Day Trips: Socially Distant Fun Across Pennsylvania

Escape from Pennsylvania's major cities and take in the great outdoors as you get back to “normal”.

Philadelphia may get all the glory, but all over the Penn state there are a wealth of activities and entertainment. Even though bars, restaurants, and music venues have had to temporarily close due to concerns over COVID-19, there are still plenty of socially distant things to do in P.A. 

For hardcore cyclists, completing the Great Allegheny Passage is a badge of honor | WhereTraveler
Great Allegheny Passage (©Discovery Bike Tours)

Hiking and Biking in Western P.A.

Mountour Woods Conservation Area

The Montour Woods Conservation Area has 10 miles of trails making it easy to remain socially distant. The maze of trails wind through the wooded area and are full of forest life. There are also small waterfalls and a strange cave that looks like it was carved directly into the rockface by persons unknown. The Powerline and Hemlock Trails detour to the Nike Missile Site which housed anti-aircraft missiles during the Cold War.

Great Allegheny Passage

For hardcore cyclists, completing the Great Allegheny Passage is a badge of honor. The entire bike trail is 150 miles through the hills and valleys beginning in Washington D.C. and culminating in Point State Park in Pittsburgh. For a day trip, Pittsburghers and visitors can traverse the sections of the passage that stretch from the downtown area to the southside of town. Or beyond if you’re feeling ambitious!

Three Rivers Heritage Trail

Urban hikers are fans of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, a 20-mile excursion through Pittsburgh. The majority of the trail is paved and runs along the river, an excellent combination for families with young children or those with limited mobility. Pittsburgh has more than 440 bridges and several of the city’s most iconic bridges serve as connectors to different sections of the trail. Other points of interest along the trail include one of the city’s historic cable cars, the Highmark Stadium, and the Gateway Clipper Fleet.

Conneaut Lake is the largest natural lake in Pennsylvania and offers a wealth of diversions | WhereTraveler
Conneaut Lake (© EPPICRAIN/Shutterstock)

Freshwater Beach Getaways in Western P.A.

Raccoon Creek State Park

Pittsburgh may be close to one of the Great Lakes, but the beaches there may be a bit too crowded for adequate social distancing. Not to worry, there are plenty of other beaches that offer a more secluded experience. Raccoon Creek State Park is one of the largest parks in the area making it easy to stay 6 feet apart. One of the main attractions in this park is Raccoon Creek Park beach. The 500-foot beach is both sand and turf with calm waters for swimming. The beach is open from May to September.

Conneaut Lake

Conneaut Lake is the largest natural lake in Pennsylvania and offers a wealth of diversions. The usual aquatic activities such as swimming, waterskiing, and canoeing are available but visitors can’t miss the amusement park. The amusement park is home to the Blue Streak, a historic wooden coaster from 1937 that is still in operation today. Though the park’s opening day was postponed due to concerns over the coronavirus, it is slated to reopen to the public later this month.

 Keen Lake Hermit Island is a private, 3-acre natural paradise | WhereTraveler
Keen Lake and Campgrounds (©

Camping Fun in Eastern P.A.

Lake in the Wood Resort

The best way to get away from the crowds is to get out of the city. The hills and mountains outside of Pittsburgh are gorgeous places to camp and get in touch with nature. But if sleeping on the ground isn’t for you, why not glamp in a private yurt? The Lake in the Wood Resort has a luxury yurt with all of the amenities. The ample space has a separate queen bedroom and bunk beds for the kids. The yurt has lake views and a private dock with paddle boats and life jackets. Charcoal grills are provided for outdoor cooking but guests should bring their own grilling utensils.

Keen Lake Hermit Island

Still worried about social distancing? How about escaping to your own private island? Keen Lake Hermit Island is a private, 3-acre natural paradise. The 3-bedroom cottage is the perfect place to relax in the Poconos. The entire island is yours for the duration of your stay. Hike through the woods or fish in the lake in complete solitude. Should visitors need anything, the Keen Lake Resort is a short boat ride away and stocked with all of the essentials including laundry facilities and an ice cream shop.

Mental health and wellness are just as important as physical health | WhereTraveler

Yoga and Wellness Retreats in Eastern P.A.

Mental health and wellness are just as important as physical health. Combine the two with a 3-Day Movement as Medicine Yoga Retreat. This retreat uses three kinds of yoga to help improve movement and dexterity to improve physical health. Each retreat guest can enjoy a 60-minute therapeutic massage designed to improve circulation and relieve stress. Every day begins with morning yoga and then workshops to explore self-awareness. The retreat is surrounded by 400 acres of woodlands with hiking trails throughout. The daily meals provided are 100% vegetarian and can be made vegan upon request.