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November 17, 2015

National Take a Hike Day: Nearby trails and parks to explore on foot

Take a hike!

No, really. Tuesday is National Take a Hike Day

Before the weather gets unbearably cold, why not get outdoors for some exercise and adventure? 

You can hike at your own pace and choose a difficulty level that best suits you.

Not only will you enjoy a good workout, but you can clear your mind, get some fresh air and take in the sights and smells of nature.

Celebrate the day by trekking to one of the beautiful spots below.

Wissahickon Valley Park

Wissahickon Valley Park (Friends of the Wissahickon/Facebook)

Wissahickon Valley Park in Northwest Philadelphia offers more than 50 miles of trails with Wissahickon Creek running through its entire seven-mile length. Hike one of the designated trails or walk along the flatter, gravel path of Forbidden Drive. 

Perkiomen Trail

Perkiomen Trail (Craig Wengerd at Perkiomen Trail/Facebook)

The Perkiomen Trail is a 20-mile route that connects to the Schuylkill River Trail and the Audubon Loop. The path, made mostly of crushed stone and a few paved sections, passes through the historic villages and towns of Arcola, Collegeville, Schwenksville, Spring Mount and Green Lane.

Pennypack Park

Pennypack Creek (Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust/Facebook)

The Pennypack Preserve has more than 800 acres and 11 miles of trails to hike or bike. Pets are also allowed on designated trails, as long as they are on a leash. The Pennypack Creek Trail provides scenic views of Pennypack Creek and surrounding woodlands. The creek runs from Montgomery County to the Delaware River. 

Valley Forge National Historic Park

There are 3,500 acres of land to explore at Valley Forge National Historic Park. (Valley Forge National Historic Park/Facebook)

With 19.5 miles of designated, marked hiking trails, there's plenty to enjoy at Valley Forge National Historic Park. Located just 30 minutes from Philadelphia, this spot is full of history and beauty. The Horseshoe Trail starts near Washington's Headquarters and runs to the Appalachian Trail. Those seeking flatter hiking trails can check out the River and Valley Creek trails or venture on Mount Joy and Mount Misery for a more "hilly" experience.

Wharton State Forest

Colorful leaves cover the ground at Wharton State Forest. (Wharton State Forest/Facebook)

Hiking trails can be found throughout Wharton State Forest in Hammonton, Atlantic County, including a major section of the Batona Trail. The 50-mile trail connects Brendan T. Byrne, Wharton and Bass River State Forests. The forest also features miles of unpaved roads for mountain biking, horseback riding and wildlife watching.

What's your favorite local place to hike? Tell us in the comments.

If you're willing to make the trip and take your hiking to the extreme, check out our guide to hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro.