The recently arrived warm weather means that it is the perfect time for hiking in the Valley. My family and I love to go hiking at Kings Gap. After a leisurely drive to the top of the mountain, we park and head to the back porch of the Mansion. It always provides incredible views of the Valley. Then we walk over to the Mansion Garden to check out the flowers and see the frogs in the small pond. Our favorite trail is Rock Scree. It's a moderate hike that rewards you with a great view of the Valley. And the kids always enjoy climbing on the large rock outcroppings when they reach the top. After our hike, it's tradition for us to stop at the Kings Gap General Store at the park entrance for hand-dipped ice cream.
Another favorite trail -- and much easier -- is the Cumberland County Biker-Hiker Trail located in Pine Grove Furnace State Park. This easy trail is perfect for a leisurely walk and takes you past the beaches at both Fuller and Laurel Lakes. And, true to tradition, we always like to stop at Twirly Top for ice cream after our walk.
If you are up for more of a challenge, try Pole Steeple at Pine Grove Furnace State Park or Flat Rock Trail located in Colonel Denning State Park.
If you want to mix some history with your hike, take a walk along the Army Heritage Trail at the US Army Heritage and Education Center. This one-mile long loop trail is sure to be a favorite with the kids as well as they stop to explore the Huey helicopter, tank, Civil War cabins and WWI trench system. Looking to cool off after your walk? Head inside to see their new exhibit, visit the gift shop, or stop at Cumberland Cafe for a drink and bite to eat.
Best Hiking in the Valley
April 10, 2013