The 5 Prettiest Places to Run in Philly
If you run in Philly, your sneakers have probably pounded the Schuylkill River Trail more times than you can count. Mix up your training runs and cruise over to these other city parks and paths just as scenic as your favorite waterfront trail for a change of pace. As always, make sure you’re following current guidelines when it comes to social distancing and mask use. Check for the latest information here.
Leave the Art Museum steps to the tourists and head to West Fairmount Park for some great skyline views and challenging elevation. Starting by the Please Touch Museum, run west on the Avenue of the Republic before turning north on Belmont Avenue. Start your climb towards Belmont Mansion Drive, then cruise along the scenic plateau before following the road down toward the Horticulture Center. Turn onto Landsdowne Drive by the Shofuso House and you’ll hit the home stretch passing through the Smith Memorial Arch back onto the Avenue of the Republic.
The Woodlands and Grays Ferry
Combine two of Philly’s prettiest parks into one scenic loop with this bridge-crossing route. Run south over the University Avenue Bridge, heading down the ramp into Grays Ferry Crescent before popping back up by the Grays Ferry Bridge. Back on the other side of the Schuylkill, take Woodland Avenue east to its namesake park for a 1-mile lap around the historic cemetery before exiting and continuing along to where you started.
Ben Franklin Bridge
How many people can say they’ve run across state lines? Get your hill workout in on an out-and-back loop to New Jersey starting at the Ben Franklin Bridge’s pedestrian entrance on 5th and Race Street (across the street from the U.S. Mint). Each crossing measures approximately 1.8 miles, so tack on a little extra mileage by running south along Penn’s Landing afterward. Post-run drinks at Spruce Street Harbor Park await.
While Wissahickon is a tried-and-true spot for trail running, this network of paths in West Fairmount Park offers another place within city limits to test your stuff. Formerly the site of a scenic trolley network (hence the name), only the historic stone bridges remain in this pocket of wilderness. Check out the full map here and put together your own route from the 4.5 miles of dirt trails (marked in yellow). Park by or bike to the Chamounix Stables for easy access.
Cobbs Creek Trail
Further west, this newly extended greenway now stretches along the county border for 4.2 miles to Woodland Avenue. From there, it’s just a short jaunt to link up with either Bartram’s Garden or the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Although if you’re feeling really ambitious, this section of the East Coast Greenway theoretically stretches all the way from Key West to the Canadian border.
Get more information on how Independence Blue Cross can be a part of your plan for health and wellness.This is a paid partnership between Independence Blue Cross and Philadelphia Magazine's City/Studio