Five Hikes to Take This Summer

By Lauren Trumbull

Features and News Editor

It’s time to take a break from a busy life filled with internships, summer jobs and family obligations and appreciate the hidden beauties lying in Pennsylvania. Home to numerous hiking locations and must-see views, Pennsylvania has five places to hike this summer.

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

Get a birds-eye view of the Lehigh Valley at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, located in Kempton, PA. Founded in 1934, this is the world’s first refuge for birds of prey. This popular site offers five different trails, each varying in length and difficulty.

The Lookout Trail offers an easy, moderate and difficult option. The easy option takes visitors 200-yards to the South Lookout, which is free for the general public. The moderate path is a one-mile trek to the main attraction, the North Lookout, and the difficult option features 0.4 miles of scaling boulders to the North Lookout.

The Golden Eagle Trail is moderate in difficulty and takes about three to four hours of hiking before making it to the North Lookout. River of Rocks is also a moderate option, with hikers going four miles over the course of the entire loop, also taking about three to four hours.

Finally, Skyline Trail and Appalachian Trail offer the highest level of difficulty for hikers. Skyline requires climbing up and down rocks. After reaching the North Lookout, hikers have a 1.2-mile hike to the East Rocks for a different view off the mountain. Appalachian Trail is 2.5 miles away from the North Lookout and features a series of climbing up and down rocks.

No matter the path, hikers will be blown away by the breathtaking views. But don’t forget binoculars to spot a hawk hovering above. The Sanctuary is open all summer, Sunday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets are $9 and are purchased in the main office upon arrival.

Glen Onoko

Known for its waterfalls and hidden in the depths of Jim Thorpe is Glen Onoko. This is a little over two-mile hike and offers an incredibly beautiful view. After arriving, walk down to the river and make a right at the warning sign. Head under the bridge and then begin to follow the pathway up to the falls trail, which are marked to help guide the way.

Hikers can visit multiple falls. The biggest being Onoko Falls, coming in at over 60-feet tall. It’s important to note that due to the water, the rocks at Glen Onoko are dangerous and slippery. Visitors should wear proper footwear and take this hike at a slower and steady pace. Admission to Glen Onoko is free for the general public.

Bake Oven Knob
Located in Germansville, PA, Bake Oven Knob is on the Blue Mountain and sits adjacent to the Appalachian Trail. This location gives hikers one of the best views of the Lehigh Valley.

Bake Oven Knob is also known for its graffiti. Rocks sitting on top of the mountain are littered with spray paint of marriage proposals, dates and initials wrapped in hearts.

This hike is considered more of a moderate trek, but getting to the top is worth the sweat. Admission is free for the general public.

Delaware Water Gap

Although it’s physical address is for Bushkill, PA, this national recreation area spans over 70,000-acres, and refers to the point at which the Delaware River meets the Kittatinny Mountain.

Depending on a hiker’s starting location, there are numerous options and pathways to take. The trails on the northern part of the park range from 0.3 miles to 31.0 miles, each with varying difficulty level. The middle of the park has hiking options ranging from a 0.4-mile trek to a 31.0-mile trek, each also varying in difficulty. Finally, the southern part of the park offers a short 0.4-mile hike or a 31.0-mile hike, with changing difficulty for each path.

Bushkill Falls
Known as the “Niagra of Pennsylvania,” this gem is hidden in Bushkill, PA and offers a way to experience the Pocono Mountains. There are four trail options within Bushkill Falls, each varying in length and difficulty.

The simplest is the Green Trail, which allows hikers to view the Main Falls in just a short 15-minute walk with no climbing. Stairs are provided for guests to make the trip as painless as possible.

The Yellow Trail brings guests to the Main Falls, Lower Gorge Falls, Upper Canyon and Laurel Glen. A step up from the Green Trail, this walk takes about 45 minutes. Next is the Blue Trail, which takes about an hour and 15 minutes, and gives hikers a view of the Pennell Falls.

Finally, the Red Trail allows hikers to see the Bridal Veil Falls. This path is recommended for avid hikers and spans about two miles long, taking a little over two hours to hike. In the end, hikers leave the Red Trail viewing eight different waterfalls.

Bushkill Falls is open March through November, seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., at the latest. Hours depend on the day of the week, season and weather. Admission is $14.50, and tickets are valid for one year after the purchase date.

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