PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) – National Hiking Day is November 17 and Central Pennsylvania is the perfect place to celebrate with a long, or short, walk.
Get outside and check out one of these trails to celebrate the holiday and enjoy the fall season before the weather turns cold.
Chickies Rock Overlook Trail – Lancaster County (40 minutes from Harrisburg)
This is an easy trail that is only 0.5 miles long and offers breathtaking views of the Susquehanna River at the top. There is a harder trail option for those looking for something more physically strenuous. However, for those who want a simple walk to a picturesque view, this is the perfect location. There is only one spot that is slightly more inclined than the rest.
Northwest River Trail – Lancaster County (40 minutes from Harrisburg)
This 14-mile trail weaves through Columbia, Marietta, Bainbridge and Falmouth with multiple different access points. Sites along the trail include abandoned canal locks, the iron furnaces at Chickies Rock and the Billmeyer quarry.
White Cliffs of Conoy – Lancaster County (40 minutes from Harrisburg)
The White Cliffs are a part of the Northwest River Trail but are worth noting separately for those looking for a specific, unique hike within the River Trail. These cliffs look other-worldly and are thought to have formed from a nearby limestone quarry that was near them in the 1800s. To access them, hikers should enter the Bainbridge trailhead from Koser Park.
On the cliffs, hikers will be treated to great views of the Susquehanna River. The trail is 3 miles round-trip and takes about 1-2 hours to complete.
Wildwood Way and Canal Towpath – Dauphin County (located in Harrisburg)
If you’re looking for an escape not too far from the city, Wildwood Park is a good option. There are multiple different trails ranging in difficulty, length and terrain meaning there is something for every age and level of hiker. There is wildlife to be seen, a lake to look at and a boardwalk that goes over the wetlands.
City Island Loop – Dauphin County (located in Harrisburg)
Take a stroll on this easy, 1 mile hiking trail around FNB Park. It is paved, takes under 20 minutes to complete and offers views of the city and Susquehanna River.
Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area – Dauphin County (located in Harrisburg)
There are 12 miles of trails to explore at Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area ranging from 0.9 miles to 2.8 miles with different levels of difficulty. There is a pond, creeks and of course, trees to explore on the many trails.
Gettysburg Trail – Adams County (50 minutes from Harrisburg)
Take this trail if you’re a history buff. This trail will allow you to see many of the monuments and historical sites from the Battle of Gettysburg. It is a 2.8-mile loop and takes a little under an hour to finish. It is an easy route for those who are not hard-core hikers.
Appalachian Trail – Cumberland County (32 minutes from Harrisburg)
Cumberland County is home to the halfway point of the Appalachian Trail with 46 miles of the famous trail located in the county. Part of the trail located in Cumberland County is the longest-flattest section of the whole trail. The 13-mile trek of easy hiking is perfect for beginners and kids.
Juniata Towpath Trail – Juniata County (50 minutes from Harrisburg)
This is an easy, 3-mile hike that takes about an hour to complete. There is plenty to see between the wildlife, creeks and the river.
Clarence Schock Memorial Park at Governor Dick – Lebanon County (40 minutes from Harrisburg)
The park offers 14 miles of trails with the highlight being the summit that is home to the Governor Dick Tower and which offers a 360-degree view of Lebanon County, Lancaster, Dauphin, Berks and York.
Rock Ridge County Park – York County (40 minutes from Harrisburg)
The Rock Ridge County Park has 12 trails that range from an elevation gain of 72 feet to 613 feet, offering something for everyone.
This is just a selection of the many hiking areas in the Midstate. For a complete list of the top five hiking trails from each area of Pennsylvania, visit here.