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Quick Escapes: 10 Trails Near Major Cities

The perfect metro-area trail: close, wild, uncrowded. Here are 10 major city options.

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Philadelphia, PA
Get a workout on a surprisingly hard trail in this sea-level city.

Easy escape plan: Jump on the SEPTA R8 regional rail line to the Chestnut Hill section of the city, at the northeast corner of Wissahickon Valley Park, and disappear into this 1,800-acre preserve and its 57 miles of trails. Best training hike: Take the hilly 4.5-mile White Trail (starting at Park Line Drive and Hortter Street). If you want something long but mellow, hike the Orange Trail; it runs along the park’s entire seven-mile-long east side. Keep an eye out for white-tail deer and snapping turtles, as well as the native euynomous tree, a fast-growing evergreen that produces white flowers and red berries in late summer.

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