Climbing & Hiking Trails - 9 min read

7 Best Hiking Trails in Valley Forge (Easy & Accessible!)

Kimberly Anne

Kimberly Anne, Updated November 2, 2022

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Valley Forge is rich in history as well as nature. Monuments, meadows, and woodlands are often discovered throughout the 3,500-acre Valley Forge National Park. The Valley Forge National Park honors both the bravery of the Revolutionary War generation and their willingness to make sacrifices.

The park is a symbol of the strength of the people who banded together during trying times. Valley Forge is frequently referred to as the because an army was born. This is due to the fact that by June of 1778, warriors emerged from the camp with a revitalized spirit and the confidence of a well-trained fighting force.

Valley Forge is home to the Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania. Not only is Valley Forge National Park rich in history, but it is also quite picturesque. There are plenty of epic hiking and biking trails to explore. You can discover the scenery of the park on one of the nearly 30 miles of trails that are available.

Valley Forge National Park encompasses a sizable portion of the county’s natural landscape. Visitors come from all over the world to learn about the history of the establishment of the United States of America and to enjoy the park’s 3,500 acres for recreation and relaxation.

1. Mount Misery Trailhead

Credit: Tony Kuo

If you want to get fantastic exercise, this hike is one of the best in the Valley Forge area. A stunning 2.9-mile circle around these paths runs by the remnants of the Colonial Springs Bottling Plant. Likewise, the trail is located just near Valley Forge’s woodlands and through a breathtakingly magnificent forest. 

The entire family will enjoy this hike. It is a fantastic opportunity to spend some time discovering the Philadelphia suburbs. Mount Misery Trailhead route is categorized as having a moderate level of difficulty. It commonly takes an average hiker about an hour to hike the trail. 

It is extremely likely that you may run across other people while you are out exploring. This area is popular and consistently known for bird viewing, hiking, and trail running. The hiking trail is open all year and is pleasant to wander about. Dogs are permitted; however, they must always be on a leash.

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 2.9 miles 
Elevation: 675 ft. 

2. Valley Forge National Historical Park River Trail Trailhead 

Credit: Zephyr_Travel / TripAdvisor

Try this 7.7-mile loop trail near King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. One of the easier routes on our list, it takes an average of 3 h 4 min to complete. The trail’s terrain consists of fields, forests, paved paths, and dirt trails. Likewise, rolling hills are a feature of this trail among the numerous historical monuments and landmarks.

This is a very popular area for birding, hiking, and mountain biking, so you’ll likely encounter other people while exploring. The best time to visit this trail is from March through October. Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash.

The National Park Service and the Cradle of Li Scout of America Council collaborated together to create the Valley Forge Historic Trail. This hike aims to entertain both adults and children while teaching them about the park’s past. 

One of the best places for history and nature, this hike has a start and finish at the Valley Forge Visitor’s Center. A map and compass, as well as the knowledge to use them, are necessary to hike this trail as designed (orienteering is required).

A Boy Scouts of America trail booklet, available at the visitors center for under $3, is recommended for this particular trail. Moreover, the book includes a map, directions, azimuths needed to keep on course, and historical details to make your visit more interesting.

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 7.7 miles 
Elevation: 839 ft. 

Related Read: 20 Best Hiking Trails in Connecticut

3. Horse-Shoe Trail

Credit: Philip Beckert / AllTrails

The westernmost boundary of Valley Forge National Historical Park is where the Horse-Shoe Trail begins. The Appalachian Trail lies approximately 15 miles to the northeast of Harrisburg, where the Horse-Shoe Trail comes to an end.

Usually, it takes an average of 25 hours and 58 minutes to finish. Horse-Shoe Trail in Valley Forge is a difficult route according to hikers.

Even though this is a well-known path for activities like camping, bird watching, and trekking, there are still moments of the day when you may get to sit in silence with nature.

The trail is for pedestrians and equestrians alike. The Horse-Shoe Trail Club has a handbook that reveals that is the reason why the trail is called “Horse-Shoe”.

The National Recreation Path designation has been bestowed upon a section of the Horse-Shoe Trail that extends for 17 miles through the counties of Chester and Berks.

Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult
Length: 62.4 miles
Elevation: 649 ft. 

Related Read: 15 Best Hiking Trails in Anchorage

4. Mount Joy Trail Loop 

Credit: Zach Weissberger

This is a lovely trail through the woods, but in some places, it has some fairly steep inclines. Mount Joy Trail Loop however is very well maintained. The nearby mountains are completely covered in gorgeous laurel plants and flowers.

Take advantage of this out-and-back trail that spans 3.8 miles close to Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania. It takes the average hiker and nature enthusiast about 1 hour and 42 minutes to complete the trail. Naturally, if you stop to take photos of this marvelous place, it will take slightly longer. 

Mount Joy Trail Loop is not too challenging according to most nature enthusiasts. Mount Joy Trail Loop’s difficulty level is moderate.

Considering this popular location is meant for nature lovers, trail running, and hiking, you will come across other people while you are out exploring. This trail is most enjoyable to hike between March and October. Dogs are allowed and must be on a leash at all times. 

With only a few rough patches on the trail, this hike is one of the best. The climb and descent on Mount Joy Trail are spectacular. Crushed gravel makes up a portion of this trail. Additionally, the trail is broad enough for two individuals to travel simultaneously.

There are side trails that lead to the top as well. Interestingly enough, there is also a spot where an observatory once stood, if you want to reach the pinnacle of the trail.

Many locations along the route offer views of Valley Creek and the Valley Forge Farms area of the park. General Knox’s Quarters, PC Knox Estate, Lord Stirling’s Quarters, and General Lafayette’s Quarters are all along this trail. In addition, the route also enters the valley where George Washington’s headquarters are located.

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 3.8 miles
Elevation: 583 ft. 

5. Joseph Plumb Martin Trail

Credit: Legacy Lens Productions / AllTrails

The King of Prussia, Pennsylvania area provides convenient access to this 5.0-mile-long circular path. Joseph Plumb Martin Trail is easy, according to hikers. The popular nature trail takes 1 hour and 44 minutes.

Additionally, horseback riders, hikers, and bird watchers all share this trail. These activities are favorites among locals in the area.

Experiencing this trail between May and October is ideal. Dogs are allowed; however, they have to be on a leash at all times.

In addition to being suitable for hikers and mountain bikers, this path is also suitable for families with younger children. On the Joseph Plumb Martin loop trail, you are welcome to bring strollers and wheelchairs with you.

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 5.0 miles 
Elevation: 311 ft. 

Related Read: 15 Best Hiking Trails in Maui, HI

6. Valley Forge Creek Trail

Credit: Shutterstock

Explore this out-and-back trail that spans 2.9 miles. Valley Forge Creek Trail is one of the best. Valley Forge Creek Trail is in the vicinity of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.

Hiking through Valley Forge Creek takes an average of one hour. The gorgeous hike is a pretty easy path. For instance, along this route, you can stroll, run, or go hiking, any of which are great uses for this path.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has bestowed onto Valley Creek the “Exceptional Value Watershed” designation. This confers the highest level of environmental safeguards possible upon this waterway.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has additionally designated Valley Creek as a “Class A Wild Trout Fishery.” This is an honor to Valley Creek. This means that after a long hike you can also go fishing and hang out near the creek. 

The only fishing allowed on Valley Creek is catch-and-release, and there are some tackle limits. Check with local authorities to see if you need a fishing license in Pennsylvania before you go out on the water.

These designations demonstrate how significant this resource is to the community that resides within the watershed, as well as to those at the state, federal, and municipal levels.

It is 3.1 miles upstream from the confluence with the Schuylkill River before Valley Creek meets its most important feeder stream, Little Valley Creek. Valley Creek runs from the southwest to the northeast.

There are around thirty streams that flow into Valley and Little Valley Creeks from the surrounding watershed. The majority of these streams do not have names. Most of the streams flow in a discontinuous fashion, with only about half of them flowing consistently.

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2.9 miles 
Elevation: 177 ft. 

Related Read: 19 Best Hiking Trails in San Bernardino

7. McKaig Nature Center Loop

Credit: Betty Heinly / AllTrails

Despite its location in the center of a residential neighborhood, the McKaig Nature Education Center boasts 89 acres of unspoiled woodlands, a variety of hiking pathways, and two streams.

The primary entrance is across from Roberts Elementary School. Enter this trail at 889 Croton Road in Wayne, Pennsylvania. The address for this establishment is also 889 Croton Road. Explore this loop path that is close to Wayne, Pennsylvania, and is a total of 2.4 miles in length.

Although people who wish to go birding, hiking, or trail running utilize this path, it is still possible to enjoy some peace here at times of day when the trail is not as busy.

When you bring your puppy out on this trail don’t forget the leash. Forest exploration, bird watching, and trekking along a trail that is excellent for families with young children. Considering that this trail is right off of the McKaig Nature Center, you can enjoy a hike and make it a learning experience all at once. 

After the trail, enjoy a program at the McKaig Nature Center. Finally, in conclusion, you will make memories with your family while learning and exploring Valley Forge.

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2.4 miles
Elevation: 347 ft. 

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