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October 03, 2017

The top 3 hiking destinations with killer views of Philly

Outdoors Hiking

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What could be more rewarding than a good, challenging hike? How about one with a killer view? Lucky for us, there are three beautiful and accessible hiking areas right near the heart of the city that offer lush paths, thriving wildlife, and – you guessed it – incredible views of the Philadelphia skyline. So, get ready for some serious exercise while seeing Philly from a brand-new angle, because these destinations are sure to deliver just that.

1. John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

Allison Krumm/for PhillyVoice

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

Adjacent to the Philadelphia airport, this National Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum Township offers the chance to explore the diverse landscapes that native animals, fish, and plants call home. As America’s first urban refuge, John Heinz offers the duality of city and natural life, which makes for a varied and educational hike.

With five kinds of habitats  tidal marsh, impounded water, woods, meadow, and field – and over eight miles of trails, you’re bound to see plenty of wildlife on your greenery-filled hike. White-tailed deer, box turtles, frogs, along with numerous fish like herrings and eels, and over 80 species of birds (including bald eagles) live freely in the refuge. Take in the natural sounds of the remarkable Darby Creek, Tinicum Marsh, and the thriving wildlife, all while looking out onto the Philly skyline from afar.

2. Belmont Plateau

Part of West Fairmount Park, the stunning view of the city’s skyline from this point is unbeatable. Perched above the Schuylkill River, Belmont Plateau provides hikers with a tranquil and relaxing escape from the bustling city, while still offering an impressive view of our skyscrapers.

With sprawling hills, thrilling trails, a waterfront, and shaded forests, West Fairmount Park offers a unique opportunity for hikers to experience nature flourishing within a short distance of the city. Also known as “The Plateau” (thanks to the 1991 Will Smith hit “ Summertime”), the park’s Belmont Plateau is a grassy oasis nestled between bountiful trails for hikers and bikers of all levels. When you’re finished your hike, head to this beloved spot, which is exquisite during sundown.

3. Penn Treaty Park


Penn Treaty Park

With seven acres of wide-open greenery, Penn Treaty Park is a prime place for hikers to clock up some significant mileage. The best part? You can take in the expanse of the gorgeous Philly skyline and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge as you burn off those calories. Located next to the Delaware River, this peaceful spot is particularly great for those looking to clear their mind while getting some exercise.

Low, flat land makes for an easy and relaxing excursion; it also makes it simple for you to amp it up with a run to complete a rigorous workout. Whichever you choose, this park is a prime spot for any nature lover in search of an exclusive view of Philadelphia.

There’s nothing better than getting your daily exercise in while experiencing the beauty of nature. These three spots are perfect places to exercise, relax, and experience a view of our city that you may not have seen before.

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