ยป The best bike routes in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, known as the City of Brotherly Love, is not only rich in history and culture but also offers a plethora of bike-friendly routes for cycling enthusiasts. Whether you are a local looking for new routes or a visitor exploring the city, Philadelphia has something to offer for everyone. In this article, we will explore some of the best bike routes in Philadelphia, highlighting their unique features and attractions along the way.

1. Schuylkill River Trail

The Schuylkill River Trail is a 30-mile multi-use path that follows the Schuylkill River, offering stunning views of the city skyline and the river itself. This trail is perfect for both recreational cyclists and commuters, as it connects many neighborhoods and attractions. Starting from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you can ride along the river, passing by Boathouse Row, Fairmount Water Works, and the iconic Philadelphia Zoo. The trail continues further west, passing through Manayunk and ending at Valley Forge National Historical Park.

2. Kelly Drive

Kelly Drive, named after the famous Olympic rower John B. Kelly Jr., is a scenic road that runs parallel to the Schuylkill River. This route is popular among cyclists for its wide bike lanes and beautiful views. Starting from Boathouse Row, you can ride along Kelly Drive, passing by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the historic Water Works, and the serene East Falls. The road is closed to vehicular traffic on weekends, allowing cyclists to enjoy a car-free ride.

3. Forbidden Drive

Located in Fairmount Park, Forbidden Drive is a 5.5-mile gravel path that follows the Wissahickon Creek. This route offers a peaceful and scenic ride, surrounded by lush greenery and towering trees. As you cycle along Forbidden Drive, you can explore the historic Valley Green Inn, visit the Thomas Mill Covered Bridge, and enjoy the tranquility of the Wissahickon Valley. This trail is perfect for nature lovers and those seeking a break from the bustling city.

4. Manayunk Bridge Trail

The Manayunk Bridge Trail is a unique bike and pedestrian path that spans the Schuylkill River, connecting Philadelphia and the borough of Manayunk. This former railway bridge offers panoramic views of the river and the surrounding area. The trail starts from the Philadelphia side, near the Ivy Ridge Station, and leads to Main Street in Manayunk. Along the way, you can enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Manayunk, with its shops, restaurants, and scenic canal towpath.

5. Delaware River Trail

The Delaware River Trail is a developing multi-use path that will eventually span 11 miles along the Delaware River, connecting various neighborhoods and attractions. Currently, a section of the trail is open from Penn Treaty Park to Washington Avenue Pier. This route offers stunning views of the river, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, and the Philadelphia skyline. As the trail continues to expand, it will become a prominent route for cyclists, runners, and walkers.


1. Are these bike routes suitable for all skill levels?

Yes, these bike routes cater to cyclists of all skill levels. The Schuylkill River Trail and Kelly Drive, have dedicated bike lanes and are suitable for beginners. Other routes, like Forbidden Drive, offer a more relaxed and scenic ride.

2. Can I rent a bike in Philadelphia?

Yes, there are several bike rental shops in Philadelphia where you can rent bicycles for a day or longer. These shops also provide helmets and other necessary equipment.

3. Are there any bike-sharing programs in Philadelphia?

Yes, Philadelphia has a bike-sharing program called Indego. With numerous stations throughout the city, you can easily rent a bike for a short period and return it to any station.

4. Are these bike routes safe?

Philadelphia has made significant efforts to improve bike infrastructure and safety. Many of these routes have dedicated bike lanes or paths, ensuring a safer cycling experience. However, it is always important to follow traffic rules, wear a helmet, and be aware of your surroundings.

5. Can I combine multiple routes for a longer ride?

Absolutely! Many of these routes can be combined to create longer rides. For example, you can start with the Schuylkill River Trail, connect to Kelly Drive, and then continue onto the Manayunk Bridge Trail. This allows you to explore different neighborhoods and attractions along the way.


Philadelphia offers a diverse range of bike routes, catering to cyclists of all skill levels and interests. From the scenic Schuylkill River Trail to the serene Forbidden Drive, there is something for everyone. Whether you are a local or a visitor, exploring these bike routes will not only provide a great workout but also allow you to discover the beauty and charm of the city. So grab your bike, put on your helmet, and embark on an unforgettable cycling adventure in Philadelphia!

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