19 Scenic Bike Trails Around Philadelphia to Try Now

These trails in and around Philadelphia cover all of your biking needs — from paved and flat to mountainous and single track.


bike trails philadelphia

Cyclists view the sunset from the Manayunk Bridge, above the Manayunk Towpath. Photograph by Dan Lidon

Philadelphia and the surrounding region are home to hundreds of miles of dynamic multi-use trails built for biking of all styles. And as more people turn to biking for exercise and access to nature, here are our top picks for great trails, based on skill level and preference.

Bike Trails in Philadelphia

Forbidden Drive
Best for: Street bikers who want to get near nature
Why: This trail truly has it all — views, shade from the sun, and easy access points for city dwellers and suburbanites alike.
Length: 5.4 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 Loop
Best for: Soaking up all things Philly (the river, the skyline, Boathouse 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 your tiring body. From April through the end of October, the MLK Drive portion of this loop is closed to cars, opening the four-lane road to all bikers, walkers and runners — on Saturdays and Sundays.
Length: 9 miles
Access: The path begins at Lloyd Hall, 1 Boathouse Row.

The Manayunk Towpath
Best for: Bikers looking for a day ride with an outdoor lunch stop
Why: The Manayunk Canal runs parallel to Main Street, and 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 points along Manayunk’s Main Street, including at Lock Street and Cotton Street. You can also easily pick up the Manayunk Bridge Trail above on Dupont Street.

The Centennial 5K Route
Best for: City families and bikers who want to beat the crowds
Why: This well-marked Fairmount Park 5K loop is perfect for individuals and families looking for a scenic but fairly short ride.
Length: 3.1 miles
Access: The trail begins behind the Please Touch Museum, continues on past the Japanese House, and then loops around the Centennial District.

Boxers’ Trail
Best for: The aura of mountain biking along a forest path, minus the mountain
Why: Riding on this trail will give modern-day bikers serious hidden-gem vibes thanks to the lack of congestion. 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 path to Fountain Green Drive, where it connects with the Schuylkill River Trail. The trailhead is at 33rd and Oxford streets.

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 steep hills. It starts within city limits, then connects to the great beyond. This trail is part of the East Coast Greenway, a stretch of 3,000 miles of connected trails.
Length: 3.7 miles
Access: The trail begins at the 63rd Street stop on the Market-Frankford Line, at 63rd and Market.

Pennypack Trail
Best for: Riders who want varied difficulty
Why: This semi-paved trail will take you on a tour of gorgeous Pennypack Park. Along the way, you’ll pass historical buildings and gorgeous vistas.
Length: 9.5 miles
Access: 8500 Pine Road (though there are several park access points)

bike trails philadelphia

A biker explores the Delaware Canal Towpath. Photograph by Dan Lidon

Biking Trails in Bucks County

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 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 to personalize your ride; find them at FODC.org.
Length: 58.9 miles
Access: Loop trail connection bridges can be found in the towns of 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 shared with pedestrians, so cautious riding is encouraged.
Length: 10.5 miles
Access: 101 Swamp Road, Newtown

Bike Trails in Montgomery County

Perkiomen Trail
Best for: Biking enthusiasts interested in a daylong ride
Why: Most of the trail is only 10 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 the Perkiomen Creek.
Length: 20 miles
Access: The trail connects Lower Perkiomen Valley Park, Central Perkiomen Valley Park and Green Lane Park.

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. To find a paved trail, head to the south side of the park for the 6.6-mile Joseph Plumb Martin Trail.
Access: 1400 North Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia

Biking Trails in Delaware County

Ridley Creek State Park Trail
Best for: Families looking to cruise together
Why: The trail is paved and flat and designated for bicyclists, joggers and cross-country skiers.
Length: 5 miles
Access: The park is located at 1023 Sycamore Mills Road, and the multi-use trail begins near 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: Due to SEPTA construction on Lenni Road, the trail is no longer accessible from the parking area there, but limited parking is available on Mount Alverno Road and Knowlton Road.

Bike Trail in Berks County

Blue Marsh Lake
Best for: 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 thick forest.
Length: 36 miles
Access: 1268 Palisades Drive, Leesport

Bike Trails in New Jersey

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 to 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 and activities
Why: At Allamuchy, your ride will surely include some log hops and rocky climbs, but you’ll likely also hit some water crossings. In fact, follow the Water Trail to end up on the Musconetcong River for kayaking and canoeing.
Length: 14 miles of marked trails and 20 miles of unmarked trails
Access: 800 Willow Grove Street, Hackettstown

Bike Trails in Delaware

Brandywine Creek State Park
Best for: Novice to intermediate mountain bikers
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 joyrides.
Length: Nearly 15 miles of accessible trails
Access: 41 Adams Dam Road, Wilmington

Bellevue State Park
Best for: Bikers who want to get out of the city and folks who don’t have their own bikes
Why: Bellevue has free two-hour bike rentals on a first-come, first-served basis at the park office, at 800 Carr Road. As for the trails, the difficulty levels vary, making them good for beginners and seasoned riders alike.
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 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 are bike trails.
Access: 750 Thompson Station Road, Newark

Published as “Hot on the Trail” in the 2021 issue of Be Well Philly.