April 29, 2021 12 min read 2 Comments

Pennsylvania is a state known for its many natural resources. The state is blessed with a number of lakes, rivers and valleys that make for some especially scenic bike rides. With over 4,000 miles of trails and 460 miles of paved bike paths, Pennsylvania is a cyclist’s heaven! Visitors and locals rave about the rolling hills in state parks, easy-to-navigate market towns, and quaint, friendly neighborhoods. Those who enjoy biking can cover the whole state on two wheels. Here are some bike trails in the state to get you moving.

34 Best Bike Trails in Pennsylvania

1. Allegheny National Forest

Hundreds of miles of graveled road in the Allegheny National Forest are available to cyclists. Multi-use trails with stunning views, tall trees and a wealth of wildlife are popular with riders of all skill levels. The 3.8-mile Blaisdell-Emery Trail, constructed on an abandoned railroad grade that goes through the main branch of Tunungwant Creek, is a surprisingly easy trip with an improved stone surface. The trail includes a road that leads to the historic Penn-Brad Oil Museum and passes by a derrick of a wooden oil drilling rig.

2. McClintock Trail

Waitz Road in Venango County is home to the 1.8-mile graveled share-the-road McClintock Trail. The McClintock Trailhead is located at McClintock Well #1, the world's oldest producing oil well. You could see some slow-moving rail traffic of the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad, a still operating Class Three railroad, at the trail's southern end.

3. Union Canal Trail

The 6.5-mile Union Canal Trail, which runs alongside Tulpehocken Creek and passes by remnants of Pennsylvania's storied Union Canal, is a wonderful riding experience. This 82-mile engineering feat, with its 93 locks, linked Reading's Schuylkill River to Middletown's Susquehanna River, allowing coal and lumber to be shipped from inland Pennsylvania to Philadelphia. The crushed gravel trail is a short distance from the Berks County Heritage Center, where you can see the Gruber Wagon Works, a National Historic Landmark, and the Red Bridge, Pennsylvania's longest single-span covered bridge.

4. David S. Ammerman Trail

The 10.5-mile David S. Ammerman Trail provides many opportunities to stop and admire the natural scenery of the area, with breathtaking views of woodland, fields, and waterways. The crushed stone trail, built on a former rail corridor and part of the Great Shamokin Path used by the Lenape and Mohican tribes, offers a straight and fast trip with picnic tables at 2.5, 4 and 6.7 miles outside of Grampian.

5. Houtzdale Line Trail

The 10.5-mile Houtzdale Line Trail is filled with reminders of the area's rich coal mining past. After you get through Ramey and Houtzdale, the trail passes through wetlands, upland woodland, and a stream corridor packed with wildlife and native plants. The trail has nearly eight miles of improved pavement, with the best access point at the trail center in Houtzdale. However, the trail's extreme east and west ends are in rough condition, and might not be suitable for all cyclists.

6. Lebanon Valley Rail Trail

The 18-mile Lebanon Valley Rail Trail passes much of the heritage of millionaire industrialist Robert Coleman, who founded the Cornwall & Lebanon Railroad and the Chautauqua-style arts and education retreat Mount Gretna in the late 1800s. The crushed-stone path traces the course of Coleman's railroad, with an optional side trail to Mount Gretna.

7. Pine Creek Rail Trail

The Pine Creek Rail Trail is one of the northeast's premier rail-trails, having been named one of USA Today's "10 Best Places to Take a Bike Tour." The 62-mile trail, which runs through the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania,” a federally designated National Natural Landmark, takes you on a trip through land that was once used to carry freight by train from Wellsboro to Williamsport. The path has a slight incline of around 2% and is mainly uphill. Equestrians will share in the fun as well, with a portion of the trail dedicated to horses.

8. Lehigh and New England Rail Trail

The crushed-stone Lehigh and New England Rail Trail, which runs just south of Tamaqua in eastern Pennsylvania, follows a portion of the old Lehigh and New England Railroad line. About halfway down this peaceful trail, you'll come across the shell of the Shellhamer Ice Dam, a former amusement and entertainment center.

9. Schuylkill Valley Heritage Trail

The Schuylkill Valley Heritage Trail passes from just outside Tamaqua to Middleport, covering more than seven miles of rolling green hills in the Schuylkill River Valley. Begin your ride in historic Tamaqua, a former mining town, and finish in Middleport, where the route is a little more difficult, with hills and tricky trails due to dirt and a sand foundation, entailing a little caution as you ride along.

10. D&H Rail Trail

The Lackawant to River and a number of small lakes can be seen from the 38-mile D&H Rail Trail. The trail has a few difficult stretches with steep inclines, including a few where you may have to walk your ebike. This intermittently rocky trail, where timber and anthracite coal were once shipped to the coast and to Canada, is best ridden on a hybrid or mountain bike, with a trail bed made up of cinder, initial ballast, and hard-packed gravel.

11. Redbank Valley Rail Trail

It's easy to see why the 51-mile Redbank Valley Trail was dubbed Pennsylvania's first ever Trail of the Year in 2014. The trail offers a comfortable trip with breathtaking scenery thanks to its packed crushed limestone surface and 1% gradient in most parts. With 21 miles of trail flowing through Redbank Creek, the trail boasts 27 bridges, several stone arches, and three former train tunnels (check for any tunnel closures). Since the historic arch bridge over Long Run at mile 19 was demolished by a flash flood in July 2019, please exercise caution in this area and consider making a donation to help the organization that maintains this beautiful trail repair the big gap in this section of trail.

12. Butler-Freeport Community Rail Trail

The 42-mile Butler-Freeport Community Trail passes through magnificent forestland, by bucolic farms, and along the scenic Buffalo and Little Buffalo Creeks, and is used by people of all ages for hiking, jogging, camping, bicycling, birdwatching, and even cross-country skiing when the weather permits. The trail is 15 miles of level, crushed limestone that offers a comfortable climb, with an additional five miles of unfinished trail that is ideal for mountain biking.

13. Ghost Town Trail

The 46-mile Ghost Town Trail is Pennsylvania's 2020 Trail of the Year and a federally designated National Recreation Trail. The trail features mountain streams, rhododendron groves, scores of wildflower plants, and riparian woodlands, as well as remains of coal mines and now-abandoned coal-mining towns, all of which testify to the area's rich industrial past. The trail is made up of hard-packed limestone and has a gentle incline, making for a pleasant climb.

14. Hoodlebug Trail

Hoodlebug Trail pays homage to the self-propelled passenger coach that operated in this area until 1940. The 11.3-mile Hoodlebug Trail, a nationally designated Natural Recreation Trail, stretches from Blacklick to the county seat of Indiana, with plenty of breathtaking scenery along the way. The trail essentially consists of a tar and chip surface constructed from recycled asphalt millings with only a small gradient, allowing it a simple, pleasurable climb. It follows or passes over Stony Run, Two Lick Creek, Yellow Creek, and Black Lick Creek.

15. Great Allegheny Passage

The 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage, which runs between Cumberland, Maryland, and Pittsburgh's Point State Park, soars over hills, snakes through mountains, and skirts three rivers. You'll pass by a number of historic sites, monumental bridges, and breathtaking scenery along the way. The trail is virtually straight, with an average gradient of less than 1%, and is built on the remnants of abandoned rail lines. Its crushed limestone surface ensures a smooth and comfortable journey.

16. Path of the Flood Trail

The Path of the Flood Trail's 13.86-mile Course follows the path of the disastrous Great Johnstown Flood of 1889. The trail runs from just below the South Fork Dam break to the Johnstown Flood Museum. Along the trail, historical interpretive signs tell the story of the raging waters and the devastating aftermath that claimed the lives of 2,200 people. Beautiful scenery, steep inclines, a multitude of textures, including crushed stone and gravel, and an enjoyable trip through the Staple Bend Tunnel, which once brought barge traffic over the mountains by rail, are all highlights of the trail.

17. Jim Mayer Riverswalk Trail

The Jim Mayer Riverswalk Trail, which is three miles long, is a hidden treasure. The trail, which runs between Johnstown's Riverside and Hornerstown communities, provides breathtaking views of the Stonycreek River, abundant birdlife and wildflowers, historic turn-of-the-century houses, and, best of all, views of the 50-foot Buttermilk Falls, which is located about halfway down the trail. The trail, which is a nationally designated National Recreation Trail, is practically flat and has been groomed for an easy bike ride.

18. Bloomsburg Rail Trail

You possibly won't want to make a special trip to this 1.5-mile rail trail because of its short length. However, if you're in the area and want a scenic, short-distance bike ride, the Bloomsburg Rail-Trail is a good option. The trail parallels the east bank of Fishing Creek and is used by walkers and bikers alike. It runs along an old rail line on the northwest side of town. Asphalt is used in some areas, while gravel is used in others.

19. Lower Trail

With its largely crushed-stone surface, the 17-mile Lower Trail provides a quiet, reasonably remote ride with wildlife, scenic rivers, and mountains. There's also an 11-mile stretch where there aren't even any road crossings! The path goes through a section of the park where you can still see canal locks and channels from the 1800s, as well as the remains of the lock tenders' homes. For a taste of the area's industrial heritage, the trail also passes through the ruins of Carlim, an old limestone mining site.

20. Susquehanna Warrior Trail

The 12.3-mile Susquehanna Warrior Trail is nestled in the scenic Susquehanna River Valley and is abundant with green meadows, surrounding mountain tops, and wildlife. When biking, you have a good chance of seeing bald eagles, otters, herons, and a variety of other species. The trail is being constructed along the corridor of the former Delaware, Lehigh, and Western railroad beds and is still in the works, with some portions running directly across US Route 11.

21. Buffalo Valley Rail Trail

The 9.5-mile Buffalo Valley Rail Trail is constructed on rail tracks that were an important part of the valley's transit network for more than 125 years, before the last train rumbled through in 1982. The scenic path, which is mostly asphalt at both ends and dirt in the middle, is now a central part of the area's outdoor recreation infrastructure, with thousands of visitors walking, riding, and biking along it.

22. J. Manley Robbins Trail (Old Reading Line Trail)

The 2.6-mile J. Manley Robbins Trail, also known as the Danville Bicycle Path and the Old Reading Line Trail, was constructed along a former narrow-gauge railroad that once transported iron ore to furnaces for smelting. The hard-packed gravel loop trail is hidden among the woods north of downtown Danville and is commonly recommended for mountain bikers. Riders will go into the woods to find a charming covered wooden bridge over Mahoning Creek, a crossing once used by the Reading Railroad.

23. Bald Eagle State Forest

The ridges and valleys of Bald Eagle State Forest are a mountain biker's paradise and have hosted a number of exciting races in recent years. With nearly 200,000 acres, the forest's various trails provide obstacles for bikers at all ability levels, as well as breathtaking scenery, spectacular old-growth trees, and miles of virgin mountain streams. With the exception of protected nature areas and the Mid State Trail, the majority of trails are dedicated to mountain bikers. The Bald Eagle Mountain Bike Association has updates on trail conditions, trip recommendations, maps, and upcoming activities.

24. Spillway Trail

The 2.5-mile Spillway Trail in Pymatuning State Park's northeastern portion is a popular hiking and biking route. The sunsets on this route are breathtaking for photographers, and bird watchers will spot a variety of duck species, swans, grebes, and even the occasional eagle. Bikers can also admire a 4.7-mile loop track at the lake's southern end near the Ackerman Picnic Pavilion #9, which has its own scenic views.

25. Stony Valley Rail Trail

The 19.5-mile Stony Valley Rail-Trail, tucked away in the Appalachian Ridge and Valley area, passes through State Game Lands No. 211, past vanished coal boomtowns, a crumbling stone tower, and the well-hidden remains of a former 200-room tourist resort where tourists once soaked in cool spring waters before a fire swept through in 1900. The path parallels the lines laid down by the old Schuylkill & Susquehanna Railroad and its predecessors dating back to the 1850s, and the dirt and gravel trail surfaces make for an easy climb, as does the slight grade. Please be advised that the trail is not safe for biking during hunting season.

26. Swatara State Park

Swatara State Park, with its 3,520 acres, offers nearly 15 miles of riding paradise for cyclists of all skill levels. Swatara Creek, which runs the length of the park and houses a variety of species, is surrounded by woodland and wetlands. There's no better way to travel than across Pennsylvania's beautiful greenery.

27. Cumberland Valley Rail Trail

The 13.7-mile Cumberland Valley Trail, which runs from Shippensburg to Newville and provides a stunning sample of Cumberland Valley landscape and woodlands, is open to cyclists of all skill levels. Along the trail, which is a federally recognized National Recreation Trail, interpretative way-point signs highlight the area's rich farming and Civil War history.

28. Delaware Canal Towpath

As you explore the 60 miles of the Delaware Canal Towpath at Delaware Canal State Park, you can picture in your head mules pulling cargo-laden boats. The crushed stone towpath starts at the D&L Trail in Easton and runs all the way to Jefferson Avenue in Bristol. On the trail, cyclists, walkers, hikers, and cross-country skiers are all welcome. Please keep in mind that this road has some bumpy terrain and is susceptible to flooding.

29. Angelica Creek Trail

Although the Angelica Creek Trail is just a little over two miles long, it is part of the much longer (118 miles when completed!) Schuylkill River Trail for those who wish to go for a longer ride. The trail runs adjacent to Anjelica Creek in Reading's 90-acre Angelica Creek Park, which is a perfect location for birdwatching and wildlife viewing, and links the park to the KenGrill Recreation Center for the majority of its length.

30. Capital Area Greenbelt

Grab your ebike and ride down to the Capital Area Greenbelt, a 20-mile multi-surface outdoor trail that circles Harrisburg. For bikers, walkers, and other non-motorized activities, the terrain ranges from on-road, asphalt trails to gravel areas. The entire loop links several points of interest, including Reservoir Park and the National Civil War Museum, Wildwood Park, the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center, City Island, and the Susquehanna Riverfront Park. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Pennsylvania Holocaust Memorial, and the Five Senses Garden are among the highlights.

31. Exeter Scenic River Trail

The 2.3-mile Exeter Scenic River Trail, which stretches along the northern side of the Schuylkill River, more than lives up to its name as it travels through thick, shady trees full of birdsong and small and some not-so-small animals. There are several benches along the trail where you can rest and admire the tranquility.

32. D&L Trail (Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor)

Ride your ebike on the 142.2-mile D&L Trail in the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor to see and learn more about the Lehigh Valley's rich industrial history. The trail runs from Wilkes-hills Barre's to Bristol, Bucks County's canal city, following old rail beds and canal towpaths on both sides of the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers. Lehigh Gorge State Park hosts a 26-mile portion of the trail, while Delaware Canal State Park houses the entire Bucks County section.

33. Clariton-Little Toby Trail

The 18-mile Clarion-Little Toby Trail connects Ridgway and <Brockway, two towns with historic districts that developed out of the logging industry in the early 1800s. Follow the Clarion River, a federally recognized National Wild and Scenic River, and Little Toby Creek as they meander through rugged State Game Lands No. 44 and No. 54, where you can see majestic deer and other wildlife. With the exception of a small hill near Ridgway, the trail is flat and features ghost towns and an off-trail swinging bridge.

34. Perkiomen Trail

The 20.6-mile Perkiomen Trail winds its way along Perkiomen Creek, passing through stunning natural scenery, lovely villages and cities, and various historical sites. The trail's largely smooth, crushed stone and paved surfaces are ideal for bikers and ebike riders alike at all skill levels, since it uses most of the rail bed of the Reading Railroad's Perkiomen Line. The John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove and Pennypacker Mills, the 1720 mansion and eventual home of Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker in Schwenksville, are also historic sites along the trail.

Before you go on a ride... 

Make sure to check the local regulations before taking your ebike for a spin. There could also be additional rules in place with the pandemic. It’s best to check in with your target destination too, their hours may change or even be closed, so watch out for any advisory from their websites.

Boogie Bike Cruiser

Ebikes make cycling more enjoyable. It has a lot of benefits and even improves your mental health. Everyone despite their age can join in on the fun. Whether you’re a novice rider or an experienced one, the Boogie Cruiser is perfect for you.

Dean DuMez
Dean DuMez


2 Responses

Dean DuMez
Dean DuMez

May 03, 2021

Mariann, glad you could get some miles out of this. Thanks as always for your support!

Mariann Ward
Mariann Ward

May 03, 2021

Yeah!! thanks for the PA trails. A lot are in middle and western PA but #9, #28 and #34 are great and having my Boogie, makes them a pleasure to ride and really enjoy! I can’t wait to check out the rest of them.

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