I hate winter. I hate winter so much, in fact, that I fled from the east coast to Arizona the minute I turned 18, just for the promise of sweater-clad December days. (Choosing your college based on your weather preferences is an awful idea, by the way.) My aversion to temperatures below 45 degrees makes my relationship with fall complicated. The brisk temperatures of fall signal impending doom to me. That said, it is the prettiest darn impending doom there is, what with orange, red and yellow leaves and sweater-weather that is perfect for running, walking or hiking through them.
So to help you soak up the changing leaves of the season before the branches are bare and your hibernation mode kicks in (just us?), we’ve rounded up 10 beautiful running and walking spots (aside from Fairmount Park, because we’re sure you’re already hip to that gem) where you can get up close and personal with the region’s gorgeous fall foliage. We say you make it a goal to check off as many of these as you can over the next few weeks.
Ready, set, go!
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A workout without added incentive — you know, aside from the endorphin rush — is a workout many people probably (definitely) won’t end up doing. So added workout incentive is just what the new Philly-based app Vea Fitness, launching this weekend in conjunction with the Philly Free Streets event (who else is excited??), is aiming to give folks.
As Vea co-founder Jonathan Maxim, a former graphic designer who started putting his all into the app about two years ago, tells us, “I was really inspired by my own fitness journey and realizing how much fitness does for your confidence, wellbeing and state of mind. I wanted to be able to share workout motivation on a grand scale.” And what’s the way to do that nowadays? Software, he says.
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There isn’t much better incentive to get your heart rate up in the great outdoors come fall than the promise of catching a good glimpse of the season’s lovely, Hallmark-card-worthy red, orange and yellow leaves, are we right? And one of the very best spots to take them in? The Wissahickon, of course. And this fall, Friends of the Wissahickon is challenging everyone to put on their hiking boots, bike helmets and running shoes and tackle ALL of the Wissahickon’s trails — that would be over 50 miles of them — with their All Trails Challenge. Just think of all the Instagram-worthy, fall-leaf-filled photo ops!
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Belmont Plateau, a perfect picnic and running spot | Photo by Flickr user Rich Lee
Trust us: We know how easy it is to get stuck watching Grey’s Anatomy episode after Grey’s Anatomy episode while sprawled out in front of the air conditioner on a hot summer day. So to make sure you have no excuses for wasting your summer stuck indoors, we’ve put together this cheat sheet full of outdoor activities in and around Philly, from outdoor yoga options to waterfall-filled hikes to Shore runs to picnic spots. The goal? To give you endless hours of outdoor fun right at your fingertips. Print it out, paste it on your fridge with a big sign that screams “SAY NO TO NETFLIX!” and squeeze the most out of your summer in Philly.
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Sure, you’re probably prepared to indulge in the dinner of your dad’s choice this Sunday night, but for those of you who want to get the celebrations started a little earlier, why not begin the day with one of these five father-focused fitness events (try saying that five times fast)? From a 5K to a free boot camp with post-workout booze, there’s bound to be something you can rope your pops into. Read more »
Photo courtesy of the Friends of the Wissahickon Facebook
Does a bear swim in the Wissahickon?
Apparently so. According to a Facebook post from the Friends of the Wissahickon, a black bear was spotted on Forbidden Drive in Wissahickon Valley Park. It was last seen heading toward Devil’s Pool.
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The Wissahickon is to my hiking life as Sweetgreen is to my work-lunch life: It’s great and it’s my go-to because it’s great. But, like I fear I’ll Sweetgreen myself out because I go there more than anyone with 7,839 lunch options within a block of their office should, I am often afraid that I will someday Wissahickon myself out. After all, one can only hike past Devil’s Pool so many times before they stop thinking it’s beautiful and cool and start wondering instead why (oh, whyyyyy) anyone with a brain would willingly jump into that oh-so-gross water, right? And that’s where the new online Philly hiking resource Philly Day Hiker comes in. Read more »
Hike in Fairmount Park | Photo via Facebook
When you think of Philadelphia, vibrant woodlands aren’t the first thing that comes to mind — but Philly is actually teeming with natural acres of forest that many locals fail to take advantage of. The Fairmount Park Conservancy hopes to change that with their Go Take a Hike! program, designed to help Philly residents discover the natural wonders hidden right in our backyard. Read more »
Yoga on the Pier | Photo by Matt Stanley
Lately, the weather has been like a flaky Tinder date. One minute, it’s sunny and warm and the next, it’s cold and isn’t answering your texts. Okay, maybe the ghosting-on-texts part doesn’t apply, but the cold definitely does. This week alone, the temperatures are supposed to flip-flop between the 40s and the 70s. Just as confusing as your last Tinder fling, right?
But the first day of spring is just 13 days away (!!), which means that temperamental weather should soon — hopefully! — be a thing of the past, with warm temps here to stay through September or so. Below, 13 reasons we can’t freakin’ wait for warm weather in Philly. If you’ve got reasons to add, list ‘em off in the comments! Read more »
As you might know, every week we team up with our friends at the Monster Milers to feature an adoptable running dog. But this week, the best thing happened: All the adoptable running dogs kept getting adopted before we could feature them. Awesome, right? So this week, we bring you Matzo Ball. She’s not much for running, but with spring right around the corner, she’d make a great hiking buddy! Learn more about her below. Read more »