Wildwood Park is a jewel for nature and wildlife lovers looking for a serene stroll. It’s just minutes from downtown Harrisburg, but tucked discretely away from the away from the fast pace of the city. On a beautiful morning, you’ll see couples jogging, solo cyclists, families out for a walk, nature photographers, and lots of dogs getting their exercise.
The Wildwood Loop is great for kids and hikers/walkers of all ages. The level trek doesn’t call for anything in the way of specialized footwear – sneakers will get you through with no problem!
Wildwood has several paved, primitive, and boardwalk trails that encircle a peaceful lake, dotted with lily pads and waterfowl. Your hike is what you make it, depending on what type of trail you’re into and how long you want to trek. If you want to walk the entire Park, hop on the Wildwood Way Trail (paved), then the Towpath Trail (stone), which will bring you back around again. The wooden North Boardwalk and Delta Boardwalk bring you closer to nature and include observation areas for spotting birds and wildlife.
Be sure to stop by the Benjamin Olewine III Nature Center. It’s free to browse their interactive and educational exhibits about Pennsylvania wildlife and the importance of conserving our natural resources. Dauphin County Parks & Recreation hosts many educational events throughout the year. Check their website ahead of your hike to see if there’s something on the schedule you’d like to attend.
The Wildwood Park Loop is part of the larger, 22-mile Capital Area Greenbelt. This urban pathway is most often used by cyclists, but it’s not uncommon for hikers or walkers to travel the entire loop as an addition to the Wildwood section. A brand new 2-mile extension was completed in the summer of 2020 that now connects the original Greenbelt to Historic Fort Hunter Park. View the full Capital Area Greenbelt MAP.