Pennsylvania is the perfect vacation destination for those who love the outdoors. Hiking and trail activities are everywhere. The Appalachian Trail is in our backyard, but so are three different Rails To Trails, one going fromElizabethtown all the way to Pine Grove (in the mountains). The Susquehanna River Trail is just north of the inn–just hop in your kayak or canoe! Go for a scenic drive on two mountain ranges or the lush, fertile Lebanon Valley.
Dozens of top-rated golf courses, tennis, trout fishing in a stream just west of us, or…a hot air balloon! Here are some the of the many options for adventurers that our guests have access to in the surrounding area. Whatever you decide to do, Pennsylvania’s incredible outdoor experiences can add something special to every trip. We can send you to a beautiful, verdant walk at Lebanon Valley College, just a mile away, or in three miles the Quittie Natural Trail, which rings an old rock quarry.
Scuba divers love exploring some of the purposely flooded quarries here (complete with old objects, planted for divers to explore). Fall corn mazes galore! Our own maze year ‘round! Not quite “outdoors,” but if you are into forging iron, there is even a blacksmith who has two-day long sword making classes! Book a getaway at our Hershey B&B to experience the best of Pennsylvania’s outdoor adventures!
Pennsylvania Scenic Byway – This scenic route works its way through historic towns, pristine Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch Farms, vineyards, mountains and valleys. A driving or biking adventure you won’t want to miss! Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation’s Lebanon-Cornwall Scenic Byway on Rte. 419, just south of Annville Inn.
A fun drive tour is to follow a “wine tour”. Make up your own, Rosalie can make suggestions based upon your interests. Drive from vineyard to vineyard, and of course…check out their wine shops!
One of our favorite drives: What we call the “Swopes Valley Road Drive.” Whenever we can get a break for a quick drive in almost Norman Rockwellian Americana views, we chose this road we discovered years ago. It twists and turns alongside a mountain trout stream, sometimes with sheer cliffs down on one side and sheer cliffs up on the other. It ends up a short drive from Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, where Craig worked for many years. The Sanctuary is a ‘must see’ for all birders, hikers, walkers and has some of the most technical hiking/climbing in the area…as well as gentle, much easier walks including an ADA compliant hiking trail to the famed South Lookout. On your way: Watch for covered bridges, an enormous monastery, wildlife, views.
A rare opportunity: ONLY ONE DAY A YEAR, usually on a fall Sunday, the entire length of Stony Valley is opened by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a driving FALL FOLIAGE tour. The rest of the time, it is the domain of hikers and birders. The valley is crammed with history, ruins of old towns, now extinct resorts, and natural beauty.
Drive to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary (see Driving Tours). We can route you on the mountain road we describe or the Interstate, which would give you access to the popular 3-generation old Roadside America and other tourist attractions including the largest Cabella’s outfitter on the east coast (think mountains, streams, airplanes, a walk through aquarium, and a complete African savanna scene with elephants down to small mammals, all in one giant diorama…all under one roof.) Once at Hawk Mountain, you have a plethora of hiking and rock climbing opportunities including the famed “River of Rocks,” an upside down river…you walk on the rocks, which form a ribbon through the forest and hear water running beneath the rocks. A natural phenomenon.
A real highlight, whether or not you are a birder, only available in February, but varying based upon the thaw, is a chance to witness one of the great miracles of nature, the struggle for survival: Migration. This is the epic migration of snow geese, who follow the thaw north, and always stop at Middle Creek Wildlife Refuge on their way to the Artic Circle. Chronicled on countless television and major motion picture documentaries, the Great Migration is astonishing…90,000 birds and more! If you go, Rosalie will help you with directions and make an excellent restaurant recommendation for you:
Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area is worth the 30-minute drive any day of the year. Nature Center is open seasonally. Expect crowds during the Snow Goose migration—serious birders from throughout America and other countries “flock” to the site during the Great Migration.
- Rails to Trails near Cornwall, and now extended to about a mile from Annville Inn!
- Quitty Park Nature Trail in Annville. The park’s committee won an architectural award for its bridge, which beautifully spans the Quitty Creek.
- Lebanon Valley College. The leafy campus is one of the major attractions for new students according to a former LVC President. Great for an after-dinner walk, complete with duck ponds, plenty of paved walkways, manicured gardens, and benches.
- Rails to Trails at Pine Grove, in the mountains behind us. One day, it will connect with the trail near the Inn.
- DCNR Trail in Pine Grove
- The Horseshoe Trail. The trailhead for this premiere hiking trail is just south of us, starts near Mt. Gretna and goes almost to Philadelphia!
- The Appalachian Trail, granddaddy of them all! You can see the ridge where it meanders along the Blue Mountains from anywhere in our north gardens.
- Stony Valley, just behind Annville Inn.
Coleman Park, about 10 minutes from Annville Inn. Wonderful walking amid enormous trees. In the 1800’s several mansions in a compound of the Coleman dynasty, one of America’s standard bearers of the Guilded Age, existed here. The family still exists to this day in Europe and other parts of Pennsylvania; they still have large real estate holdings here. The mansions have been torn down, and the property given to Lebanon for the creation of a vast park. While the mansions are gone, some of the largest trees in Pennsylvania and some rare trees remain. These were planted by the Coleman family to compliment their gracious mansions, stables, carriage houses, gate houses and more. Today, walkers can enjoy the natural treasures they left behind. Also, Music in the Park is enjoyed throughout the summer in the amphitheater there.
Golf, one of Many Outdoor Sports to Enjoy Here!
We count over 70 golf courses throughout our Central Pennsylvania region. Playing in a tournament near Hershey? We are close by! Suggestions? Just call Annville Inn and ask for Craig.
No wonder so many golfers stay at Annville Inn B&B! (Craig wants to put in a putting green. We’ll see if that ever happens, as there is much more to a green’s construction than meets the eye. But, it would be fun!)