March 14, 2017
The sunlight peeking out over William Penn’s hat can only mean one thing: Bike season is almost here. With the onset of fresh air and balmy weather comes an ardent urge to get out and move. What better way to experience the vibrance of Philly’s neighborhoods than by bike?
Whether you’re looking to enjoy a leisurely view and pace or craving a calorie-extinguishing thrill, we’ve compiled the five best traffic-free bike routes in the city for you to tackle. Lace up your cycling shoes, strap on your helmet, and head to your nearest Indego station to pick up a bike; here are the trails that we love to hit:
Although Rocky’s iconic city run remains Philly’s most well-known boxing reference, the Boxers’ Trail is where fighters like Joe Frazier trained in the ‘60s. This tucked-away treasure will have you feeling like you’re not in the city at all but in a limitless biker's paradise. With no sense of congestion (or even a hint of city traffic), the Boxers’ Trail is the ultimate getaway, a scenic 3.8-mile-long route lined with trees and historic mansions. Even better, the uncrowded track is super wide and is conducive to all levels of biking ability.
What’s great about this trail is that it’s closed off to traffic on the weekends from April through November, making it the ultimate no-hassle spot for a beautiful bike ride. This 8-mile path is constantly buzzing with bikers, joggers, rollerbladers (and dogs!). If you need a breezy break, take a seat on the awesomely curved stone Whispering Benches at the Smith Memorial and soak up some fresh air.
Don’t be fooled by its name. Forbidden Drive is anything but terrifying. This route (known by its formal name as the Wissahickon Valley Park Trail) is the quintessential escape for any bike lover. Nestled in the woods, no city life exists here. Along its 7 scenic miles are a pebble trail and a creek (aka the best biking views). If you’re itching to get out of the city, this not-so-forbidden trail is the place to be.
For our West Philly friends, Penn Park is a charming route for an afternoon bike ride. The park emulates a track and is home to several recreational activities and facilities, making way for a constant liveliness that you can’t help but want to join. This long and upbeat route makes any bike ride, whether fast or leisurely, perfectly enjoyable.
Banks and Boardwalk – don’t worry if you still can’t spell “Schuylkill” – all you need to know about this Center City trail is that it stretches like a boardwalk above the river and takes you all the way from Spruce Street to the Art Museum and past Kelly Drive. Take in the fresh river breeze and revel in the sun on your way down this long and winding trail, where ample room allows for bikers and joggers to coexist. The best part? The beautiful view of the Philly skyline.