5 Best Running Routes in the Wissahickon (With Maps!)

Give Forbidden Drive a break and explore the rest of what the Wissahickon has to offer.

Photo via Flickr

Photo via Flickr

Here at Be Well Philly, we love running in the Wissahickon but, we have to admit, running on Forbidden Drive can get a little old after awhile. To make sure we never get bored of our trail-running routes again, we got five Philly running pros to spill the details (maps included!) on their absolute favorite trail runs in the Wissahickon.

So, next time you’re looking for a change of scenery, give one of these runners’ go-to trail-running routes a try! Note: To see a map of each route, just click on the name of it.

The Meadows Run
Favorite of: John Goldthorp, Fix Your Run
Distance: 3.7 miles
Type: loop
What to expect: Kicking off at West Bells Mills Road, you’ll start off by tackling a massive incline. The challenge will be totally worth it, though. At the top, there are beautiful, spacious fields perfect for running through. Then, you’ll be on Forbidden Drive for just about a quarter-mile, cross the scenic Rex Avenue Stone Bridge, and then head up toward the Indian Chief statue. Finally, you have a nice cool-down back to West Bells Mills Road where you started.

Valley Green Run
Favorite of: Wesley Celestino, Chasing Trail
Distance: 2 miles
Type: loop
What to expect: If you’re looking for a workout that’s short and sweet (yet still challenging), then this is the route for you. You’ll start off at Valley Green Inn then work your way up across Cresheim Creek. Then, you’ll head back down toward the Wissahickon Creek and run alongside it back to Valley Green Inn with some nice hills and twists along the way.

Hermit Lane Hills
Favorite of: Cory Smith, Run Your Personal Best
3.88 miles
Type: loop
What to expect: Smith says this is the perfect route if you’re looking to do some hill-training. The run takes you down the Wissahickon Bike Trail over to the hilly Hermit Lane, which, thankfully, is quite shaded, Smith says. After some calf-burning hills, you’ll make your way back down to the Bike Trail and back over to the start.

Cresheim Creek Loop
Favorite of: Lia Belardo, Team Humane League Meatless Monday Running Crew
Distance: 4.25 miles
Type: loop
 What to expect: This loop is essentially an extended version of the Valley Green Run, starting at Valley Green Inn but taking you further up along Cresheim Creek before you head back. Be prepared for a challenging one-mile climb, a mix of road and trail running, and some really nice views.

Wissahickon Transportation Center Run
Favorite of: Marcy Gialdo, Marcygialdo.com
Distance: 5 miles
What to expect: This killer five-mile route starts and ends at the Wissahickon Transportation Center on Ridge Avenue. You’ll start off running along the Wissahickon Bike Trail, then cross over for some twists and turns on Hermit Lane where you’ll cross over Henry Avenue and Walnut Lane. Then, you’ll jump back onto the Wissahickon Bike Trail and finish off back at the Wissahickon Transportation Center. Awesome afternoon run, here you come!

This article first appeared in the 2015 Be Well Philly print magazine. To get a free copy for yourself, go here.

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