Great Pennsylvania Hikes

Lace up your hiking boots and get ready for adventure! Pennsylvania is known for its mountainous, natural beauty and boasts some great places for hiking. If you’re looking for day hikes in Pennsylvania, look no further than the Appalachian Trail and Bushkill Falls.

Appalachian Trail

One of the country’s most famous trails, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a 2,184-mile footpath along the ridgecrests and across the major valleys of the Appalachian Mountains. The trail extends from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in northern Georgia, passing through most of the states on the nation’s east coast. This trail is known for its length, natural beauty and diversity and celebrates its 76th anniversary this year. If you can’t set aside the time to hike the entire length of the trail, there are some great section hikes that provide a taste of the trail.

While the Appalachian Trail boasts many majestic sites and breathless views, one of our favorite overlooks is located in Hamburg, Pennsylvania. This hike has overlooks at Pulpit Rock and The Pinnacle and is quite the adventure. To access this portion of the trail, visitors can park in the lot at the Hamburg Reservoir and walk half a mile to the junction of the Appalachian Trail. The hike is about 9 miles round trip, with Pulpit Rock marking the halfway point to the top of the mountain. This trail is quite steep in places and is surrounded by lush greenery and rock. Hiking boots are a necessity for the trail, and only experienced and able hikers are recommended to make the trip up to Pinnacle Peak. The white trail markers on the trees are a great tool to guide hikers to the summit, and the view at both Pulpit Rock and Pinnacle Peak are well worth the immense effort it takes to get to them.

Bushkill Falls

About an hour and a half southwest to this section of the Appalachian Trail is another great site for hiking. Bushkill Falls is a gorgeous place, with numerous waterfalls and a beautiful outlook over the Delaware Water Gap. This site is nestled in the Pocono Mountains and is known as “The Niagara of Pennsylvania.” The eight waterfalls located at Bushkill Falls are made accessible through a network of hiking trails, stairs and bridges that traverse the site. There are four trails throughout the park, each with a varying level of difficulty. The Green Trail is a ten minute walk to the Main Falls, the Yellow Trail is a 45 minute hike passing the Lower Gorge Falls, Laurel Glen and Upper Canyon, the Blue Trail is an hour and 15 minute hike to Pennell Falls and the Red Trail is a two hour hike to Bridal Falls. These are all great hikes, but only avid hikers should attempt to walk the Red Trail. The paths and stairs make the park accessible but the hikes are still strenuous and a bit steep. The Delaware Valley Lookout is absolutely breathtaking, and competes with the outlooks on the Appalachian Trail mentioned above. Along with hiking, there are lots of other activities to do at Bushkill Falls. There are exhibits showcasing Pennsylvania’s wildlife and history, fishing and paddle boating opportunities and lots of good food (especially fudge)!

If you’re looking for a great hike with beautiful scenery and jaw-dropping views, the Hamburg Reservoir section of the Appalachian Trail and Bushkill Falls are for you. Don’t forget your hiking boots!

Image: The view at Pulpit Rock. Source: Christie Stelljes