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Get Fit With a View: Philly’s Top Spots for Fitness

Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk | Photograph by Laura Kicey


You’ve got your fitness regimen down pat. You run, walk or bike regularly, but suddenly your routine has grown monotonous. What to do? Give yourself a change of scenery, and make your workout more exciting by exploring new territories.

In addition to the change of scenery, rotating between flat and elevated surfaces helps to work new muscles and prevent others from being overworked.

A variety of popular trails in and around Philly have received amazing renovations or extensions, while others have remained the same for years, as nature has intended. So, whatever your routine may be, switch it up with these photo-worthy spots.

1. Schuylkill Banks Boardwal

This 2,000-foot-long and 15-foot-wide stretch of boardwalk completed in October 2014—as an extension of the Schuylkill River Trail—runs along the Schuylkill River from Locust Street several blocks south to the South Street Bridge. Four scenic overlooks with panoramic river views provide the perfect backdrop.

2. Race Street Pie

The Race Street Pier, part of the Delaware Riverfront, is a bi-level pier located adjacent to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. The upper-level, known as the Grand Sky Promenade, rises 12 feet and is paved with an eco-friendly, synthetic material. Check out the amazing river views from the multi-tiered seating area or the adjacent, spacious lawn.

3. Washington Avenue Pier

South of the Race Street Pier is the latest addition to the Delaware Riverfront, completed in the summer of 2014. Formerly known as Pier 8, the newly renovated Washington Avenue Pier is a one-acre space constructed with repurposed materials from the original pier. While running, walking or biking, check out the 55-foot Land Buoy, a piece of public art featuring a spiral staircase.

4. The River Loop

Just steps away from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and its famed Rocky steps is the 8.4 mile stretch of Kelly Drive extending from West River Drive to Falls Bridge and back, also known as the River Loop. Loop around once or several times, and take in breathtaking views of the Schuylkill River.

5. Rittenhouse Square

For a workout with atmosphere, Rittenhouse Square is the spot. One lap around Rittenhouse Square Park is equal to 0.35 miles, so whether you’re looking for a quick run or a long, relaxing stroll, the Park is perfect. Take a break and do some people watching, or grab a quick snack or beverage from one of the nearby restaurants and cafes. The options are endless.

6. Valley Forge Park and Tyler State Park

Located outside of Philadelphia’s city limits in King of Prussia, Valley Forge Park is a haven of natural beauty in Philadelphia’s western suburbs. Don’t miss the six-mile loop, where you’ll pass rolling hills and historic landmarks. If you live in the northern suburbs, Tyler State Park in Newtown, Bucks County, is another scenic suburban spot to work those hills.

From these options, you’re sure to find a spot that piques your interest. This summer, try something new, explore your city, and work your mind and body.

If you experience pain or discomfort after one your adventures, you may need to see a doctor. The Penn  Sports Medicine Center is comprised of a team of doctors, nurses and physical therapists who take a whole-body approach to diagnosing and treating joints, muscles and bones impacted by sports injuries. Visit pennmedicine.org/sports or call 800-789-PENN (7366) to schedule your appointment today.