Five Tips and 100 Places to Inspire You to Get Outside

Getting outside can be good for both your physical and mental health. Spending just 20 minutes in a park — even if you don’t exercise— is enough to improve well-being according to research. Whether you want to go for an all day hike or just meet friends for a picnic in Rittenhouse Square, just being outside can have huge impacts on your well being.

June is National Great Outdoors Month and we hope you will take the opportunity to get outside. We’ve prepared a few easy tips and included 100 places to inspire you to get you started.

Five Easy Tips to Get Outside More

1. There is no wrong way to do it.

You don’t have go for a 9-mile hike or acquire fancy equipment. You don’t even have to do an activity. Just being outside can have positive impacts on your health.

2. Get outside nearby.

The easiest way to explore the outdoors more is to start where you are. Sit outside on your porch or in your yard. Head to the park for a picnic and some casual birdwatching. Find your local trail and go for a hike. Take a bike ride around your neighborhood or on a nearby trail. Here in the Philly area, there is no shortage of easy jumping off points for almost any outdoors activity.

3. Get outside further away.

Maybe you have always wanted to see the Grand Canyon. Or Yellowstone. Or an exotic beach in the Caribbean. Go do it! There are ways to experience the outdoors for everyone, whether you want to hike for miles or just relax on the beach. Travel to places you want to see, see places when you travel.

4. Get out with a friend.

Know someone that is into hiking/biking/camping/kayaking/birdwatching/etc? Ask if they want to do an outdoor activity with you. Don’t know someone that is already into an activity? Grab a friend and try it out together.

5. Try new things.

Want to try kayaking? Head to a lake that rents them for the day. When a friend invites you camping, take them up on it. You don’t have to like every outdoor activity, but you might find a new one you do like by trying something different.

100 Places to Inspire You to Get Outside

This is by no means an all-encompassing list, but these 100 locations can serve as a jumping off point to start exploring our area. The list is organized by distance from Philadelphia, starting with locations inside the city. The furthest locations listed here are about 4-5 hours from Philly and are better suited for a weekend trip. 

bridge over gravel path in woods
Forbidden Drive, Wissahickon Valley Park.

Philadelphia

  1. Wissahickon Valley Park
  2. Fairmount Park
  3. Tacony Creek Park
  4. John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge
  5. Pennypack Park
  6. FDR Park
covered  bridge along a dirt path
The Uhlerstown Covered Bridge in Delaware Canal State Park.

Philly Metro/An Hour Drive

  1. Ralph Stover State Park
  2. Ridley Creek State Park
  3. Nockamixon State Park
  4. Green Ribbon Trail
  5. Valley Forge National Historical Park
  6. Chester Valley Trail
  7. Goat Hill Overlook
  8. Delaware Canal State Park
  9. French Creek State Park
  10. Marsh Creek State Park
  11. Stroud Preserve
  12. Pinnacle/Pulpit
  13. Tyler State Park
  14. Hawk Mountain
pine trees along a pond
Pakim Pond, Brendan Byrne State Forest.

Pine Barrens/Jersey Shore

  1. Brendan Byrne State Forest
  2. Wharton State Forest
  3. Cape May Point State Park/Higbee Beach
  4. Batona Trail
  5. Island Beach State Park
  6. Double Trouble State Park
  7. Barnegat Lighthouse State Park
stream flowing through green woods
Kelly’s Run

South Central Pennsylvania

  1. Kelly’s Run
  2. Tucquans Glen
  3. Muddy Creek
  4. Conestoga Trail
  5. White Cliffs of Conoy
  6. Michaux State Forest
  7. Hawk Rock/Appalachian Trail, Duncannon
  8. Chickee’s Rock
  9. Gettysburg National Military Park
  10. Pine Grove Furnace State Park
vista looking over river with red and orange fall foliage
Tank Hollow Vista

Poconos/Lehigh Gorge

  1. Lehigh Gorge State Park
  2. Tank Hollow Vista
  3. Jim Thorpe Rail Trail
  4. Hickory Run State Park
  5. Promised Land State Park
  6. Big Pocono State Park
  7. Lake Wallenpaupack
  8. Lacawac Sanctuary
  9. Seven Tubs
  10. Bear Creek Preserve
  11. Pinchot State Forest
man looking out at mountain vista
The view from the top of Mount Minsi

Delaware Water Gap/Northwest NJ

  1. Mount Minsi
  2. Mount Tammany
  3. Dingmans Falls
  4. Cliff Trail
  5. Hornbecks Creek
  6. Sunfish Pond
  7. Raymondskill Falls
  8. Pocono Environmental Education Center/Tumbling Waters
  9. McDade Trail
  10. High Point State Park
  11. Stokes State Forest

vista overlooking green mountains
Shenandoah National Park

Delaware/Maryland/Virginia

  1. Rocks State Park
  2. Cunningham Falls State Park
  3. White Clay Creek State Park
  4. Elk Neck State Park
  5. Shenandoah National Park

Central Pennsylvania

  1. Black Moshannon State Park
  2. Trough Creek State Park
  3. Raystown Lake
  4. Thousand Steps
woman looking out over vista of green hills with river below
Canyon Vista, Worlds End State Park

Endless Mountains

  1. Ricketts Glen State Park
  2. Worlds End State Park
  3. Loyalsock State Forest
  4. State Game Land 57

Catskills/Southern New York

  1. North South Lake State Park
  2. Katterskill Falls
  3. Minnewaska State Park
  4. Harriman State Park
  5. Hudson Highlands State Park
  6. Bear Mountain State Park

vista looking out over green trees and deep river gorge
The view of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon from Barbour Rock.

Pennsylvania Grand Canyon

  1. West Rim Trail
  2. Leonard Harrison State Park
  3. Colton Point State Park
  4. Barbour Rock
  5. Black Forest Trail
  6. Golden Eagle Trail
  7. Pine Creek Gorge Rail Trail

Laurel Highlands/Southwest Pennsylvania

  1. Ohiopyle State Park
  2. Great Allegheny Passage
  3. Laurel Highlands Trail
view from vista looking at green mountains with bridge below
The vista at Hyner View State Park.

PA Wilds

  1. Cherry Springs State Park
  2. Hyner View State Park
  3. Elk State Forest
  4. Kettle Creek State Park
  5. Sproul State Forest
  6. Quehanna Wild Area
large waterfall in front of gray rocks
Taughannock Falls

Finger Lakes

  1. Taughannock Falls State Park
  2. Ithaca Falls
  3. Watkins Glen State Park
  4. Robert Treman State Park
  5. Buttermilk Falls State Park
  6. Letchworth State Park

By Mike Servedio, Web and Social Media Manager

 

4 comments

  1. Lots of great suggestions here. I been to a lot of them over the years, but I found quite a few new places to try.

  2. Lots of great suggestions here. I’ve been to a lot of them over the years, but I found quite a few new places to try.

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