“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.’
Running 10.5 miles from Clearfield to Grampion, the David S. Ammerman Trail offers scenic views of water, farmland, and forests and a vibrant history of railroad commerce and Native American life. This former railroad line once carried tons of coal and quarried stone along the East Coast, and earlier, it was part of the Great Shamokin Path used by the Lenape and Mohican tribes. Today, it is a pleasant trail for walkers, runners, and bikers, and even crosses the Susquehanna River West Branch.
Following your trail excursion, Clearfield has several options to help wet your whistle. Dented Keg Brewing Company is a family-and-friend owned brewpub, specializing in craft beer and cider, elevated bar food, and a welcoming atmosphere for families. If you’re extra hungry, you can bring your appetite to Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub, where the selection of drafts can be paired with burger-eating challenges of beef patties up to 25 lbs!
Photo: David S. Ammerman Trail
When it comes to views, the vast ridge-and-valley landscape of the Susquehanna River West Branch is hard to beat. The star of the show is Hyner View Overlook, and there are a few ways to explore this stunning location. For hikers craving a moderate-difficult adventure and breathtaking scenery, the Hyner View Trail is a must. This steep 5.2-mile round trip takes you right to the overlook. Alternatively, you can explore the scenery on a portion of the 90-mile Donut Hole Trail, or you can take the scenic drive right up to the top and explore the less strenuous paths of the Ligenza Trail.
Whether you make it a single or multi-day adventure, be sure to stop in the nearby Susquehanna Greenway River Town of Renovo for a bite and a brew at the Good Neighbor Craft House. It’s a great low-key spot serving tasty food, house brews, and also a variety of offerings from other local Pennsylvania breweries. BONUS: You can even camp there through Harvest Hosts.
Photo: Hyner View Overlook; Scott Hafer
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 six 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 Riepstine’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. The latest additions to the lineup include Rosko’s Brew House, a taproom brewery located in a renovated 1870 historic home, and John Ryan Brewery, which features its signature brews alongside a dining room, full bar, and shaded patio with fire pit lounge.
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
High up along the Susquehanna River North Branch, lie two Susquehanna Greenway River Towns connected by a lovely little path, known as the Diahoga Trail. Running between the communities of Athens & Sayre, this 1.56-mile trail hugs the west shore of the river, meandering through woods and North Branch views with a chance to see waterfowl and eagles. It is the perfect setting for a leisurely walk or bike ride, and if you plan your adventure to end in Sayre, you can top it with a beer and some grub.
Bluestone Brewing Company is a brewery, restaurant, and brewpub in Sayre, PA featuring craft beer, hard cider, craft food, craft soda, PA-made wine, and a full restaurant. The perfect end to a perfect day!
Photo: The Diahoga Trail
Also tucked within the endless mountains of the North Branch, the quaint Susquehanna Greenway River Town of Tunkhannock is a gateway to the outdoors. Tunkhannock Riverside Park, for example, is a local treasure for boating, fishing, picnicking, dog-walking, and stunning views of the river and surrounding mountains. Alternatively, take a walk or bike ride on the Iroquois Trail. This pleasant wooded path, offers a 3.6 mile out-and-back experience filled with the sounds of nature and the nearby Tunkhannock Creek.
After your outdoor adventures, be sure to take a pit stop at Nimble Hill Vineyard and Brewing Company. Serving both wine and beer, this tasting room is a roadside treasure, and a great way to wind down after a day of exploring.
Photo: View from Tunkhannock Riverside Park; Courtney Snyder
Embracing the industrial heritage of the North Branch, the Luzerne County Rail Trail offers a 1.9-mile rail-to-trail corridor great for walking, running, or biking right alongside the Susquehanna River. On the trail, you will see nods to the area’s coal mining past with a memorial to the Knox Mine Disaster and a marker that shows where 33 miners escaped the disaster using the Eagle Air Shaft. This historic mine collapse infamously created a whirlpool in the Susquehanna River, which rescuers combatted by dumping train cars into the cavity.
Once you’ve finished ruminating on this fascinating history and taking in the beautiful riverside views, visit Pittston’s Susquehanna Brewing Co. With a tasting room and tours of their state-of-the-art German-built brew house, this stop is an adventure in itself.
Photo: View of the Luzerne County Rail Trail
The Wilkes-Barre River Commons is a riverfront park located on the eastern banks of the Susquehanna North Branch in Wilkes-Barre, PA. It is the 16th oldest park in America and one of the few with a revitalized riverfront on the eastern seaboard. The park is also located along the 12-mile Wyoming Valley Levee System, one of the largest projects east of the Mississippi and critical to flood prevention in the region. This levee is known as the Luzerne County Levee Trail and serves as a popular walking, running, and biking trail in Luzerne County.
After exploring this urban riverside escape, there is no shortage of area breweries to embark on another exploration of the sudsy variety. Built in 1905, Lion Brewery is one of only 10 United States pre-Prohibition breweries that has independently and continuously operated since the repeal of Prohibition. Sandy Shore Brewing prides itself in delicious beers and the friendly atmosphere of “Gemütlichkeit,” Breaker Brewing Company pairs its craft beers with a woody taproom and pub grub, and Benny Brewing Co offers no shortage of amazing food and beer. Try one or try them all!
Photo: Wilkes-Barre River Commons; Cody Goddard
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. Another nearby brew stop is Five Mountain Brewing Company whose beers and food represent the owners’ personal travels, experiences, and a desire to do things differently. And don’t forget to check out Anomaly Craft Brewing in Berwick, whose brews are served alongside their own selection of smoked meats.
Photo: Susquehanna Warrior Trail
For walkers, pedalers, 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 beer on site alongside specialty pizzas showcasing fresh, local ingredients. (For the pickle lovers out there, the “Dill Dough” Pizza is a must!) Another great option is Hidden Stories Brewing Company, where you can savor brewery fresh craft ales, curated cocktails made with PA spirits, and select PA-made wines. Both locations have live music on select nights.
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 a great brewery 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 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
There are trails and parks abound in and around Pennsylvania’s state capital of Harrisburg. One of the best known is perhaps the Capital Area Greenbelt, which traverses the city along a 20-mile route with plenty of interesting waypoints along the way. On this popular bike trail, you can visit the historic riverfront Fort Hunter Mansion & Park, look for wildlife at Wildwood Park, or cross the pedestrian bridge to Susquehanna River island at City Island Park.
Once you’ve exhausted the sights of the Greenbelt, the opportunities to brew hop around the city are too many to count. Locations downtown include Zeroday Brewing Co, Millworks, The Vegetable Hunter: Plant-Based Cafe & Boutique Brewery, Boneshire Brew Works, and Appalachian Brewing Company. These are just the beginning of the breweries surrounding greater Harrisburg. Check out the waypoints on this map to explore more!
Photo: Capital Area Greenbelt
Columbia, Wrightsville, Marietta
The riverfront communities of Columbia, Wrightsville, and Marietta are hubs for the outdoor recreation and breweries of the area. Perhaps the most beloved trail is the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail, a 14-mile bike path that hugs the river’s eastern shore and features waypoints such as the Shocks Mills Bridge and White Cliffs of Conoy along the way. For a short hike with river views, you won’t want to miss Chickies Rock Overlook Trail, and if you’re just looking to take in the scenery be sure to stop at Breezyview Overlook.
Once you’ve had your fill of fresh air, there are plenty of nearby options to fill your belly, as well. River Trail Brewing in Marietta is a small town brew pub offering up some big flavors, while Hell In A Bucket Brewery in Wrightsville features craft beer brewed on premises in a Grateful Dead-inspired environment. In Columbia, Columbia Kettle Works & Starview Brews both offer a delicious selection of food and craft brews sure to leave you feeling satisfied.
Photo: Northwest Lancaster County River Trail
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.
Looking for more Pennsylvania craft brews? Check out this comprehensive map of PA breweries.
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.