Question, Happy Travelers: If you aren’t doing it for the ‘gram, are you even doing it at all? We know your hike through Pennsylvania’s great outdoors isn’t complete unless you share it on Instagram, so we’ve put together these 13 trails to rack up mountains of likes and comments!
1. Quehanna Trail
Located in the PA Wilds, the 75-mile Quehanna Trail careens through Moshannon and Elk State Forests and is sure to provide endless photo opportunities with its waterfalls and winding pathways. If you’re lucky, you might even capture some of the roaming wildlife like elk, birds, and turkeys.
Where to Get Your Shot: Wildcat Rocks, Table Falls on Paige Run, and the Marion Brooks Natural Area
2. Schuylkill River Trail
If you’re searching for a great trail with stunning views of the Philly skyline, then look no further. Once complete, the Schuylkill River Trail will be 130 miles long; currently, so far 60 miles are open — including one of the most popular stretches, the Philadelphia section. Roam the boardwalk bridge that runs along the Schuylkill River and the trail that traverses through Bartram’s Garden — the oldest living botanical garden in America — for some great ‘gram-worthy spots!
Where to Get Your Shot: Bartram’s Garden, Grays Ferry Crescent, Schuylkill River Banks Boardwalk, and Valley Forge National Historic Park
3. Pine Grove Furnace State Park’s Pole Steeple Trail
Take the 0.75-mile Pole Steeple Trail to the beautiful white and maroon quartzite rock outcropping to gaze over Pine Grove State Park. Looking southwest, you’ll see Sunset Rocks on Little Rocky Ridge, while five hundred feet below lies Laurel Lake with its sandy beaches, and a look to the west you’ll see the central ridge of South Mountain. An offshoot trail connects with the Appalachian Trail.
Where to Get Your Shot: Pine Grove Iron Furnace, the Ironmaster’s Mansion, Pole Steeple Overlook
4. Bushkill Falls’ Red Trail
Waterfalls and Instagram are the perfect combination. Open since 1904, Bushkill Falls encompasses about 300 acres and features eight waterfalls as well as more than two miles of trails, bridges, and walkways. The best views are on the Red Trail as you descend into the canyon, with the full hike taking just more than two hours. If you’re looking for that fairytale photo, Bushkill Falls’ wooden walkways and stairs throughout the forest will provide the perfect backdrop.
Where to Get Your Shot: Main Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Lower Bridesmaid’s Falls, and Upper Bridesmaid’s Falls.
5. Appalachian Trail
While the Appalachian Trail is one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world, one of the most-visited spots on the trail is Pulpit Rock and the Pinnacle due to their amazing views of the valley below. By the time you reach “the Pinnacle” you will be at an elevation of 1,600 feet. The trail offers stunning views, different types of terrain, and you might even catch a glimpse of a hawk on this major migration route.
Where to Get Your Shot: Pinnacle & Pulpit Rock
6. Great Allegheny Passage
For those sightseeing in the scenic Laurel Highlands region, there’s perhaps nowhere better to do so than on a hiking excursion along the Great Allegheny Passage. Known as the longest rail-trail in the Eastern U.S., the Passage is filled with scenic overlooks, viaducts, history, and plenty of spectacular foliage.
Where to Get Your Shot: Ohiopyle State Park, Eastern Continental Divide, Mason Dixon Line Marker, and the Big Savage Tunnel
7. Standing Stone Trail
The Standing Stone Trail — the 2016 PA Trail of the Year — is an 84-mile-long footpath that follows the scenic ridgelines in the south-central region of Pennsylvania's Tiltrock Country. Originally built as a connector for the Mid State Trail and Tuscarora Trail, the Standing Stone Trail is now a destination in its own right, offering hikers and backpackers a link to dramatic scenery, wild plant and animal life, and compelling history.
Where to Get Your Shot: Monument Rock, Thousand Steps, Rocky Ridge Natural Area, and Stone Mountain Hawk Watch
8. Mt. Davis High Point Trail
Located in the 5,685-acre Forbes State Forest, Mount Davis is the highest point in Pennsylvania, with an elevation of 3,213 feet! Strap on your camera and climb to the summit on the High Point Trail, then trek a bit farther to the observation tower to get a panoramic view your followers will want to see!
Where to Get Your Shot: Observation tower on High Point Trail
9. Pinchot Trail
Named after first Chief of U.S. Forest Service and former Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot, the Pinchot Trail covers 26 miles within the Pinchot State Forest. The loop trail crosses through a variety of forest types and several bogs where spruce, fir, and tamarack dominate the landscape.
Where to Get Your Shot: Choke Creek Falls, Pocono Plateau Scenic Overlook
10. Golden Eagle Trail
The Golden Eagle Trail in Tiadaghton State Forest offers gorgeous scenery and challenging terrain. Pretty waterfalls, massive pines, relics of old logging camps, splash dams, and quarries are just some sights along the way. At Raven’s Horn, one of the high points of the 8.9-mile trail, hikers will want to collect a few shots of the stunning view down Pine Creek Valley.
Where to Get Your Shot: Raven’s Horn, Pine Creek, the Black Forest Trail Bridge
11. Ricketts Glen State Park’s Falls Trail
How about another wonderful waterfall photo location? Ricketts Glen State Park is home to more than 22 named waterfalls sprinkled around the park’s Falls Trail. Show off the beauty of Ricketts Glen to your followers at the 94-foot high Ganoga Falls, the highest waterfall at the park.
Where to Get Your Shot: Ganoga Falls, Lake Jean, Adams Falls, and Falls Trail
12. Ohiopyle State Park’s Meadow Run Trail
You’ll fall in love with the natural features at the 2.9-mile Meadow Run Trail in Ohiopyle State Park. Featuring two waterfalls on the Youghiogheny River, two natural waterslides, and the iconic Cucumber Falls, the Meadow Trail has all the sights and sounds for the ideal Instagram story.
Where to Get Your Shot: Flat Rock, Cucumber Falls, and the Cascades
13. Allegheny National Forest
Established in 1924, the 517,00-acre Allegheny National Forest is packs a picturesque punch. There are more than 600 miles of multiuse trials, but the spot sure to inspire your followers is the Kinuza Sky Walk. At 2,054 feet long and 301 feet high, the Kinzua Viaduct was once known as the longest and tallest railroad structures in the world. A tornado knocked down much of the bridge in 2003. Today, you can walk onto the tracks and snap a quick pic of your feet over the glass platform at the end! But, don’t omit the General Kane Trail, a 1-mile loop hiking trail that leads you through forested areas that were ravished by the tornado, as well as those that remained unharmed.
Where to Get Your Shot: Kinzua Sky Walk, Bent Run Waterfalls, Hector Run Falls, and Rimrock Overlook