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Favorite Hikes 2nd Edition

Fog in a deciduous forest
Fog makes Musconetcong Gorge feel magical

So to write my book, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Philadelphia, I actually had to do all of the hikes. I trekked with a GPS and snapped photos along the way. And I know I shouldn’t play favorites, but there were definitely a few hikes that I absolutely loved.

Here are my Top 5 hikes in and near Philadelphia.

  1. Top Rock Trail– This trail is technically part of Nockamixon State Park, but it’s set apart from the main park. It’s gorgeous. It’s also a great work-out. There are tons and tons of boulders. You will feel like a kid again as you scramble up and up to get to the top. I love this park so much I almost don’t want to tell, because I want to keep it all to myself. But it’s too great not to share.

  2. Musconetcong Gorge Preserve– I did this hike on a rainy day and the fog and mist made it downright magical. I blew out my knee coming down one of the trails, and that didn’t even make me hate it. It’s amazing. You should go there right now. Or wait until a misty morning and experience the magic!

  3. Franklin Parker Preserve– This hike was special because everywhere you look, you will find something unique. It’s in the Pine Barrens, so it’s already a different kind of ecosystem than we are used to in Philadelphia proper. It’s got great wildflowers, funky mushrooms, and even some cranberries growing right on the trail.

  4. Hermit Lane– It’s really, really hard for me to pick my favorite hike in the Wissahickon Valley Park. I absolutely love it there and go there as much as I possibly can. But Hermit Lane is a little more off the beaten path and it’s got a cave where this dude Kelpius used to live. And you can go inside. It’s got great rolling hills and a pine grove. More about the Wissahikon in a separate blog post.

  5. John Heinz Wildlife Refuge– I have been going to the refuge for years, because I am somewhat of a bird nerd. Not a complete bird nerd, but I will admit to owning several bird identification books and binoculars. John Heinz is a hidden gem in a big city, and it is hands-down one of the best places to see birds in the Philadelphia area.


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