Thrill Seekers Guide

Photography by Kelly Ann Shuler

Adventure Runs & Races

Through the mud and over obstacles, adventure runs and races make the tedium of jogging and sprinting much more exciting.  For those in search of competition or an uncommon blast of athletic fun, sign up as a team or go solo in one or all of the many adventure runs going on throughout the summer.

Harrisburg Mudmash – June 16-17
1500 Roberts Valley Road, Harrisburg

The Color Run – June 17
GIANT Center, Hershey

Glow in the Park – June 24
245 Championship Way, City Island, Harrisburg

Chocolate Tour – August 5
665 Brook Drive, Hershey

The Glo Run – August 12

Pennsylvania Warrior Dash 2017 – August 26
500 Long Pond Road, Long Pond

The A.T.

Running from Maine all the way to Georgia, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail stands as one the most famous hike-ways in America.  Those of us in Pa. are fortunate this amazing trail tracks its way into our own backyard, and a popular leg of the A.T., as it’s known to hikers, starts in Boiling Springs.  Lace up the hiking boots, shoulder a backpack and grab a walking stick – the great outdoors are always open.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Mid-Atlantic Regional Office
4 E. First St., Boiling Springs
(717) 258-5771,

Call of the Darkness
An eons-old march back through time, long before mankind, can be experienced by entering the true darkness of one of several caves in Central Pa.  With stalactites and stalagmites at every winding passageway and water-carved rock room, caves provide hours of wonderment – not to mention the welcomed cool air on a humid summer day.

Crystal Cave
933 Crystal Cave Road, Kutztown
(610) 683-6765,

Franklin County Grotto

Indian Echo Caverns
368 Middletown Road, Hummelstown
(717) 566-8131,

Penn’s Cave
222 Penn’s Cave Road, Centre Hall
(814) 364-1664,

York Grotto


The sport of chalked hand holds, ropes, upper-body strength, groin-hugging harnesses and fearlessness brings together  exercise and more than a few adrenaline surges.  Rock climbing – indoor or outdoor – provides everything an adventure seeker could want.  There are real risks involved with the sport though, so be sure of your climbing skills before venturing away from the indoor rock walls.

Chickies Rock
399 Furnace Road, Marietta

339A N. Locust Point Road, Mechanicsburg
(717) 795-9580,

Governor Stable Boulders (private property)
Conoy Township Park, Elizabethtown

Michaux State Forest


Flight Thrills

The discomfort of an economy-class seat, the indignity of airport security, the steep price tag and the chance of getting tossed from your seat like we all saw on that viral video, a commercial flight is not exactly the most appealing option for fun and excitement.  However, plenty of small airports offer the thrill of flight with excursions that include aerial tours and helicopters rides.

Cargill Aeronautical
Academy & Service Center
Capital City Airport
200 Airport Road, New Cumberland
(717) 447-0445,

Cumberland Valley Aviation
228 Petersburg Road, Carlisle
(717) 580-5282,

Dutch Country Helicopters
500 Airport Road, Lititz
(717) 735-2208,

Golden Age Air Museum
Grimes Airfield
371 Airport Road, Bethel
(717) 933-9566,

Harrisburg Pilots
517 Airport Drive, Middletown
(717) 421-7816,

Reigle Aviation
1805 S. Forge Road, Palmyra
(717) 838-5519,

Smoketown Airport
311 Airport Drive, Smoketown, (717) 394-6476

Ghost Hunting

From the thousands of novels, films and shows about hauntings, to the endless personal accounts of sightings, to the stories heard from a friend of a friend and to the tales told over a campfire, ghosts are everywhere.  Whether you believe or not, immersing yourself in a tour guided by costumed storytellers is an eerily entertaining way to get the hairs on your arms to stand straight.

After Dark Investigations
(717) 200-1089,

Bube’s Brewery
102 N. Market St., Mount Joy
(717) 653-2056,

Farnsworth House Ghost Walks and Mourning Theater
401 Baltimore St., Gettysburg
(717) 334-8838,

Gettysburg Ghost Tours
47 Steinwehr Ave., Gettysburg
(717) 338-1818,

Ghostly Images of Gettysburg
778 Baltimore St., Gettysburg
(717) 334-1156,

Ghost Tour of Lancaster City
Penn Square, Lancaster
(717) 687-6687,

Mark Nesbitt’s  Ghosts of Gettysburg Candlelight Walking Tours
271 Baltimore St., Gettysburg, (717) 337-0445,

Mason Dixon Paranormal Society Ghost Tours
9 Steinwehr Ave., Gettysburg, (717) 752-0362,

Miss Betty’s Ghosts and Tales of Gettysburg Tours
Gettysburg, (443) 789-9602,

Spooky York Dark Downtown History Tour


The pops of compressed-air-propelled rounds of paint-filled balls traveling at around 260 feet per second mingle with the hollow thuds of misses and the sharp neon-colored stings of hits on several fields of simulated battle throughout the region.  Few other pastimes elicit such surges of adrenaline than playing paintball.  Don a goggled face mask, load a hopper with plenty of rounds of paint and grab a marker – it just might be the most fun you’ve ever had.

Ambush Outdoor Adventure Park
91 Hill Top Drive, Conestoga
(717) 989-4519,

Hershey Outfitters
100 Hotel Road, Hershey
(717) 520-5837,

Linglestown Paintball
1150 Wenrich Road, Linglestown
(717) 541-8323,

Roundtop Mountain Resort
925 Roundtop Road, Lewisberry
(717) 432-9631,

Wanna-Play Paintball
11 Franklin Church Road, Dillsburg
(717) 432-7997,

Roller Coasters

With more than 25 roller coasters within driving distance, the g-force surges of downhill plummets, hairpin turns and more than a few loops are plentiful here in Central Pa.  Atop tracks or hanging below, click in and hold on because these rides are worth waiting in the long lines.    

Dorney Park
3830 Dorney Park Road, Allentown
(610) 395-3724,

Dutch Wonderland
2249 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster
(866) 386-2839,

100 W. Hersheypark Drive, Hershey
(717) 534-3900,

Knoebels Amusement Resort
391 Knoebels Blvd., Elysburg
(800) 487-4386,


Sky Diving

There are few activities more exhilarating than flying high above the earth among the clouds in an airplane.  The expanse of the scenery below set against the euphoric limitlessness of flight provides an experience like no other.  So, how do you top that?  Opening the door of the plane, mid-flight, and hurtling yourself out into free fall with a parachute strapped to your back, of course.  The rush of hurtling toward the earth at 120 mph is enough to make even the most daring adventurers tremble with the aftershocks of adrenaline.

Chambersburg Skydiving Center
3506 Airport Road, Chambersburg
(800) 526-3497,

Maytown Sport Parachute Club
188 Airport Drive, Marietta
(717) 653-0422,


Zip Lining

Clip in and hang on as tree branches whizz by in this fast-paced, tree-to-tree ride through the forest.  Heights, speed, nature and adventure – what more could thrill seekers ask for?

Hershey Outfitters
100 Hotel Road, Hershey
(717) 520-5837,

Refreshing Mountain Retreat & Adventure Center
455 Camp Road, Stevens
(717) 802-8173,

Roundtop Mountain Resort
925 Roundtop Road, Lewisberry
(717) 432-9631,

South Mountain Adventures
201 Cushion Peak Road, Reinholds
(610) 670-2267,