Looking to reset and get out in the fresh air? A scenic hike in the Pocono Mountains could be just what you need! From meandering to challenging, Poconos hiking trails offer options for every skill level and ability.

Whether you're soaking in the colorful fall foliage of autumn, eagle watching in the winter, seeking the first green shoots of spring or enjoying the summer sunshine, there's no bad time of year for hiking in the Poconos. The famed Appalachian Trail marks the southern border of the region, and the varied trail systems throughout the region lead to waterfalls, spectacular views and quiet woodland walks surrounded by beautiful plant and wildlife. A trek in the Pocono Mountains can take the form of a restful and leisurely stroll, an educational experience or rigorous exercise. Wander through old growth forests, wetlands and rocky outcrops in our national, state and local parks.

Ready to hit the trails? Read on for six of the best hikes in the Poconos, and don't forget: all of these trails are free to access! We’ve got all the tips and information you need to know, from distance and difficulty to scenic highlights and pet-friendliness.

Shohola Falls Trail

1. Shohola Falls Trail

Location: Route 6 in Shohola, PA
Distance: 0.6 miles round-trip
Terrain: Slick, rocky creekside
Difficulty: Easy
Approved Uses: Hiking
Scenery: Shohola Falls, woods, creek
Pet Friendly: Yes

Looking for a quick hike with gorgeous scenery? You’ll find it at Shohola Falls! This short trail parallels the waterfall on a declining rock path. If the falls are running with ample water, the excess water splashes the trail making it slippery, so watch your step. This hike brings you head-on to the falls, so don’t forget to bring the camera for a photo-op. The trailhead can be difficult to see from the road; slow down as you approach the location so as not to miss the entrance.

  • Route 6
  • (570) 675-1143

Along Shohola Creek there are numerous cascades, deep holes and steep ledges where water rushes over a final set of falls onto the…

Wallenpaupack Lake Trail

2. Wallenpaupack Lake Trail

Location: Hawley, PA at the intersection of Routes 6 and 507
Distance: 3 miles round-trip
Terrain: Packed gravel
Difficulty: Easy
Approved Uses: Walking, trail running and nature trips
Scenery: Lake Wallenpaupack, woods, wildlife
Pet Friendly: No
Whether you choose to do half or all of the lakeside trail, it's a great, gentle option for those who prefer a leisurely walk. The path around Lake Wallenpaupack features beautiful contrasting colors: cool lake blues and warm autumnal reds, oranges and yellows. Visit the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center in Hawley for more information about the trail and surrounding area.

McDade Recreational Trail

3. McDade Recreational Trail

Location: Runs parallel to the Delaware River from Milford to Shawnee on Delaware
Distance: 31 miles with access points every few miles
Terrain: Packed gravel with some sturdy bridges and a few steep hills
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Approved Uses: Hiking and biking
Scenery: Delaware River, farm fields, woods, historic buildings
Pet Friendly: Yes
The McDade Recreational Trail in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is ideal for leisure seekers. Access points every few miles permit easy on/off/turn-arounds, and certain stretches, like the portion of the trail between Smithfield Beach and Riverview, are wheelchair accessible. Stop in the National Park Service Visitors Center in Bushkill to find trail maps and information to map your route in advance. Bordered by the Delaware River on one side and trees and farm fields on the other, the trail is well maintained and clearly marked.

Irving Cliff Trail

4. Irving Cliff Trail

Location: Honesdale, PA
Distance: 1 mile round-trip
Terrain: Gravel and dirt
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Approved Uses: Hiking and trail running
Scenery: Downtown Honesdale, wild flowers
Pet Friendly: Yes
Our Take: When Washington Irving, author of classics like "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," visited Honesdale in 1841, he was so eager to drag his friends up the hill to get a better view of the town, they named the hike after him! The route leading to the summit is uphill but relatively short, smooth and sweet. The path isn't challenging, and the views of Honesdale nestled in the surrounding hills are breathtaking, especially during the autumn. Don't forget your camera to capture the panoramic small town view from the top.

  • 199 Gibbons Park Road

Take in the stunning views of historic downtown Honesdale! Irving Cliff is a one-mile, moderately trafficked, out-and-back trail…

Lehigh Gorge Trail

5. Lehigh Gorge Trail

Location: Lehigh Gorge State Park
Distance: 26 miles with access points throughout the trail
Terrain: Packed gravel with boardwalks and bridges
Difficulty: Moderate
Approved Uses: Hiking and biking
Scenery: Thick vegetation, the Pocono Plateau, Lehigh Gorge and the Lehigh River
Pet Friendly: Yes
Our Take: As part of the Delaware & Lehigh National Scenic Corridor, this trek has some of the most beautiful views in the region. The trail can be completed in its entirety or picked up at different access points to shorten the trip. The park has ample parking in multiple lots and well-maintained walkways with benches. Within easy distance of charming small towns like Jim Thorpe and Lehighton, this is a great trail for families, couples and groups. Note that the Glen Onoko Falls Trail has been closed to hikers since May 2019 due to safety reasons.

Mount Minsi via Appalachian Trail

6. Mount Minsi via Appalachian Trail

Location: Delaware Water Gap, PA
Distance: 5.3 miles round-trip
Terrain: Gravel and rocky
Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
Approved Uses: Hiking
Scenery: Forest paths, panoramic views of Mount Tammany, Kittatinny Ridge and the Delaware River
Pet Friendly: Yes (must be kept on leash)

Set out from the historic borough of Delaware Water Gap, and follow the white blazes of the Appalachian Trail up into the mountains. Choose from two routes: follow the bends of the river and stop at scenic overlooks or take the fire road up. When you reach the top, you'll see panoramic views of Mount Tammany across the Gap. Arrive early to claim a parking spot, especially on weekends. Don’t forget sturdy shoes and plenty of water!

While enjoying the many great hiking trails in the Poconos, remember to visit responsibly. Take any trash along with you when you go to leave no trace. Want to take it a step further? Help us Pick Up the Poconos during biannual community clean up events. Check out the video below for tips from Pocono Television Network as you prepare for your hike.

Find a place to stay so you can rest up and complete all six of these featured hikes! Browse even more outdoors and adventure activities, including waterfalls and wildlife viewing. See you in the Poconos!

Beautiful Hikes in the Poconos