THE (NATIONAL) PARK RUN
Valley Forge. Start at the Visitor’s Center (parking’s free) at the corner of Route 23 and North Gulph Road. You’ll follow the rolling 5.6 mile Joseph Plumb Martin Trail loop along Outer Line Drive, which will eventually lead you to Valley Forge Road, with breathtaking vistas, Revolutionary War campgrounds, Washington’s Memorial Chapel, and more deer than you can count.
THE RESIDENTIAL RUN
Bryn Mawr. Steal the Bryn Mawr Running Club’s 10 mile route through hilly Bryn Mawr and the outskirts of Villanova. Start at the running store at 828 West Lancaster Avenue, and head northeast onto Montgomery Avenue through Gladwyne and Rosemont to Haverford. Loop back around via North Merion Avenue past Bryn Mawr College, and enjoy a swath of the Main Line at its most picturesque.
THE BRIDGE RUN
Ben Franklin Bridge. An oft overlooked runner’s gem. Park on the south side of the Philly on-ramp near 6th and Race, and begin a three mile round-trip romp into Jersey on a sidewalk high above the Delaware. You’ll enjoy awesome views of Campbell’s Field (yes, in Camden) and the waterfront, especially at sunrise.
THE NON-CITY RUN
Belmont Plateau. This just-off-the-beaten-path trek through Fairmount Park can be as long (or short) as you’d like. Park — for free — at the lot right next to the trail, just west of the I-76 on-ramp near Montgomery Drive. Follow the trail into the park, and you’ll run right into Parachute Hill, with 20 infamous yards of (phew!) vertical. Your reward is the plateau — and the best skyline view in Philly.
THE CAMPUS RUN
Haverford College. It’s a well kept secret, this scenic 2.25 mile marked trail encircling the campus: Start outside of Magill Library and continue around the campus along College Avenue, through secluded woods and groomed gardens. Bonus: water fountains.