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Where to Go Hiking Around the Main Line and Western Suburbs

Newlin Grist Mill Park is a magnet for walkers and dogs alike. Photo by John Fitzsimmons.

Whether you’re looking for an under-the-radar trail or the perfect place to hike with your pup, these routes offer something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for some rigorous outdoor exercise, an interesting place to walk the dog or a great vantage point for viewing fall foliage, our region has an abundance of trails for all ages and interests. Here’s a list of our favorite hikes across the Main Line and western suburbs.

For the Family

Brightside Farm

This paved one-mile loop shouldn’t take much more than 20 minutes to complete, so it’s perfect for younger kids. Be sure to apply sunscreen, as there are plenty of opportunities for taking in some free vitamin D on this sunny trail. 3108 Yellow Springs Road, Malvern, charlestown.pa.us.

Drexel Lodge Nature Trail

This easy trek is just shy of a half mile, and little ones will be entertained by the ponds and bridges. You can break for an alfresco lunch at the large pavilion. 4140 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, newtowntownship.org.

Saunders Woods Preserve

Keep your ears open along this easy-to-navigate pathway, which is close to a mile in length. Trees provide shade and stunningly colorful surroundings in the fall.1020 Waverly Road, Gladwyne, natlands.org.

Newlin Grist Mill Park is a magnet for walkers and dogs alike.

Newlin Grist Mill Park is a magnet for walkers and dogs alike. Photo by John Fitzsimmons.

For Dog People

Newlin Grist Mill Park

Aside from the historic 18th-century grist mill, you’ll find a harmonious blend of woods and meadows, with over eight miles of trails to explore. Water-loving canines can wander through the creek. 219 Cheyney Road, Glen Mills, newlingristmill.org.

Okehocking Preserve

Centuries ago, William Penn handed over this hilly acreage to the Okehocking band of the Lenni Lenape Indians, making it the first Native American land grant in the colonies. Pups can join you on the trails, then let loose at the dog park in the field off Delchester Road. 5316 W. Chester Pike, Newtown Square, willistown.pa.us.

Darby Creek Trail

Follow the meandering creek down a paved path for just over two miles. Shade keeps the trail from getting too hot for you and your pal. 600 Glendale Road, Havertown, havtrail.com.

Sweet solitude is usually a given at Hildacy Preserve.

Sweet solitude is usually a given at Hildacy Preserve. Photo by Annie Thorne.

For Solitude Seekers

Hildacy Preserve

Crum Creek passes through the preserve, which accounts for the soothing sounds of trickling water in this secluded parcel. The fountain is a perfect spot for taking a break to rest your feet and collect your thoughts. 1031 Palmers Mill Road, Media, natlands.org.

ChesLen Preserve

Far from the hustle and bustle of the suburbs, this sprawling, idyllic natural oasis offers pastoral views and glimpses of wildlife.1199 Cannery Road, Coatesville, natlands.org.

Stroud Preserve

The hilly woodland trails and variety of terrain on this former farm beckon hikers looking for a bit of challenge. Bird-watching is also abundant. 454 N. Creek Road, West Chester, natlands.org.

Scenic Routes

Valley Creek Trail

The vibrant flora and fauna growing here provide a lovely ambiance for a creek-side stroll. A waterfall and a covered bridge make for great photo ops.1700 Wilson Road, Malvern, trails.dcnr.pa.gov.

Harmony Hill

This hilly, wooded trek is accessible and challenging enough for a quick walk or a half-day hike. Keep an eye out for painted rocks and the covered bridge. 1200 Skelp Level Road, Downingtown, eastbradford.org.

Wawa Preserve

Wawa dairy cows once grazed on these 75 acres. After you explore the picturesque pastureland, savor the shade provided by a tapestry of trees. 127 Valley Road, Media, natlands.org.


Hawk Mountain is worth the drive.

SEPA Recommends…

Hawk Mountain

Pamela Weakland’s popular SEPA Hiking and Adventure Club Facebook group encourages its members to check out this sanctuary in Berks County for some of the largest birds in the world. Now through December is the best time to see migrating hawks, eagles and falcons. “This is one of the most popular hiking areas for the challenging hikes and the incredible views,” Weakland says, adding that the two-hour drive is so worth it. 1700 Hawk Mountain Road, Kempton, hawkmountain.org.

Related: 4 Fall Foliage Getaways That Are an Easy Drive From the Main Line Area

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