Pulse: Style: Low Down: Happy Trails
Valley Forge National Historical Park
The terrain: Both hikers and history buffs will appreciate the park’s well-marked trails and educational tours. Ruins of Revolutionary War-era structures can be spotted along the Horse-Shoe Trail, which builds to a rocky climb up Mount Misery. The three-mile Schuylkill River Trail is a more even stretch following the river.
Plan your route: Visitor information: 610-783-1077; nps.gov/vafo
The terrain: This Montgomery County hike offers a scenic and especially smooth stroll, since the compacted gravel path was established on a former railway bed. Almost 20 miles in length, the tree-shaded trail follows the Perkiomen Creek and passes through quaint Collegeville and Schwenksville. Also along the route: the 175-acre Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, a birdwatching haven featuring the 18th-century boyhood home of naturalist John James Audubon.
Plan your route: montcopa.org/parks/perkiomentrail
Ridley Creek State Park
The terrain: Sixteen miles from Center City, this Delaware County park sports color-coded trails that vary in length and wind through thousands of acres of woodlands and meadows. Beginners can try the three-mile White hike through a flourishing forest, or the five-mile, paved multi-use path along Sycamore Mills and Forge roads.
Plan your route: dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/ridleycreek.aspx