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Best Hiking Trails near Harrisburg PA

Located in the east bank of the Susquehanna River, Harrisburg has much for hikers to see and do. Indeed, there are many great opportunities for outdoor recreation and hiking near Harrisburg, PA. So what are the best hiking trails near Harrisburg PA?

From Cumberland Valley and Little Buffalo State Park to Detweiler Park, Harrisburg features dozens of outdoor places to be discovered!

Let Best Hike Guide help you find the best hiking trails in and around Harrisburg!

  • 1Appalachian Trail
  • 2Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area
  • 3Cumberland Valley Overlook
  • 4Victoria Loop
  • 5Ferry Loop
  • 6Little Buffalo State Park
  • 7Ned Smith Center for Nature & Art
  • 8Detweiler Park

1Appalachian Trail

The famous Appalachian Trail passes through 14 states, including Pennsylvania. In fact, this 2,190-mile trail passes north and west of Harrisburg. So, you can trek a portion of this landmark trail featuring wonderful nature and bird watching.

2Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area

Just north of Harrisburg, Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area is a 949.49-acre Pennsylvania state park. It offers 12-mile trail system ranging from easy to difficult hiking featuring mature trees and environment education study area.

You can try the 1.2-mile Pond Loop Trail that offers a good opportunity to see some amazing amphibians in the pond. Or, the 2-mile Upper Spring Trail that gives you access to the largest trees in the preserve.

3Cumberland Valley Overlook

Located near Carlisle, this roughly out and back 6-mile trail features a beautiful view of Cumberland County. The trail is well-shaded and beautiful, besides in the summer there are lots of blackberry and raspberry bushes along the trail.

This hike is perfect for warm summer days, but it is a challenging experience as you ascend and it has lots of switchbacks. The Overlook is just before you crest the top of the mountain you will find a stone bench to sit and enjoy the scenic views.

4Victoria Loop

Located near Dauphin, Victoria Loop is an 8.0 kilometer out and back trail that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail offers a number of activity options including hiking and is best used from April until October.

5Ferry Loop

This hiking trail is 5 miles in length with an elevation gain of 900 feet.

6Little Buffalo State Park

Located northwest Harrisburg, near Newport, Little Buffalo State Park is home to Holman Lake, a popular fishing lake. Indeed, this park in Newport offers many outdoor recreations, including hiking, fishing, hunting, boating, camping, and wildlife watching.

Little Buffalo has eight miles of hiking trails including the Buffalo Ridge Trail that features hardwood forest and the Middle Ridge Trail. Also, the park encompasses the Fisherman’s Trail, a mature hemlock forest whose thick canopy provides a cool hike.

7Ned Smith Center for Nature & Art

Located North of Harrisburg near Millersburg, Ned Smith Center for Nature & Art offers an outdoor experience on more than 500 acres of rustic beauty. In fact, this center features mature hardwood forest, stream, and sprawling meadowlands. Furthermore, the Ned Smith Center includes more than twelve miles of trails with scenic views of the Susquehanna River featuring bear, deer, wild turkey, and many species of smaller animals.

8Detweiler Park

Detweiler Park is the largest of eight parks owned and managed by the Dauphin County Parks & Recreation Department. It features a variety of ecosystems including fields, meadows, evergreen plantations, and mature forests.

Detweiler Park offers more than 7 miles of trails winding through varied habitats like the 1.6-mile Meade’s Mountain Loop and the 1.6-mile David’s Field Loop is that provides a beautiful panoramic view and pine forest.

Harrisburg PA is a beautiful area to hike and discover in the northeast of United States where you will meet mature forests, steam, meadows, wildlife, and plantations.

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