Trails & Ales. Bikes & Brews. Two of our region’s best assets are outdoor activities and craft ales. In Hershey & Harrisburg, you can spend the day outside, getting some exercise and admiring nature, before kicking back with a cold craft beer and delicious locally-inspired food. For the best of both worlds, try one of these activity and beer pairings.
1. Bike the Greenbelt & Kick Back at Zeroday
Bikes and brews! The Capital Area Greenbelt is a 20-mile urban bike route that takes you on a tour of Harrisburg including a scenic stretch along the Susquehanna River and through the lush and green Wildwood Park. The Greenbelt consists of dedicated paved and gravel paths as well as on-road sections. It’s up to you where you want to start your ride, but there’s ample parking available at the Greenbelt’s trailheads. Check out our biking guide which lists all the sights you’ll see on your Greenbelt ride plus a few other road cycling routes or mountain bike paths in the region.
Don’t Miss: The Five Senses Garden along the Paxtang Parkway has botanicals to delight your sense of sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound.
Just as the Greenbelt rides through the heart of Harrisburg, Zeroday Brewing Company is one of the city’s community and culture cornerstones. Located in hip Midtown Harrisburg, Zeroday is a funky and fun brewery that delivers unusual, flavorful beers. What’s more, they give their beers their own personalities and hobbies. The refreshing, goes-down-easy Wastin’ Daylight who spends its time walking Basset Hounds, front porch sitting, and listening to Willie Nelson songs. Kick back at their brewery on Reily Street or stop by their Outpost at the Broad Street Market!
Drink This: Mango Hab is smooth and spicy thanks to a unique blend of sweet mango and a kick from habanero peppers.
2. Hike the Appalachian Trail & Relax at Appalachian Brewing
Just 20 minutes north of the city, you can step on the famed Appalachian Trail. Pennsylvania’s portion of the 2,190-mile trek includes steep climbs and rocky terrain. The Hawk Rock hike is a 2.7-mile in/out journey that can be accomplished by novice hikers. Avid and experienced trailblazers can try the 5-mile Clarks Ferry Loop or the 3.1-mile Victoria Trail Loop. Check out our hiking guide for details on these hikes as well as a few other spots in the area.
Don’t Miss: The best part about the Hawk Rock Hike is the panoramic payoff. The breathtaking view from this overlook is the perfect photo op.
Not just the trail, Appalachian is also synonymous with beer. Harrisburg’s Appalachian Brewing Company is one of the largest brewpubs in the country, and their capital city facility is a perfect end to a day of hiking. ABC has a variety of flagship brews, many inspired by the great outdoors like Hoppy Trails IPA, a favorite of hop heads. Refuel with one of their Brewhaus Classics like Mac & Cheese, Mile-High Meatloaf, and Rockfish Tacos, each with a suggested beer pairing to compliment your dinner.
Drink This: The curiously named Argyle Sweater IPA is named after their finance guy, Joe. It’s light and drinkable yet clocks in at 7.17% ABV.
3. Paddle with Cocoa Kayaks & Toast at Tröegs
Float the day away with Cocoa Kayaks on a relaxing guided or unguided voyage. The “Swatty,” as it is known to locals, is calm and tree-lined with an average depth of 1-3 feet. Beautiful scenery is abundant along the way including wildlife and bald eagle sightings! Choose from nine trip options (2-3 hours) that launch along the creek’s 45-mile span.
Don’t Miss: The Cave Run float takes you by the mouth of Indian Echo Caverns in Hummelstown.
Trade your floats for flights at Tröegs Independent Brewing, a bustling brewery down the street from Hersheypark. Tröegs is known for their bold beers that are rich with hoppy flavor yet oh-so-drinkable. Their flagships include the Perpetual IPA, Troegenator Double Bock, and a Nitro Chocolate Stout that’s very much at home in Hershey The Sweetest Place On EarthSM. Once you’ve had a round or two, order something from their “Snack Bar” which is really a front for an incredible craft kitchen. Rack of lamb, brisket, and a shareable Oktoberfest Pretzel – yum!
Drink This: Try a Scratch beer. They use their small-batch brewhouse to experiment with new flavors and brewing processes. Drink these now or never!
4. Race at Adventure Sports & Savor at Iron Hill Brewing
It’s time for a little friendly competition, especially when the winner is treated to drinks afterward! At Adventure Sports in Hershey, you can race go-karts, splash on bumper boats, grip it and rip it at the driving range, take aim at outdoor laser tag, and step up to the plate in the batting cages.
Don’t Miss: Play like a kid in their state-of-the-art arcade with more than 60 games and a fully-stocked prize counter.
Come together after a day of play for dinner and drinks at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Downtown Hershey. Iron Hill pairs balanced craft beers with a full culinary experience in a casual-yet-upscale atmosphere. Their award-winning beer selection includes flagships like Vienna RedTM Lager and Pig Iron® Porter and a sensational lineup of seasonal draughts. Their food menu is one of the best in town that has something for everyone – salads, soups, steakhouse selections, burgers, sandwiches, and vegetarian entrees.
Drink This: Their Iron Hill Light Lager is a crisp, clean, and refreshing choice for a warm summer day!
5. Take a Nature Walk at Wildwood & Enjoy Local Flavor at The Millworks
Outdoor adventure doesn’t always require adrenaline. Take a leisurely walk around Wildwood Park, a green oasis in the middle of the city surrounding a picturesque lake. The 3.1-mile Wildwood Way & Towpath Trail encircles park and is slightly hilly and mostly shaded. Wander along one of their boardwalks that with scenic overlooks and bird blinds for wildlife watching. The most commonly found friends in the lake are green frogs, painted turtles, and great egrets.
Don’t Miss: Stop by the Olewine Nature Center for a quick look at their interactive exhibits on conservation and Wildwood’s ecology.
Midtown Harrisburg staple, The Millworks, is a brewery/restaurant/art gallery with an open-air courtyard and rooftop biergarten where you can continue soaking up a beautiful day. Enjoy their Market Day IPA, an easy drinking beer inspired by Broad Street Market across the street. Enjoying a delicious meal is even more satisfying when you’re dining at a local, sustainable restaurant. The Millworks has a hyper-local approach to their food that brings the bounty of this region’s agriculture to the table. Try one of their wood-fired pizzas made with local organic flour and fresh toppings. After your meal, browse their artwork and take a peek inside one of the 25 art studios where you might find creativity in the making.
Drink This: Look for their beer that’s brewed with 100% PA ingredients.
6. Pay Homage to History & Reflect at Tattered Flag
You don’t have to be a historian to be captivated and humbled by our nation’s military history. Walk in the boots of the soldiers on the Gettysburg Battlefield, just 45 minutes south of Harrisburg, and feel the emotion and chaos of Pickett’s Charge inside the world-famous Cyclorama painting. Immerse yourself in military history at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center whose galleries and exhibits about the soldier experience are free to browse. Their mile-long, outdoor Heritage Trail includes full-scale exhibits like a World War I trench system, tanks, helicopters, and more. This last stop is indoors, but truly worth the visit. The National Civil War Museum is one of the largest museums in the world dedicated solely to the American Civil War. Its collection of artifacts, weapons, artillery, uniforms, hats, photographs, and letters tell the heartbreaking and inspiring story of our nation’s most turbulent time.
Don’t Miss: The popular Meet Mr. Lincoln interactive exhibit at the National Civil War Museum allows you to ask our President questions about the war, politics, slavery, and more.
Take your leave at Tattered Flag Brewery & Still Works, a veteran-owned and operated brewhouse where the beer is prepared with military-level precision. The War Bonds Breakfast Stout is a creamy dream with aromas of coffee and chocolate. If that sounds too heavy, order up an easy-drinking Blue Raider Kolsch, a crisp, clean golden German ale. Tattered Flag also distills more than 20 unique spirits including five types of whiskey, six types of vodka, moonshine, and ready-to-sip canned cocktails. Their brewpub food menu includes entrees, baskets, sandwiches, and shareables like the Bavarian Charcuterie, a mega pretzel topped with artesian meats, cheese, olives, stout honey mustard, and beer cheese.
Drink This: Their “Knife Fight in A Phone Booth” is described as an epic battle between mosaic and city hops where ultimately you are the winner. Sounds good to us!