Discovering the Adventure Side of Pennsylvania: Top Must Visit Outdoor Attractions
Pennsylvania has the perfect setting for outdoor adventure. It enjoys sections of the Appalachian and the Great Lakes, which offer abundant outdoor attractions.
The state boasts stunning landscapes, from the mountainous interior and expansive forests of the north to a network of lakes and rivers all over the state.
Regardless of the time of the year, you’re bound to have endless opportunities for adventure.
Here are must-visit outdoor attractions in Pennsylvania that are worth your time.
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Delaware Water Gap
Any adventure in PA isn’t complete without exploring the lush and rugged Pocono Mountains. But one of the highlights of the Poconos is the Delaware Water Gap.
The national recreation area sits at the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It features a stunning landscape with imposing mountain ridges, lush wilderness, and the Delaware River snaking along.
Expect a treasure trove of outdoor activities at the recreation area. Hiking trails will reward you with picturesque overlooks, while the serene forests provide excellent views of birds and wildlife.
With its mountainous backdrop, the river is a go-to spot for water-based activities like swimming and paddling.
If you’ve heard of the “Niagara of Pennsylvania,” that’s Bushkill Falls, a famous attraction northeast of the state and less than an hour’s drive from the Delaware Water Gap.
Scenic trails in the wooded Poconos will take you through stunning outlooks all the way to the waterfalls.
The site has eight breathtaking waterfalls you can view one after another as you make your way along winding wooden bridges. After an adventurous hike, the Instagrammable views from the bridges would be worth it.
Bendigo State Park
You may have heard that the Keystone State has 124 state parks. With such a high number, some parks will be easy to overlook. Bendigo State Park is one of them, as it isn’t usually at the top of travelers’ lists.
Still, the park, which spans 100 acres east of the Clarion River, is an adventure lover’s paradise. It offers numerous outdoor activities, from swimming and paddling to hiking and wildlife observation.
Presque Isle State Park
Pennsylvania may not have an ocean coast, but you wouldn’t think about that when you visit Presque Isle State Park. The park lies along Lake Erie, allowing you to experience one of the Great Lakes.
You won’t miss the Atlantic shores as the sandy beaches on the 3,200-acre peninsula are equally fantastic.
The park, a unique arching peninsula, receives millions of visitors every year who come to bask in the beaches of Lake Erie and go fishing and surfing.
Aside from the famous landmarks, Presque Isle Bay and Erie’s historic lighthouses, the park also offers several scenic trails perfect for outdoor adventures like hiking, birdwatching, cycling, and nature walks.
Usually referred to as the Big Lake, Lake Wallenpaupack is a massive reservoir and the second-largest water body within the state’s borders.
The shimmering blue waters make for a popular destination. If you thought a reservoir couldn’t be that fun, you would be surprised. Lake Wallenpaupack occupies over 5,000 acres with a shoreline spanning 52 miles.
Spend your day at the Palmyra Township Public Beach, where you can go swimming or paddle the lake. You can also expand your adventure by taking on the lakeshore trail that connects to various scenic trails in the area.
Valley Forge is a historic settlement that acted as a campsite for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. An estimated 12,000 American soldiers led by General Washington sought refuge at the site for six months during the winter of 1777-78.
Today, the encampment site located west of Philadelphia is a national historical park with a sprawling landscape spanning over 3000 acres.
The scenic, historic village boasts miles of hiking and biking trails that take you past Sights like the reconstructed 18th-century cabins, United States National Memorial Arch, Washington’s Headquarters, and Artillery Park.
Valley Forge is a unique and fascinating place to go sightseeing, hiking, biking, picnicking, and exploring history.
Pennsylvania is well known for its natural beauty. From state parks and state forests, to pristine lakes and mountain trails, the state offers plenty to the adventure seeker.
One thing to note as you explore PA’s great outdoors is that the Commonwealth hasn’t fully embraced cannabis, unlike many of its neighbors.