Living just outside of the city of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania has plenty of benefits. We have access to the city without the hassle of living in the city, we are a brief drive away from the Pocono Mountains and we get to enjoy the luxury that Chester County has to offer. However, it is hard to find a nice place to get outside and explore that one can make a day-trip out of. Yes, the drive up to and through the Pocono Mountains is beautiful in the fall. Yes, we get to explore up and down the Brandywine River and the many land preserves and State Parks. But if you are looking for that breathtaking view or that stunning waterfall, Pennsylvania can be a little bit disappointing.
We are currently in the process of planning our next trip and saving money. When we are taking a break from our longer adventures, we like to try things close by to explore that do not cost a lot of money. This has become a bit of a struggle for us, as nothing seems to be within two hours of West Chester. We have been up the Poconos, we have explored Philadelphia, we have been to French Creek and Marsh Creek State Parks, and we have ventured west to Swatara Falls. As we search for things to do on the internet, we are running out of options and it is becoming frustrating.
All of the popular waterfalls in PA seem to be located along the Delaware Water Gap. We have visited Raymondskill Falls and we were going to make the trip back up north to Bushkill Falls, but we stayed away because of the crowd and fees. There are plenty of other waterfalls in this area that we are planning on checking off our list, but none of them have that “wow” factor we are looking for.
We frequently “Google” search “best views” or “best waterfalls” in PA and nothing seems to really stand out. There are a few areas out west near Pittsburgh that we want to visit such as Cherry Springs and Ohiopyle State Park. Those sports are both well-known and are not really reasonable for us to try and make a day-trip out of.
When we search things such as “hidden gems in PA,” we usually stumble across food or historic buildings. These are all great, but it’s just not what we are looking for. We want to get out and explore. We want to climb up that sketchy trail so we can capture one great picture.
A few things on our “PA Bucket List” include Mount Tammany, Marion Brooks Natural Area, and Hickory Run State Park. Realistically, Hickory Run State park will probably be the next thing we cross off our list, as it is a reasonable drive from our home. Mount Tammany is very popular and is considered part of the Delaware Water Gap. Marion Brooks Natural Area is about four hours away from our home, but is a good spot to visit when there is snow on the ground.
If anyone has any suggestions or has any “hidden gems” in the Chester County area of Pennsylvania, we would love to hear from you. We are eager to get out and explore, as winter is approaching and we do not want to be stuck inside!