Explore the most popular trails in South Mountain Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

trail running
rocky
snow
1 month ago

Good mix of ascents with enough flats, and pretty technical for running due to rocks and tree roots but well worth a look. I’m looking forward to doing it again but without the ice next time.

It was actually a pretty good hike, Did it for the first time with two of my buddies definitely recommended! A little disappointed that I didn’t finish the whole trail but did about 90% of it.

Lovely trail, medium difficulty. Most of the trail goes through the woods, so it was okay to do on a hot June day. Met several thru-hikers on this segment.

The Orange trail is nice and has some pretty scenery. However, staying on the Orange trail is limited (and full of traffic). If you're looking for a more challenging and less travelled hike, follow the AllTrails loop -- Orange trail to Blue trail to Red trail and back to Orange.

make sure you add the north trail to this one

trail running
2 months ago

Amazing hiking trail to run with lots of doffrent terrain . Definitely is good trail running shoes for the decent !

Nice trail, clearly marked and easy to follow. you'll have to cross the chain bridge and make a right into a small parking lot with a marker for the Appalachian trail. walk back across the bridge and cross the street at the end, this is the trail head. lots of gas stations on the way on close by.

As said in other comments the first mile or so its a steep rocky climb and will definitely be a good work out so come prepared to start strong. At the top of this section there is a spring and a little structure with a visitors log and a fire pit. continue on to see a sign that indicates the north trail heading to the right. this route is easy to walk and has beautiful views and plant life. This trail Continues past some radio towers and over the lehigh tunnel then loops back around to meet the white trail again. You can follow this back to the start and get some nice downhill sections you can run if your into that, although I don't recommend doing so unless you are experienced as it is dangerous and easy to hit a rock and fall while running. There were also a bunch of woodpeckers around this section.

For a more challenging route take the white trail first to hit those inclines instead.

I would defintely have a good sturdy pair of boots, this trail is very rocky in parts with a fair amount of loose rocks.

Really pretty fall hike. Also relatively uncrowded even though it was a beautiful Sunday. I did the north trail, followed the AT a little ways further, and then went back to the parking lot via the south trail. I definitely wouldn't rate this as a hard hike, but the initial part was a nice little climb.

very strenuous, but pleasant

4 months ago

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Overall, a great hike with lots of views. Made a loop of this going up the AT and returning down via North Trail > Charcoal > Prairie Grass > L&NE Trails. There aren't really any views initially at the top unless you continue over the Lehigh Tunnel to the South Trail or loop back on the North Trail. The South Trail has several spots of wide views among piles of large rocks. The North Trail also provides a nice consistent view on the other side almost along the entire stretch until it declines down to the Charcoal trail (mostly exposed meadow trail which was nice change from initial ascent in shaded forest).

First mile is strenuous uphill, but after that, take north loop which is scenic and relaxing. Great views of the valley. The AT is relatively flat, gently rolling. Great hike overall, don’t let the first mile discourage you. Pace yourself up the climb, you will be rewarded!

Good hike experience with the nature and adventure. Although it’s flat after the first 2 miles. It’s challenging with rocks all over. Great feel after doing 12 miler

Nice trail - moderate difficulty, nice variation in terrain. Our 7 and 9 year old were pretty tired after doing the large orange loop in 2h 20m. We parked at the Alpine St lot - we got the last spot at 10am on a Sunday, but there's plenty of street parking if you need. Trails are well marked, but Alltrails with GPS definitely helps - we didn't have to double back once. Not much in the way of views except when you reach the powerlines, but lots of nice rock formations, streams and wildlife.

Love this trail!!

Well marked trail with much to see. Downloading a map would be a good idea as there are a lot of options. The boulders are awesome. Today was muddy due to all the rain.

Rivals the outer loop at Trexler Preserve as the best hike in the immediate Lehigh Valley area. Mix and match various loops to suit your schedule and energy level. Provides a welcome escape from urban noise and traffic ten minutes from Allentown. Use is light, though not sparse. Expect encounters with friendly mountain bikers. Especially nice in the late afternoon/early evening.

Really fun hike along the AT. Take the North Trail where it splits off from the AT for the best views on a clear day. And the South Trail is a lot of fun - if you enjoy a good rock scramble!!

Initial incline is a real leg burner, but the views are worth all the work. This was a fun hike, different terrains, areas that become slightly challenging, but it was a never ending cycle of scenery and ridge views. Def recommend

Tough ascend from the start for circa 45 minutes. Interrupted the ascend with talks to the 5 or 6 AT hikers we encountered, especially near the well where they collected/treated the water that came out of a little pipe (identified by a white sign on the tree above it). Hiked on the AT until the 2nd entrance to the North Trail (near the 476 Tunnel). Then took the North Trail East, then the charcoal trail, then the Prairie Grass Trail, then the D&L Trail along the river back to the car. All was relative well marked. I think we hiked for circa 6 miles and it took us a bit more than 4hrs. Views on the North Trail were fantastic but the noise from the cars below did not make it very peaceful (that is why I rated this hike 4 stars). Came across lots of different types of vegetation and trails. Came across and ate wild blue berries and black raspberries. The descent down the Charcoal trail was the hardest due to all the stones and boulders on this trail. Was a pleasure to walk down the Prairie Grass Trail towards the river.

perfect little local trail

Very nice trail, and easy to moderate hike. The orange loop was only 1.7 miles as indicated by the map at the site. The trail was well maintained, got into some deep woods, even seeing a wood thrush on her nest not far from the trail. Only downsides were you could hear a shooting range nearby, and consistent highway sounds, if that's the sort of thing that bothers you. At mid morning on a Saturday we ran into several people, but the trail was by no means crowded. Google maps first took us to a residential street as a place to park (talked to a resident who said that gets annoying), but there's a convenient parking lot at the end of Alpine street.

Very steep heading up but once you get to the North Trail it levels out just in time for the views. Well worth it. Woodpecker Trail to North Trail then Appalachian Trail back to Woodpecker put us somewhere just over 5 miles.

trail running
7 months ago

Excellent trail. Heavily wooded, a really fun place to run. Pretty easy to follow the courses, some of the forks should be marked better but I found the way without having to double back. There are some obstacles on the path, manageable rocks and tree trunks to run over, but that is exactly what I am looking for in a more technical trial run.

not well marked or maintained. fallen trees blocking the paths.

Fun little trail. Did it two days in a row for a walk with the pup. Lower portion is narrow and slightly overgrown (not horrible though) and the back elevated portion is wider and more open. Neat to see the large boulder outcropping. Didn’t venture back the red or blue trails but will next time. Pup loved the spring fed stream. Nice to have a quick little loop trail so close to home.

we really enjoyed our hike here!!

Took the woodpecker trail to the AT then took the north trail on the way back. A stunning variation of plants and wildlife there. This trail is fairly easy and very fun.

beautiful hike

The north and south scenic trails made it worthwhile. The views are great on the north side. The south trail is basically a mile of boulder hopping. A great adventure if you have the right shoes! The AT sections were fairly meh. I thought all of it was marked pretty well.

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