60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Philadelphia: Including Surrounding Counties and Nearby Areas of New Jersey and Delaware

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Philadelphia: Including Surrounding Counties and Nearby Areas of New Jersey and Delaware

by Lori Litchman
60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Philadelphia: Including Surrounding Counties and Nearby Areas of New Jersey and Delaware

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Philadelphia: Including Surrounding Counties and Nearby Areas of New Jersey and Delaware

by Lori Litchman

Paperback(Revised ed.)

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Get outdoors with this guide to 60 of the best hiking trails within an hour or so from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, leading you to scenic beauty.

The best way to experience Philadelphia is by hiking it! Get outdoors with local author and hiking expert Lori Litchman. This full-color guide helps you locate and access the top hikes within 60 miles of Philly. The selected trails transport you to scenic overlooks, wildlife hot spots, and historical settings that renew your spirit and recharge your body.

See the unique ecosystem at the New Jersey Pine Barrens, with its diverse plant and animal life. Enjoy nature in Wissahickon Valley Park, which is only minutes from the city center and has over 50 miles of trails. Go bird-watching at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Immerse yourself in history at Valley Forge National Historical Park. With Lori as your guide, you’ll learn about the area and experience nature through 60 of Philly’s best hikes!

Inside you’ll find:

  • A perfect blend of popular routes and hidden gems—all near home
  • Expert tips about where to hike and what to expect when you get there
  • Key at-a-glance information on distance, difficulty, scenery, traffic, hiking time, and more, so you can quickly and easily learn about each trail
  • Detailed directions, GPS-based trail maps, and elevation profiles
  • The author’s recommended hikes by category

So whether you’re a local looking for new places to explore or a visitor to the area, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Philadelphia provides plenty of options for a couple hours or a full day of adventure, all within an hour or so from the city.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781634043526
Publisher: Menasha Ridge Press
Publication date: 05/09/2023
Series: 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles
Edition description: Revised ed.
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 1,077,809
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Lori Litchman is a lifelong Pennsylvanian, calling Philadelphia her home for nearly 30 years. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College. Lori tries to spend as much time as she can in nature. When she’s not writing or hiking, she’s usually in her garden trying to find space for more plants.

Read an Excerpt

Schuylkill River Trail: Schuylkill Banks, Center City

  • Distance & Configuration: 4-mile out-and-back
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Scenery: Urban hike, historic Fairmount Water Works, skyline views, Schuylkill River
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Traffic: Heavy
  • Trail Surface: Paved
  • Hiking Time: 1.5 hours
  • Driving Distance from Center City: 3.3 miles
  • Elevation Change: Trailhead: 22' / Lowest: 2' / Highest: 43'
  • Access: Daily, sunrise–sunset
  • Maps: USGS Philadelphia
  • Wheelchair Access: Yes
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Facilities: Restrooms at Lloyd Hall and Walnut Lane
  • Contact: Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area: 484-945-0200, schuylkillriver.org; Schuylkill River Development Corporation: 215-309-5523, schuylkillbanks.org
  • Location: Kelly Dr. and Waterworks Dr., Philadelphia, PA


Schuylkill Banks is an amazing newer addition to Philadelphia’s open space. This trail is part of the Schuylkill River Trail (SRT), a proposed 120-mile trail along the Schuylkill River that will eventually connect a series of trails, starting in Frackville in Schuylkill County and traversing Berks, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties. Early settlers thought the confluence of the Schuylkill River with the Delaware River was hidden, hence the name Schuylkill, which is Dutch for “hidden river.”

The Schuylkill River Trail originally stopped short in Center City because the area between the railroad tracks and the river was too narrow for a trail. So the City of Philadelphia and the Schuylkill River Development Corporation partnered to build a 2,000-foot-long boardwalk that takes you out over the river. The views are amazing, and you actually feel like you are on top of the river.

Parking is at Lloyd Hall, at the beginning of Boathouse Row, and the trail goes right along the parking area toward the river. Next to the parking area is the newish Fairmount Water Works Trail and Boardwalk. You can get a bird’s-eye view of the Fairmount Dam and maybe even spot the resident beaver.

As the trail weaves its way toward the river, you’ll pass behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art and in front of the Fairmount Water Works, a stunning relic from the 1800s, when it was the only pumping station for the entire city. Now it’s an environmental education center that offers regular programming and educational opportunities. When you see Fairmount Water Works, you’ll cross the road and pick up the trail on your left.

This is a heavily used trail, so it’s best to stay to the right at all times and keep dogs on a short leash.

Continue following the path as it winds its way along the river. You’ll eventually cross under Spring Garden Street and West River Drive/Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The rest of the trail runs beside the scenic Schuylkill River.

Benches offer places to stop and relax if you would like to do so. The trail also follows active train tracks, so you might see a train during your hike. Just after you go under the Market Street Bridge, you’ll come to a fork in the path; take the right-hand path. Both paths end up in the same place, but the one to the right seems to have fewer bikes on it and is closer to the river.

Booths provide information along the way, and you can even find out how to kayak the Schuylkill River. There is a bathroom stop at Walnut Street, and there’s also a water fountain if you need a drink.

When you see South Street Bridge ahead, stay straight (south) on the path. Before you get to the bridge, you’ll see a ramp off to the left at Locust Street that leads to the Schuylkill River Park and the Schuylkill River Park Dog Run, if you are interested in checking those out. For this hike, continue on the boardwalk.

The South Street Bridge is the hike’s turnaround point, so snap some photos and then head back the way you came. You’ll follow the same path you took to get back to the parking area at Lloyd Hall, enjoying the sights along the way. Just before you get to the Fairmount Water Works, there’s a water fountain for humans, with a low fountain for dogs.

This hike is absolutely gorgeous at sunset, when the skies boast pink cotton candy clouds and the skyline glimmers with the sun’s reflections.

Nearby Activities

The world-renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art is right next to the trail. Hours and admission vary. Visit philamuseum.org for details.

Two of Philadelphia’s science museums are also nearby: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University(ansp.org) and The Franklin Institute (fi.edu).

Trailhead GPS Coordinates

N39°58.127' W75°11.077'


From Center City, take I-76 West 1 mile to Exit 342 (Girard Avenue/Philadelphia Zoo). Turn right onto West Girard Avenue, and after 0.2 mile, turn right onto Sedgley Drive. After 0.6 mile, Sedgley Drive crosses Kelly Drive and becomes Waterworks Drive; directly to your right is Lloyd Hall.

Table of Contents

Philadelphia Overview Map




60 Hikes by Category


Map Legend

Philadelphia County

  • Awbury Arboretum
  • Carpenter’s Woods
  • John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge
  • Manayunk Bridge Trail
  • Pennypack Park
  • The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
  • Schuylkill River Trail: Schuylkill Banks, Center City
  • Wissahickon Valley Park: Andorra Natural Area
  • Wissahickon Valley Park: Hermit Lane Trail
  • Wissahickon Valley Park: Lavender and Orange Trails
  • Wissahickon Valley Park: Lower Trails
  • Wissahickon Valley Park: Upper Trails

Northern Suburbs (Bucks, Montgomery, and Lehigh Counties)

  • Churchville Nature Center
  • Delaware Canal State Park: Delaware Canal Towpath
  • Evansburg State Park: Skippack Loop Trail
  • Five Mile Woods Nature Preserve
  • Fort Washington State Park: Green Ribbon Trail
  • Green Lane Park
  • Green Ribbon Trail: Wissahickon Valley Watershed
  • John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove
  • Laurel Hill West Cemetery
  • Lehigh Parkway Trail
  • Lorimer Park
  • Manderfield Preserve
  • Neshaminy State Park: River Walk Trail
  • Nockamixon State Park: Quarry Trail
  • Norristown Farm Park
  • Peace Valley Nature Center
  • Ralph Stover State Park: High Rocks
  • Ringing Rocks County Park
  • Saunders Woods Preserve
  • Silver Lake Nature Center
  • Top Rock Trail at Haycock Mountain
  • Tyler State Park: Covered Bridge
  • Valley Forge National Historical Park: Chapel Trail
  • Valley Forge National Historical Park: Horse-Shoe Trail/Mount Misery

New Jersey

  • Baldpate Mountain: Ted Stiles Preserve
  • Black Run Preserve
  • Brendan T. Byrne State Forest
  • Crystal Lake Park
  • Cushetunk Mountain Preserve
  • Franklin Parker Preserve
  • Hunterdon County Arboretum
  • Musconetcong Gorge Preserve
  • Rancocas State Park
  • Sourland Mountain Preserve
  • Washington Crossing State Park
  • The Watershed Reserve
  • Wharton State Forest: Batsto Lake Trail

Western Suburbs (Berks, Chester, and Delaware Counties)

  • Binky Lee Preserve
  • Crum Woods
  • French Creek State Park
  • Marsh Creek State Park
  • Neversink Mountain
  • Ridley Creek State Park
  • Sadsbury Woods Preserve
  • Stroud Preserve
  • Wawa Preserve: Rocky Run Trail


  • Brandywine Creek State Park
  • White Clay Creek State Park: Twin Valley Trail

Appendix A: Outdoor Retailers

Appendix B: Hiking Clubs


About the Author

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