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Canoeing down a river in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

Paddle, Pedal and Picnic through Pennsylvania’s Natural Wonders

By: Idoia Gkikas

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  • States:
    Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s great outdoors offers a chance to unplug from the everyday routine.

From a thrilling trek on whitewater rapids to a relaxing picnic under the summer sky, these activities are perfect for side trips or as the final destination. Check out these fun activities across the state.

Whitewater Rafting in Laurel Highlands

The mountainous terrain east of Pittsburgh known as the Laurel Highlands is fantastic for skiing, hiking and biking, but its true claim to fame is the Class IV whitewater rafting on the Youghiogheny River. 

The Lower Yough, as it’s called, is a 12-kilometer journey down Class III-IV rapids and quite accessible to a variety of experience levels. The Middle Yough is a calm, 15-kilometer Class I/II ride that timid rafters and families will love. For technical experts, the Class IV/V rapids of the Upper Yough promise an awesome challenge.

Taking on the rapids on the Youghiogheny River

Taking on the rapids on the Youghiogheny River
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Mountain Biking at the Allegrippis Trail

With 24 trails surrounded by forest and anchored by the view of the tranquil Raystown Lake, the Allegrippis Trail is a mountain biker’s playground. This top-rated trail was designed by mountain bikers, for mountain bikers, and you’ll notice the difference when you ride on the well-maintained courses. 

The stacked loop system means you can make your own personalized route with any level of difficulty you choose. Trail runners and hikers are welcome, and winter weather makes for excellent snow shoeing.

Biking through the changing autumn scenery in Pennsylvania

Biking through the changing autumn scenery in Pennsylvania
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Canoeing in the Pocono Mountains

Boasting 150 lakes and hundreds of kilometers of riverways, the Pocono Mountains in eastern Pennsylvania beckon to all looking for a fun afternoon on the water. The section of the Delaware River within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is shallow and calm, buffered by undeveloped shores and a variety of wildlife – ideal for peaceful paddling and beginner canoers and kayakers. 

Book a guided trip through one of many expert outfitters and plan to stop for an afternoon picnic. There are also multi-day trip options with primitive camping for a true outdoor escape.

Paddleboarding along calm creeks in the Poconos

Paddleboarding along calm creeks in the Poconos
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Picnicking at Moraine State Park

When it comes to picnicking, Moraine State Park in the eastern part of the state has you covered. There are 705 – yes, you read that right! – picnic tables in this massive park, with grills available for a cookout with family or friends. There are a plethora of activities – hiking, biking, wildlife watching, boating, fishing, disc golf, windsurfing, equestrian trails and swimming – so you might want to reserve one of Moraine’s campsites or cabins and enjoy a few days at this must-see park.

The whole family can enjoy relaxing by the waterfront at Moraine State Park

The whole family can enjoy relaxing by the waterfront at Moraine State Park
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Getting There

Pennsylvania is centrally located between several gateways. Choose Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) or Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) to fly direct into the state. Or, fly to international airports in nearby Washington D.C. and Newark, New Jersey. Regular rail service from New York is also available. 

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Independence Hall, where both the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution were adopted

Destination

Philadelphia

The historic Gettysburg Hotel on Lincoln Square

Destination

Gettysburg