Enjoy beautiful scenery on these best walking trails in Wilkes-Barre, PA
Walking is an excellent form of exercise for people of all ages. Health experts advise individuals that regular walking provides many health benefits. Consistently incorporating walking into your exercise routine can help prevent or manage cardiovascular disease, strengthen bones and muscles, improve mood, cognition, and sleep, and reduce stress and tension. Luckily, the Wilkes-Barre area has some of the most beautiful scenery you’ll find in Pennsylvania. Read on for our list of the best walking trails near Wilkes-BaApproverre to help you get some steps in and be one with nature.
Ricketts Glen State Park
“On the trail” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by rkeefer
Ricketts Glen State Park offers over 26 miles of trails, ranging from fairly level areas to areas with steep inclines. Whether you are an experienced hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, you’ll find your path here. No matter your level of hiking expertise, always wear sturdy hiking boots with proper attire to protect you from brush and elements. Carry a compass, some water, food, a flashlight, and an emergency kit, especially when hiking in remote areas. Also, remain on the trail path and select a trail appropriate to your skills and abilities.
At Ricketts Glen State Park, the easiest trail, Beach Trail, is less than a mile long and ideal for a short stroll. Evergreen Trail is one mile long and is fit for new hikers who want to see Adam’s Falls and visit an old-growth forest. Another low-impact trail, Bear Walk Trail, is short and provides access to other trails ideal for those looking to take part in some snowmobiling or cross-country skiing.
For the more experienced hikers, Ricketts Glen has several options to choose from. Grand View Trail will take hikers to the highest point on Red Rock Mountain, with an elevation of 2,249 feet. We suggest you take this trail during mid-June and July, when the native plants are in bloom and the bush blueberries have fruit. Mountain Springs Trail is a challenging 4-mile long hike. However, the view and experience are worth the effort. The trail goes past old Lake Leigh Dam, down to Bowman Creek, and to the now-dry Mountain Springs Lake.
You’ll find Ricketts Glen at 695-PA487 in Benton, Pennsylvania. For information regarding park hours and camping, call 570-477-5676.
Natural Lands’ Bear Creek Preserve
Another area with some exceptional scenery and dynamic walking ground is Natural Lands’ Bear Creek Preserve. The 3,565-acre area has vast forests and steep stream valleys. As one of the largest state parks, the preserve’s variety of habitats and plants is home to many species of animals, including some endangered creatures. Some animals common to the area are the black bear, coyote, Bald Eagle, and many songbirds.
Although your chances of seeing wildlife vary depending on the time of year and day, the eight moderate trails are available during any season. The trails meander through to preserve and give visitors the opportunity to enjoy the aspen pines and healing powers of nature. There are gorgeous waterfalls and carefully marked areas guiding walkers and hikers safely along the paths.
Located at 47 Rabbit Run Ln, right in Wilkes-Barre. Park visiting hours are Tuesday through Sunday from dawn to dusk. The park is closed on Monday. For information on four-legged visitors and professional photography restrictions, call 610-353-5587.
Laurel Run Trail
Laurel Run Trail is a perfect path for those who love bird-watching and bird photography. Many feathered friends call the surrounding area home and nest along the trail throughout the year. The 2.5-mile trail reaches an elevation of 3,800 feet and is a low-impact route for novice hikers. No drinking water is provided, so make sure you take enough fluids to keep you well hydrated.
For those walking to enjoy birding, we suggest a good pair of binoculars. The birds are visible, but you’ll increase your chances of seeing some sweet bird families nesting high in the trees with stronger lenses.
You can access the trailhead by taking Highway 220 N from Warm Springs for 7.5 miles. Turn right on FR 124 and continue to the fire tower at the end of the road. Walk the rest of the way through the gate to reach the trailhead. Laurel Run Trail is open year-round. For information, call 540-839-2521.
Bald Mountain serves as an optimal destination for hikers that want some peace and quiet. It is an out-and-back trail that is lightly trafficked and provides hikers with the opportunity to see some colorful wildflowers and foliage. The park rates this path as moderate, so be sure you are ready for this 2-mile trail. Go prepared with some sunscreen and water, as there are only a few shaded stops along the way. The summit of Bald Mountain, known as “Pinnacle Rock,” is a favored destination for avid and experienced hikers.
Many who traverse this quiet trail see deer and other wild animals native to the area. It is an excellent spot to take some personal photographs for a scrapbook or to post on social media. The best time to go is early morning or during sunset to catch lighting ideal for close-ups. The trail itself has a rather steep incline, and there are no bathrooms along the way. Bald Mountain has some of the best views you’ll find in Wilkes-Barre, and changes with each season.
The trail is open year-round and offers something new with each visit. Be sure to take a map with you, as the trailhead can be difficult to find. Also, avoid going past the power lines, as that is privately owned property.
Northeastern Eye Institute enjoyed sharing with you our list of the best walking trails in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. We hope our list of walking trails can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Do you know of a gorgeous destination that has some great paths? If you do, let us know! Leave a message and we’ll be happy to check it out. Meanwhile, consider us for your next eye exam or for your laser vision correction surgery needs. We’ll support your eye health so you can appreciate the scenery on your nature hikes.