    6. Glen Onoko Falls is a 2.1 mile loop trail near Lehigh Twp and rated difficult if you’re up for a challenge. Make sure to wear appropriate shoes. Thanks to Jen Singley for the rec!
    7. Wissahickon: Located directly in our city, Wissahickon Valley Park includes over 50 miles of often-rugged trails that crisscross the park. View the map online. hike-wissahickon
    8. French Creek State Park: One hour outside of Philadelphia, this 7730 acre park is “largest block of contiguous forest between Washington D.C. and New York City”.
    9. Worlds End State Park is about 3 hours outside of Philly. With over 20 miles of hiking trails, the trails are rocky with steep sections and highly recommend by Benjamin Bean.
    10. Pine Barrens in New Jersey: According to Carla Miller, “there are fabulous trails through the Brendan T Byrne Forrest and through Wharton State Forrest. There is a 50+ mile trail called the Batona Trail that links multiple state parks.”
    11. Delaware Water Gap: Two hours from the city, the Delaware Water Gap includes more than 100 miles of hiking trails including 27 miles of the Appalachian Trail. 
    12. Jenny Jump Forest: Located in Warren County in NJ, this spot has 11 miles of hiking trails including the gorgeous lake photos like we witnessed (below). The campsites are wide and large, too – which I can personally attest after camping there last month. Jenny Jump State Forest
    13. Bushkill Falls: The “Niagara of Pennsylvania” includes a series of 8 waterfalls accessible through hiking trails and bridges.
    14. Pennypack Creek Trail’s 13 mile trail takes you to the Delaware river and along “gently rolling hills and bubbling brooks” according to Emily Leaman.

    Readers, where’s your favorite place to hike around Philly? (Or a short day trip?) Tell us how your favs in the comments.

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    Julie Hancher

    About Julie Hancher

    Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake.

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