Explore the outdoors on Pa’s thousands of miles in bike routes

Outdoors
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — As the Midstate begins to reach near summer-like temperatures, you may be tempted to get outdoors and stretch your legs following a year of social distancing.

If you’re concerned with large crowds or you just enjoy the great outdoors, you may be relieved to hear of Pennsylvania’s nearly 2,500 miles in bicycle routes.

The trails crisscross more than a dozen counties including Dauphin, Cumberland, Adams, York, Lancaster and Perry.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation offers an interactive map highlighting the Capital Area Greenbelt trail in Harrisburg.

But it’s more than just a hobby or a weekend activity. Health experts agree that exercise and time outdoors is a great way to decrease stress and cope with anxiety.

“We know that time outdoors in nature as well as exercise are just fundamental to human health,” said Matthew Silvis, MD, Vice Chair of Clinical Operations for the Department of Family and Community Medicine and Director of Adult Ambulatory Care for Penn State Health.

He says time outdoors can even have improvements to your mental health.

“The challenges of the pandemic this past year has certainly increased stress, depression and anxiety and exercise has been shown to be a really powerful tool,” Silvis adds.

You can explore the various bike routes on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportations website by clicking here.

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