Biking is awesome because it’s kind of a multitasking activity — on one hand you’re getting from point A to B, but you’re also getting in a workout while you’re at it! At this moment, we’re experiencing prime biking conditions — we’ve got sunshine, a warm breeze and a happy demeanor only the warmer months can provide.
That said, switching up your routes is crucial to keeping biking exciting — especially if you’re in it for a dose of nature while you ride. Below, you’ll find 19 bike trails in the Philadelphia area that will provide supreme cruising no matter your riding needs. (Single track, mountain, paved — we’ve got you covered).
Best for: Street bikers who want to get near nature
Why: This beloved trail was recently named Pennsylvania’s 2018 Trail of the Year, and for good reason! This trail truly has it all — nature-filled views, shade from the sun, and easy access points for city dwellers and suburbanites alike.
Length: 6.6 miles
Access: The trail begins right before the entrance to Main Street in Manayunk, across the street from the Wissahickon Transportation Center and ends at Northwestern Avenue in Chestnut Hill.
Kelly Drive and Martin Luther King Drive (Schuylkill River Trail) Loop
Best for: Soaking up all things Philly (the river, the skyline, Boat House Row) while scoring a workout
Why: No matter the season, this fan-favorite trail is brimming with eye candy and will surely keep your mind off of your tiring body. From April through the end of October, the MLK Drive portion of this loop is closed to cars — making the four-lane road open to all bikers, walkers, and runners — on Saturday’s and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Length: 8.4 miles
Access: The path begins at Lloyd Hall, 1 Boathouse Row.
The Manayunk Towpath
Best for: Bikers looking for a nice day ride — with a lunch stop at one of Manayunk’s adorable restaurants or cafes.
Why: The Manayunk Canal runs parallel to Main Street and you can stop to refuel at one of Manayunk’s great lunch spots, like Winnies or The Couch Tomato. Its surface varies between boardwalk, gravel, and hard ground.
Length: A portion of the 22-mile Schuylkill River Trail, the Towpath parallels the Canal and the Schuylkill River. It’s two miles long.
Access: The Towpath is accessible from numerous access points along Manayunk’s Main Street, including Lock Street and Cotton Street.
The Centennial 5K Route
Best for: Inner city families and bikers who want to beat the crowds
Why: This well-marked 5K loop is perfect for individuals and families looking for a scenic, but fairly short ride.
Length: 3.12 miles
Access: The trail begins behind the Please Touch Museum, continues on past the Japanese House, and then loops around the Centennial District.
Best for: Mountain biking vibes through a forest path, minus the mountain
Why: Riding on this trail will give modern-day bikers serious hidden-gem vibes because of the lack of congestion on the trail. Pedal along the tree-lined path and past some of East Fairmount Park’s historical mansions.
Length: 3.8 miles
Access: Begin in East Fairmount Park at Strawberry Mansion and follow the park down to Fountain Green Drive, where it connects with the Schuylkill River Trail. The trailhead begins 33rd and Diamond Street.
Cobbs Creek Trail
Best for: Speed workouts for inner-city bikers who don’t want to travel
Why: The trail is paved and mostly flat, with only a few slightly steep hills. It starts within city limits but connects to the great beyond — this trail is a part of the East Coast Greenway, which is a stretch of 3,000 miles of connected trails.
Length: 3.7 miles
Access: The trail begins right at the 63rd Street stop on the Market Frankford Line on 63rd and Market.
Best for: Riders who want varied difficulty.
Why: This semi-paved trail will take you on a tour of the gorgeous Pennypack Park. Along the way, you’ll pass rest stops, historical buildings and gorgeous vistas.
Length: 8.8 miles
Access: 8500 Pine Road (though there are several park access points).
Delaware Canal Towpath
Best for: Cyclists who want a long ride with lots of changing scenery
Why: Because this trail covers so much ground, you’ll surely be passing tons of nature-filled views as you pedal along. However, if you don’t have time to clock 60 miles, there are plenty of loop options — which you can peruse here — to personalize your ride.
Length: 58.89 miles
Access: Loop trail connection bridges can be found in the towns Uhlerstown, Lumberville, Center Bridge, Washington Crossing, and Morrisville.
Tyler State Park Trail
Best for: Family-friendly paved cruising
Why: At this greenery-filled park, bikers are allowed only on the paved paths which are also shared with pedestrians so, cautious riding is encouraged.
Length: 10.5 miles
Access: 101 Swamp Road, Newtown
Best for: Biking enthusiasts interested in a daylong ride.
Why: Most of the trail is only ten to 12 feet wide with a crushed-stone surface. Along the way, expect open fields, wooded hillsides, and plenty of watering hole trailheads as you travel alongside Perkiomen Creek.
Length: 20 miles
Access: The trail follows the Perkiomen Creek and connects Lower Perkiomen Valley Park, Central Perkiomen Valley Park, and Green Lane Park. Check out this map for access points.
Valley Forge National Historical State Park
Best for: An hour or two of easy biking near nature.
Why: Many of the trails are paved and flat.
Length: There are more than 20 miles of biking trails in the park including 12 miles of flat, unpaved trails. For a paved trail, head to the south side of the park for the 6.6-mile Joseph Plumb Martin Trail.
Access: The park is located 1400 North Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia.
Ridley Creek State Park’s Multi-Use Trail
Best for: Families looking to cruise together
Why: The trail is paved, flat, and has a 15 mph speed limit.
Length: 4.4 miles
Access: The park is located at 1023 Sycamore Mills Roadd, and the multi-use trail begins at the intersection of Barren Road and Chapel Hill Road.
Chester Creek Rail Trail
Best for: A quick and easy ride with shade
Why: This tree-lined trail will allow you to put the pedal to the metal in warmer months without roasting in the sun.
Length: 2.8 miles
Access: 426 Lenni Road, Media
Blue Marsh Lake
Best for: Lots and lots of high-quality mountain biking.
Why: Here, you get a little bit of everything: strenuous climbs, cool coasts, and tons of differing views from water to thicker forest.
Length: 36 miles
Access: 1268 Palisades Drive, Leesport.
Belleplain State Forest
Best for: Mountain bikers and single track-lovers
Why: Belleplain offers about 10 miles of single-track biking trails, while the remaining 40-or-so trails are wider and more suited for the casual-to-intermediate mountain biker.
Length: 50 miles of trails
Access: 1 Henkinsifkin Road, Woodbine
Allamuchy Mountain State Park
Best for: Technical riders with an affinity for water-filled views or activities
Why: At Allamuchy, your ride will surely include some log hops and rocky climbs, but you will likely also hit some water crossings. In fact, follow the Water Trail to end up on the Musconetcong River for kayaking, canoeing, or rowboating.
Length: 14 miles of marked trails and 20 miles of unmarked trails
Access: 800 Willow Grove Street, Hackettstown
Brandywine Creek State Park
Best for: The novice-to-intermediate mountain biker.
Why: Located at the edge of the Delaware border, Brandywine Creek laces its way through Chester County and links to the Delaware River. Trails here range from steep hills and rough terrain to smooth, flat joy rides.
Length: 14 miles of accessible trails
Access: 41 Adams Dam Road, Wilmington.
Bellevue State Park
Best for: Non-bikers who want to get out of the city and need gear
Why: Bellevue has free two-hour bike rentals at a first-come, first-serve basis from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The bikes are available at the park office, which is located at 800 Carr Road. Trails range from easy to difficult.
Length: 2.2 miles of unpaved trails, 1.6 miles of paved trails.
Access: 800 Carr Road, Wilmington.
White Clay Creek State Park
Best for: Serious mountain biking
Why: Hitting the trails here will have you weaving and winding through the park’s interconnected trail system — before you know it, you’ll be on the opposite side of the park!
Length: Of the 37 total miles of trails within White Clay, 22 miles are bike trails.
Access: 750 Thompson Station Road in Newark, Delaware.
Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that Boxers’ trail was named for Rocky.
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