The Happy Traveler embraces adventure, wandering off the beaten path to explore wonderful wilderness, breathtaking beauty, and tranquility. With countless trails carving through the mountains and woodlands, hikers can embark on a new journey through a variety of terrains – all while enjoying one-of-a-kind scenic views of the Keystone State. Lace up your hiking boots and come explore Pennsylvania’s outdoor playground!
Appalachian Trail - Dutch Country Roads/Upstate PA/Lehigh Valley/Pocono Mountains
Franklin, Cumberland, Perry, Dauphin, Lebanon, Schuylkill, Berks, Lehigh, Carbon, Northampton and Monroe counties
The Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world, spanning 2,190 miles from Maine to Georgia. Approximately 229 miles traverse through the long, flat and rocky ridges of Pennsylvania. The trails along the southern portion of the state offer some of the easiest walking on the entire Appalachian Trail, while the northern two-thirds include steep descents into rivers and gaps. Hikers can begin and end their trips at hundreds of destinations along the way, including Appalachian Trail communities in Boiling Springs, Duncannon, the Greater Waynesboro Area, and the Delaware Water Gap. Another must-see stop on the Pennsylvania stretch of the trail is the Appalachian Trial Museum. Situated in a 200-year-old grist mill at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, the Appalachian Trail Museum in Gardners, Pa., is dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of the Appalachian Trail. The museum also marks the halfway point of the trail and holds a special tradition for “thru-hikers” as they take on the Half Gallon Ice Cream Challenge.
Pine Creek Rail Trail - Pennsylvania Wilds
Lycoming and Tioga counties
Take a trip on the trail recognized as one of the “10 Best Places to Take a Bike Tour” by USA Today. This historic 62-mile path, once used to transport freight by train from Wellsboro to Williamsport, is also perfect for a relaxing hike. Even equestrians can join the fun with a section of the trail designed specifically for horses.
The Allegrippis Trails - The Alleghenies
With endless combinations of routes and more than 30 miles of single track trails, the Allegrippis Trails at Raystown Lake are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts of all hiking levels. Adventure lovers will enjoy a challenging trek with stunning views of Raystown Lake and local wildlife. At nearby Trough Creek State Park, be sure to hike your way to Balanced Rock, a boulder that has hung on the side of a cliff for thousands of years – and Rainbow Falls, a waterfall along the footpath leading to Balanced Rock.
Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail - Laurel Highlands
Fayette, Somerset and Cambria counties
Enjoy the picturesque Youghiogheny River and the Laurel Mountain during a hike along this 70-mile trail. A stop at Ohiopyle State Park offers breathtaking views and waterfalls to explore. For those looking to trek the whole trail, overnight shelters can be reserved in advance.
Perkiomen Trail - Philadelphia and the Countryside
The combination of crushed stone and a few paved surfaces makes the “Perky,” as some call it, a one-of-a-kind trail located among the history and beauty of the Philadelphia countryside. The 20-mile Perkiomen Trail connects numerous public parks and historical sites in the region and is open year-round for a variety of different outdoor activities. Visitors can start their journey at the Valley Forge National Historical Park and then hike along the picturesque Perkiomen Creek.
D&H Trail at Lehigh Gorge State Park - Lehigh Valley and Upstate PA
Susquehanna, Luzerne, Carbon and Lehigh counties
The varied trail surfaces and beautiful surroundings are what make the unique D&H Rail Trail a treat for any outdoor enthusiast. This 38-mile pathway stands in place of the historic Delaware and Hudson railroad, a small but vital rail line during the 1800s. The multi-use trail runs for several miles along the Lackawanna River and alternates between tree-lined sections and open stretches.
Allegheny National Forest - Pennsylvania Wilds
Warren and McKean counties
Hikers can head to the Allegheny National Forest, the only national forest in Pennsylvania, to enjoy scenic views along more than 200 miles of trails. The North Country National Scenic Trail is the longest trail in the Allegheny National Forest at 96.3 miles long, and is one of three designated National Scenic Trails in Pennsylvania. This trail takes visitors to vistas of the Allegheny Reservoir passing through rock outcroppings, open hardwoods, old growth forests, and stands of hemlock.
Loyalsock Trail - Upstate PA
Lycoming and Sullivan counties
The Loyalsock Trail winds through the Loyalsock State Forest and is perfect for those who love a challenge. This 59-mile pathway passes through rugged mountains and valleys of the forest providing scenic views of Williamsport and the beautiful Endless Mountains.
J. Manley Robbins Trail - Valleys of the Susquehanna
J. Manley Robbins Trail is a short trail with a long history – and it’s rumored to be the oldest documented rail-trail in the country. The 3.5-mile trail winds through a beautiful deciduous forest high above the Mahoning Creek and connects with an old Reading Railroad line through Montour County, offering visitors a peaceful walk or jog.
The Great Shamokin Path - Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Tracing a section of the abandoned Rural Valley Railroad corridor, the Great Shamokin Path parallels the Cowanshannock Creek for 3.5 miles. Once a major trail that connected the two largest Native American towns in Pennsylvania, hikers can walk along the trail for views of western Pennsylvania.
Heritage Rail Trail Country Park - Dutch Country Roads
This 21-mile trail winds through scenic York County and passes through historic attractions like the Howard Tunnel, four railroad bridges, New Freedom Train Station, and Hanover Junction Train Station. This rail-to-trail was once a prime target for the Confederate Army prior to the Battle of Gettysburg. Known for its historic roots, the trail offers visitors a unique hiking experience.
Presque Isle State Park - Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes
Presque Isle State Park offers 10 miles of hiking trails that will take you through scenic views of Pennsylvania’s only seashore. These sandy trails offers hikers a glimpse at the beautiful coastline of this National Natural Landmark, known as a favorite spot for migrating birds.
Great Allegheny Passage - Pittsburgh and its Countryside/Laurel Highlands
Somerset, Westmoreland, Washington, Fayette and Allegheny counties
Considered to be one of the nation’s most popular rail trails, the Great Allegheny Passage begins in Pittsburgh, Pa., and crosses the border into Maryland, eventually connecting to the C&O Canal Towpath and ending in the nation’s capital. The 320-mile journey from Pittsburgh to the end of the trail makes it the longest unpaved path in the East Coast. Crushed limestone offers a smooth surface for bikers, hikers, runners, and cross country skiers to experience all the natural beauty between Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.