Top 10 Trails in Pennsylvania

Posted 09/30/14 by Katie Harris in America's Trails

Graphic © Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
We asked the residents and visitors of Pennsylvania to tell us which trails deserve a Top 10 accolade. We were flooded with responses. Thank you! This speaks volumes to the enthusiasm and passion that Pennsylvanians have for their trails. 

1 Great Allegheny Passage (gaptrail.org)

Allegany (Md.), Allegheny, Fayette, Somerset, Westmoreland counties

Photo of cyclists on the GAP © Katie Harris

We heard you loud and clear. The Great Allegheny Passage is Pennsylvania's crown jewel of trails! The 150-mile trail—which spans two states along great rivers and across mountain passes—is a favorite of locals and visitors alike.  

2 Allegheny River Trail

Clarion and Venango counties

Allegheny River Trail | Photo credit Tom Bilcze
Allegheny River Trail | Photo credit Tom Bilcze

If any trail in Pennsylvania gives the GAP a run for its money, it’s the 32-mile Allegheny River Trail, which is also RTC's September 2014 Trail of the Month! Scenery and wildlife are just two reasons why this one tops the list. 

3 Pine Creek Rail Trail

Lycoming and Tioga counties

Pine Creek Rail Trail | Photo by Linda Stager
Pine Creek Rail Trail | Photo by Linda Stager

If you want to visit the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, let the Pine Creek Rail Trail be your guide. For 55 of its 62 miles, the trail hugs Pine Creek, offering great views of dramatic rock outcrops and waterfalls. 

4 Ghost Town Trail

Cambria and Indiana counties

Ghost Town Trail | Photo by TrailLink user rnmucc
Ghost Town Trail | Photo by TrailLink user rnmucc

The Ghost Town Trail has a spooky name, but the trail is anything but scary. You can pair your walking or biking adventure with an on-trail history lesson, thanks to interpretive signs about the old railroad towns, preserved blast furnaces and other historic markers.  

5 Heritage Rail Trail

York County

Heritage Rail-Trail | Photo courtesy Traillink.com

History seeps from the 22-mile Heritage Rail Trail, winner of DCNR's Pennsylvania Trail of the Year award for 2015The trail occupies one of the oldest rail corridors in the nation and passes through quaint turn-of-the-century villages like New Freedom, Pa. A lunch stop at the restored depot will fuel you for the remainder of your ride! 

6 D & L - Lehigh Gorge Trail

Carbon and Luzerne counties

D&L Trail | Photo by TrailLink user vicki1960
D&L Trail | Photo by TrailLink user vicki1960

A critical connection in Jim Thorpe will make this amazing trail even better. The pedestrian bridge over the Lehigh River will create 130 miles of continuous trail!

7 Sandy Creek Trail

Venango County

Sandy Creek Trail | Photo by TrailLink user vicki1960
Sandy Creek Trail | Photo by TrailLink user vicki1960

The Sandy Creek Trail traverses some of the most remote and spectacular countryside in northwestern Pennsylvania. Impressive features of this 12-mile paved trail include tunnels and massive trestles like the Belmar Bridge, which crosses the Allegheny River.  

8 Butler-Freeport Community Trail

Armstrong and Butler counties 

Butler-Freeport Community Trail | Photo by TrailLink user vicki1960
Butler-Freeport Community Trail | Photo by TrailLink user vicki1960

Over the trail’s 20 miles, you will pass over burbling streams and cruise through shady forests and farmland. The scenery varies, but one thing stays the same: The folks on the trail are friendly and out to have a memorable day on the trail, just like you.   

9 Oil Creek State Park Trail

Crawford and Venango counties 

Oil Creek State Park Trail | Photo courtesy Traillink.com

This trail has something to satisfy everyone. From fly fishermen to cyclists to cross-country skiiers, the Oil Creek State Park Trail pleases them all! The trail connects to Titusville via the Queen City Trail, further broadening the options for trail enthusiasts. 

10 Redbank Valley Rail Trail

Armstrong, Clarion and Jefferson counties

Redbank Valley Rail Trail | Photo by TrailLink user jdubohio
Redbank Valley Rail Trail | Photo by TrailLink user jdubohio

The 51-mile Redbank Valley Rail Trail was the deserving winner of DCNR's Pennsylvania Trail of the Year award for 2014. Between the trail’s natural beauty and their incredible volunteer power, this trail was a natural fit to round out the Top 10. 

Buy a Pennsylvania License Plate that supports RTC!

Sample Pennsylvania Rails-to-Trails Conservancy license plate

Pennsylvania Specialty Registration Plate for members of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a great way to show off your love of trails while supporting RTC's programs.

The cost of the new plate is $86.00. $26 will go to the state for processing and manufacturing of the plate and $60.00 is a tax deductible contribution to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. If you would like to personalize your Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Registration Plate the additional fee is $104. See Registration Plate Instructions.

Please return the application with your check to:

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
230 S. Broad Street, 17th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Plates take at least six to eight weeks to process and will arrive with the appropriate registration information for your vehicle.

Download Application
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