6 Gorgeous Philly-Area Hikes Near Breweries
Spend your weekends exploring great hikes near local craft breweries that offer socially distant pick-up or seating options.
Living in a large city like Philly, going on a hike isn’t always as easy as strapping on some boots and stepping out the door (Though it can be if you hit up the copious offerings of the Wiss!) But, many hikes — as gorgeous and rewarding as they may be — require planning, and often, a drive to get to a trailhead. That’s why we think if you’re going to spend time making your way to some of the area’s prettiest trails, you might as well also grab a locally-made beer to enjoy afterwards — or pick up a 6-pack to take home and enjoy in the comfort of your home later on! (Of course, remember to wear a mask when you can’t be socially distant, to imbibe responsibly, and to select a designated driver if need be.)
But seriously, what better way to make a day of hiking than to reward your efforts with a trip to a craft brewery afterwards? Here to help you plan your weekends ahead is Carl Ewald, founder of Run Fest, race director for the Great American Brewery Runs, and expert hiking guide. Below, find six different hikes near breweries where you can spend your Saturdays socially distantly scouting great vistas, checking out some delicious brews, and supporting local businesses.
Drive from Philly: 1 hour 41 minutes
The Hike: “Hawk Mountain is probably the best vista in the state for fall foliage,” says Ewald. “I recommend making a real hike out of it by exploring the trails below the summit first.”
The Brewery: Though it’s an hour away, Sly Fox Brewing Company is right en route to Hawk Mountain. It also has safe, socially distant outdoor dining. Ewald recommends making a stop on the way home – “They have perfect brews for autumn weather hiking,” says Ewald.
Drive from Philly: 1 hour 30 minutes
The Hike: “This hike definitely is one of the best foliage hikes you can find,” says Ewald. “It’s not easy. The loop will take you across eight miles and up over 1,000 feet in elevation. But it is definitely worth it. Both lookouts will have perfect views of the valley in all its fall glory.”
The Brewery: About 50 minutes away is Hidden River Brewing Company, where you can make a stop on the way back. “This nano brewery excels at IPAs and has a great setting along the river,” says Ewald. They offer a light menu with snack and sandwiches to go along with your brew, and also allow you to bring in your own food if you’ve packed some. They offer COVID-19-compliant indoor and outdoor seating.
Drive from Philly: 1 hour, 10 minutes
The Hike: “Nockamixon State Park has the largest lake in Southeastern Pennsylvania and a 5,283-acre park,” says Ewald, “Known for its boating, fishing, and horseback trails, Lake Nockamixon is also great for hikes with beautiful views of the lake and the distant hills beyond.”
The Brewery: About a 35 minute drive from Nockamixon State Park on the way back to Philly, “Imprint Beer Co. is one of the hottest young breweries in Pennsylvania,” says Ewald, “Known for its fruited sours and hazy IPAs, Imprint is a must try for any beer nerd hiking through the area.” Imprint’s offerings are ones you can take home with you and sample at your leisure — they offer take-out only pick-up from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Drive from Philly: 45 minutes
The Hike: “When you don’t have much time, Ridley Creek is the perfect chance to enjoy fall hiking close to the city,” says Ewald. “The elevation change is limited but the park is stunning.”
The Brewery: “La Cabra Brewing is only a short 15-minute drive away,” says Ewald. “Their food is as good as their beer. Plan to grab lunch here as well.” They offer curbside pick-up if you’d prefer to enjoy your libations at home, as well as socially distant indoor dining and outdoor dining, in open-walled tents.
Drive from Philly: 2 hours
The Hike: “Mount Tammany is one of the best hikes in the region. It’s short, but steep. You will go up more than 1,200 feet in less than two miles,” says Ewald. “Once you’re done huffing and puffing at the top, the rock outcropping has excellent views of the Delaware River and the Pennsylvania side of the water gap.”
The Brewery: Swing by Funk Brewing, an hour southwest of the trail, on the way home. “Visit their Emmaus tap room, ” suggests Ewald. The Emmaus location is open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays, and offers pick-up options, as well as indoor seating and outdoor dining with umbrellas, picnic tables, and a beer garden feel. They partner with local food trucks to provide eats as well.
Drive from Philly: 2 hours, 15 minutes
The Hike: “Mount Minsi is one of my favorite hikes in Pennsylvania. But, I must admit that half of the reason is for the pie. Do not leave Mount Minsi without stopping to pick one up at the Village Farmer,” says Ewald. “There are three great vistas along the trail. You will reach a false summit at about 2.5 miles in. This large rock outcropping has spectacular views of Mount Tammany. Most hikers don’t realize there is a third vista — continue a couple hundred feet further and you earn a completely different view from the other side of the mountain.”
The Brewery: An hour south of the trail in Easton is the original location of the Separatist Beer Project, where you can stop for refreshments on your way back. “It has a great little tasting room right on the waterfront,” says Ewald. They offer pick-up beers to-go, as well as indoor and outdoor dining, and are open from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays, and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. (You can also visit their location in South Philly.)
Correction: This story was updated on November 16th 2020 to suggest the Emmaus location of Funk Brewing, rather than the Elizabethtown location.