One Trail, Four Ways: 4 Lovely Bike Rides Along the SRT (With Maps!)

Illustration by Sunny Eckerle

It’s no secret the Schuylkill River Trail is a local gem. In 2015, USA Today named the snaking path, with more than 60 miles of completed trail, the “Best Urban Trail in America.” And that was before two new bridges crossing the river—the Manayunk Trail Bridge and Sullivan’s Bridge—popped up alongside it, connecting it to even more trails in the area. Been a while since you explored? Here are four glorious bike routes along the SRT, all starting and ending at Boathouse Row’s Lloyd Hall. Time to dust off that Schwinn.

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The Philly Fitness Lover’s Summer Bucket List: 15 Things You Need to Do

Summer, in all its sweat-inducing glory, is here, folks! And we know: That spot on your couch that gets the perfect not-too-aggressive breeze from your AC is calling your name. That’s where this list comes in — here, 15 sweet outdoor activities around Philly worth getting sweaty for this summer, so you don’t find yourself embracing fall with nothing to show for yourself but a deeper couch imprint. Print this list, paste it to your fridge, and get to crossing items off, friends!

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Disgruntled SRT User Hangs Comically Passive Aggressive Banner

You can see the fence poking out on the trail above | Photo via Flickr user tehshadowbat

There’s a sinkhole on the Schuylkill River Trail by the Chestnut Street Bridge that’s been fenced off for a good chunk of time now. This is annoying for a number of reasons, but mostly because it limits the trail available to runners, cyclists and walkers, causing congestion. And yesterday, a photo of a disgruntled trail user’s efforts to call out the claims that the hole is “under construction” and will be fixed, well, anytime soon, appeared on Reddit. It is impressively passive aggressive and also kind of hilarious.

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Common Threads in This Year’s Rouse Award Residential Finalists

Even Folsom Powerhouse, the most residential of this year's Rouse Award finalists, incorporates mixed uses in the form of an updated take on the traditional corner store. | Photo: Postgreen Homes

Even Folsom Powerhouse, the most residential of this year’s Rouse Award finalists, incorporates mixed uses in the form of an updated take on the traditional corner store. | Photo: Postgreen Homes

The Urban Land Institute Philadelphia District Council announced the finalists for this year’s Willard G. “Bill” Rouse Awards for Excellence last week, and five of the 14 finalists fall into the residential category, at least in part.

And it’s that “at least in part” part that’s one of the most significant common threads connecting the five projects. The message these projects deliver is one that urbanists, developers and planners have all been hammering home in one way or another for more than a decade now: Single-use is out, multitasking is in. (Toll Brothers, please copy.)

Not even the most residential of the five projects is exclusively residential, and that project has many other features that make it a standout. Read more »

Trail Etiquette: 7 Rules We Wish Everyone Would Follow on the Schuylkill River Trail

Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

This past weekend — a long one, complete with 65-degree weather in freakin’ February — was the kind of weekend that causes a person to spew out delusional sentences like, “Who needs California? I basically live in California. We have avocado toast! And sunshine! And trails! WHO needs California?!”

I was yelling such statements to my boyfriend, who was undoubtedly rolling his eyes, as we biked down a sun-splashed Spring Garden Street, dressed in sweatshirts (in February! Like California!), to make our way to the Schuylkill River Trail — with a pit-stop at Whole Foods for sushi (I was really embracing the whole wannabe-California-resident thing) — to get a good long bike ride and picnic in.

This didn’t go exactly as planned.

The SRT was packed — like human-traffic-jam-level packed — with other enthusiastic, sunshine-loving, movement-loving folks looking to get their run, bike and walk on along the river. And it was still lovely, but our bike ride ended up being a verrrry slow one (at points, walkers were moving just as fast) with many hurdles — dogs darting across the path! Tiny humans darting across the path! People stopped in the middle of the trail — bikes and all — to take selfies! We only managed to make it to East Falls before we gave up and hunkered down on the side of the trail to dig into our avocado rolls. After soaking up some sunshine, we crossed the East Falls Bridge, braving the many bumps on the (much less crowded) MLK path for our ride back.

Now, don’t get me wrong: It’s AWESOME that so many people utilize the Schuylkill River Trail. It’s a wonderful resource to have access to in the middle of a city, accessible to residents spanning across a slew of neighborhoods. (And with warm weather — and Broad Street Run training season! — headed our way, the trail will only fill up more.) But this busy Sunday ride got me thinking about a few rules that I wish everyone would follow to make using the trail a bit more pleasant for all. Read ‘em below. And if you have rules you wish everyone on the SRT would follow, shout ‘em out in the comments.

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Registration Now Open for This Sweet Relay Race Along the SRT

Remember the Schuylkill River Relay 50K? To jog your memory, the relay race — in which runners tackle 31 miles of the beautiful Schuylkill River Trail in teams — debuted last spring as a part of Sly Fox’s SPREEKEND, a weekend that celebrates all things Schuylkill River Trail, with organized events from kayaking to cycling to, well, running (duh). The race ends at Sly Fox’s SPREEKEND party, complete with live music and food trucks, where they release their annual SRT Ale, a beer that benefits the trail.

If you were bummed to miss out on the race last year, good news: Registration for this year’s Schuylkill River Relay 50K — going down Saturday, April 22nd — opened at 10 a.m. this morning. And we’ve got a discount code for you!

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Two Runners Robbed on the Schuylkill River Trail in the Middle of the Night 

Photo | M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

Photo | M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

A heads up for all our runner friends: Two runners were robbed on the Schuylkill River Trail in the wee hours of Friday morning, 6abc reports. According to 6abc, the runners — a 21-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man — were running along the trail near Walnut Street around 12:30 a.m. when a male suspect robbed them at gunpoint and made off with their phones and wallets. The victims were physically unharmed. Police are still looking for the suspect.

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