“All trails end in beer” is a growing sentiment among today’s outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’ve embarked on a long bike ride, scenic run, exhilarating hike, or Susquehanna River paddle, there’s nothing better than stepping off a trail and gathering around a delicious local brew and regional grub to build camaraderie amongst your fellow outdoor adventurers.
It’s that little bit of incentive that makes a day in the great outdoors that much greater… and tastier.
Luckily, land and water trails across the country are seeing more of our ‘sudsy friends’ (re)locating their operations to reap the rewards of this symbiotic relationship with the local recreators.
Reflecting this shift, many trails within the Susquehanna Greenway are just a stone’s throw from some of Pennsylvania’s top breweries. Check out the list of locations below to explore some of the area’s trails that never fail ‘to end in beer.’
Overlooking the Susquehanna Greenway River Town of Lock Haven is a steep hike known as the Bald Eagle Mountain Trail. At 9 miles, it is one of the more difficult hikes on this list, but the views of the West Branch Susquehanna River and an iconic boulder field are well worth the climb. For the more leisurely adventurers, you can also hop on Lock Haven’s Levee Trail for a scenic 2.25-mile stroll along the river or the 6.4-mile Bald Eagle Valley Trail.
Following your excursion, reward yourself with a cold one at the Broken Axe Brew House in downtown Lock Haven. While they do not brew their own, Broken Axe showcases the largest selection of local PA beers in the area, and their taps rotate daily. As you step inside, you’ll also experience themes tied to the area’s local history as a logging hub.
Photo: View from Bald Eagle Mountain
The Susquehanna Greenway River Town of Jersey Shore marks the terminus for one of the most popular rail trails in the state—the 62-mile Pine Creek Rail Trail. This iconic route meanders through the Tiadaghton State Forest and the PA Grand Canyon before ending in Jersey Shore along the banks of the West Branch.
After your walk, bike, fish, or hike, stop by Bald Birds Brewing Company for some post-adventure down time. Grab a brew in their comfortable industrial-inspired hangout and enjoy an assortment of board games, corn hole and darts, free-play arcade games, and great food from Gunzey’s Hot Sausage.
Photo: Cyclists on the Pine Creek Rail Trail
Another Susquehanna Greenway River Town, Williamsport serves as a hub to both a network of trails and a conglomerate of breweries. Whether you explore the Montoursville Bikeway, Loyalsock Bikeway, Susquehanna River Walk & Timber Trail, Lycoming Creek Bikeway, Susquehanna State Park, or all five, there’s no better end to the day than to hit the local breweries.
Williamsport is host to four breweries. New Trail Brewing Company offers a cool warehouse vibe with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and food trucks for a tasty bite with your brew. Or you can “hop” on over to Bullfrog Brewery for puns galore at this cozy frog-themed haunt in Williamsport’s downtown. Boom City Brewing Company speaks to the lumber history of the area with timber cut décor and brews like “the Last Raft” alongside tasty eats, while Riepstein’s Pub & Brewery shows there’s nothing like a fresh local brew and traditional pub comfort food to satisfy your palate after a long day outdoors.
Photo: Cyclists on the Susquehanna River Walk
The Buffalo Valley Rail Trail is a 9-mile rail trail that has a terminus in the Susquehanna Greenway River Town of Lewisburg. This scenic trail offers a mix of paved and gravel surfaces on a level route set amidst some of PA’s most idyllic farmland scenery.
A unique feature of this trail is that it’s bookended by two fantastic breweries! On the Lewisburg end, you can stop by Jackass Brewing Company where the names on the beer and food menu will have you laughing your ‘you-know-what’ off. On the Mifflinburg end, you can wind down at the Rusty Rail Brewing Company, which offers a variety of iconic brews in a beautifully repurposed factory setting.
Photo: Buffalo Valley Rail Trail
Nestled along the banks of the Lower North Branch is a 12.5-mile rail trail known as the Susquehanna Warrior Trail. This wooded path meanders between the mountains and the river with access to boat launches to make your adventure a pedal and paddle! Be sure to explore the Susquehanna Riverlands at the trail’s southern terminus, a relaxing park with a network of scenic trails and abundant birdlife.
After your time in the great outdoors, make your way to the nearby town of Berwick and grab a brew at the Berwick Brewing Company. In addition to their ales and lagers, they also make a delicious hand-tossed thin crust pizza and sell a variety of locally baked soft pretzels, which all pair nicely with their prime location right on the riverside.
Photo: Susquehanna Warrior Trail
For walkers, peddlers, or paddlers, the Susquehanna Greenway River Town of Bloomsburg is another hub for outdoor recreation on and along the river. For on-water adventurers, river access is available at the PFBC Bloomsburg Boat Launch. Berwick to Bloomsburg or Bloomsburg to Danville are both great kayaking itineraries on this stretch of river. For land dwellers, explore Bloomsburg Town Park or hop on the Bloomsburg Rail Trail for a pleasant stroll.
Following your outdoor excursions, head to town to experience two great brewpubs. Marley’s Brewery & Grille is host to a variety of brews and great eats in a warm and trendy bar setting, while the Turkey Hill Brewing Company also boasts beer and pub food in a cozy reclaimed barn atmosphere.
Photo: Paddlers on the Susquehanna River near Bloomsburg
With strong ties to its railroad heritage, the Susquehanna Greenway River Town of Danville is home to the very first rail trail in the United States—the J. Manley Robbins Trail. Adventurers can explore further within Hess Recreation Area, at Danville Riverfront Park, along the North Branch Canal Trail, or even try mountain biking at Hopewell Park or the Geisinger Stewardship Forest.
No matter which adventure you choose, there’s plenty of opportunity in downtown Danville for your post-recreation brews. Rock God Brewing Company offers music-themed beers and rock & roll décor with a rotating slate of food trucks to serve your palate, while Old Forge Brewing Company showcases house made beers alongside creative pub food in a rustic brewpub setting.
Photo: Covered bridge on the J. Manley Robbins Trail
At the confluence of the Susquehanna River lies Shikellamy State Park and Marina. Its 132 acres feature a nature trail and overlook with stunning views of the West and North Branch confluence, as well as boating, walking, and biking opportunities at the park’s marina on Packers Island.
Whether you choose to walk, bike, paddle, or simply enjoy the view, a fitting end to a day on or along the Susquehanna can be found at Northumberland’s Pineknotter Brewing Company. Pair one of their craft brews with a tasty “On A Roll” sandwich as you sit back in the rustic taproom and peruse historic photos of Northumberland’s
Photo: View from Shikellamy Overlook
Not far from Shikellamy State Park is also the Sunbury Riverfront Park, which features a one-mile walking trail alongside the Susquehanna River. In the summer, you will also have views of Lake Augusta—a seasonal lake that forms with the inflation of the Adam T. Bower Memorial Dam.
Following your riverside stroll or day of fishing, head on over to downtown Sunbury to Eclipse Craft Brewing Company. These local brewers make their moon-themed beer on site alongside specialty pizzas showcasing fresh, local ingredients.
Photo: Sunbury Riverfront Park
Along the banks of the river in the Susquehanna Greenway River Town of Selinsgrove, lies the Isle of Que—a 5.5-mile-long peninsula that hosts a quaint neighborhood and beautiful waterfront popular with walkers, bikers, runners, and boaters alike. The boat launch here is also a perfect starting point for paddling adventures, for example, a 12-mile kayak down to the PFBC Mahantango Access.
After your riverfront wanderings, downtown Selinsgrove sports two great breweries to top off the day. Selin’s Grove Brewing Company resides within the 1816 home of former governor Simon Snyder, a building listed on the National Historic Register. Sip your brew in this historic tavern or take a short walk to Isle of Que Brewing Company for a likewise cozy atmosphere complete with rustic canoe décor. You can also paddle up to Penn’s Tavern on the other side of the river, a 1700’s historic restaurant that serves food and local craft brews right on the waterfront.
Photo: Isle of Que boat launch; Rita Kurtz
Now, get your tail on the trail! Whether you adventure by land or by water, the Susquehanna Greenway is brimming with trails and ales to provide the “hop on top” of your next outdoor adventure.
NOTE: Please drink responsibly. Do not bike or boat under the influence. Do not drink and drive. Please have a designated driver if you choose to drink beyond the limit designated for safe driving in Pennsylvania.