Daylight savings time has begun, meaning the days are lighter later, the weather will be steadily improving, and you can return to your regularly scheduled walks and hikes. Recently, National Geographic Magazine ran an article discussing the psychological and physiological benefits of spending more time in nature. In addition to the added exercise, being in nature helps your brain relax and de-stress, since our brains are often exhausted and overwhelmed.Arthur Prelle | Walking and Hiking near Malvern, PA

Arthur Prelle lives near Malvern, PA and enjoys exploring the botanical gardens and woods in south-eastern PA in his free time. Below are some of his favorite places to be immersed in nature.

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA: A gem in the multi-million dollar DuPont crown, Longwood Gardens is an enormous botanical garden with specimens of flowers, fruit trees, trees, and other plants from all over the world and from various stages of the earth’s development. From the vast outdoor walking gardens organized by color to the huge indoor greenhouses and mansions open to the public, Longwood gardens is the perfect place for either a stroll or a jog now that everything’s in bloom.

Horse-shoe Trail in Valley Forge, PA: This beautiful wooded trail has a strong history connected to the iron industry in the US during the 1700s and 1800s. According to the website, “The many furnaces and forges were connected by trails leading through the charcoal forests between them.  Portions of these trails have survived to become today’s Horse-Shoe Trail.” Today, the trail is maintained by the Horse-shoe Trail Conservancy and has been since 1935. For a historic walk through a wooded area, this is the trail for you.

The Scott Arboretum in Swarthmore, PA: Most of Swarthmore College is a registered arboretum maintained by students and members of the arboretum. The “Garden of Ideas” is open to the public from dawn until dusk for you to walk or jog through, read the plaques, and revel in the little liberal arts college feel for a little while.

Schuylkill River Trail: Extending upwards of 130 miles, the Schuylkill River Trail is a multi-use path for walkers, joggers, hikers, bikers, and more to explore and discover south-east and south-central PA. Four counties contribute to the maintenance and upkeep of the trail, which was once just disconnected short trails. The trail is home to much Revolutionary War history, as the Schuylkill River was an important asset in the US fight for independence.

The Farm Park Preservation Association in Montgomery, PA: A non-profit organization, the FPPA prides itself on keeping up a 690 acre park safe from modernization. The park features buildings from the 18th century, a trout farm for fishing, paths for walkers, joggers, hikers, bikers, and more, and lots of wildlife for birding and nature photography. Visiting this park is like going back in time to a simpler age in American history.