Best Bike Rides Philadelphia  by Tom Hammell and Mark Ploegstra

Best Bike Rides Philadelphia Guide Book

by Tom Hammell and Mark Ploegstra (Falcon Guides)
Best Bike Rides Philadelphia  by Tom Hammell and Mark Ploegstra
This book is for people looking to explore the area in and around Philadelphia by mountain, hybrid, or road bike. Most of the rides in the book are between 10 and 30 miles, although there are some rides that are a little shorter or longer. The rides were designed this way to cater to people who want to do more than a couple miles but aren’t looking to take the time and effort to do 50 or 60 miles. A number of the rides, however, are close together so those who want to do longer rides can combine or modify rides to create new or longer routes. All the rides in the book are appropriate for anyone who is healthy and has done some riding. Each ride includes a description of the length and terrain that will give you an idea of the difficulty of the ride. Before attempting longer and more difficult rides, it is a good idea to get some training under your belt by doing some of the shorter and easier rides.

© 2012 Tom Hammell and Mark Ploegstra/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Bike Rides Philadelphia" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 40.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 40.

It might not seem at first that an airport would be a good place for a ride. When you consider that airports are generally flat and have limited access points (and therefore limited places where traffic can cross), you can see that the idea has potential. And when you further consider that Philadelphia International Airport was built on the banks of the Delaware River and might harbor some numbers of wild creatures, then you can see that it might not be a bad idea at all to ride around the airport.
Wilmington, DE - Road Biking - Trail Length: 12.6
If you’re looking for a good long training ride from Center City, then the Ambler Ramble is what you want. This favorite route of the Philadelphia Bike Club will take you past the city limits to some of the outlying suburbs for a nice long ride with enough variety of terrain and scenery to make this a ride you will want to do again and again. Since the mid-1800s Philadelphians have been taking day trips to Ambler to escape the city for a few hours and see the local countryside. Today Ambler and the surrounding area are much more developed, but it is still a good destination for a bike ride. To start the ride, head back out of the parking lot and cross Kelly Drive onto Sedgely Road. There is a bike lane here to ride on as you slowly go up a shallow hill. You will stay to the right where Sedgely Road goes left to get onto Poplar Drive.
Philadelphia, PA - Road Biking - Trail Length: 45.1
Beautiful Batsto Village, located in Wharton State Forest, is the site of a former bog-iron and glass-making community. The area around Batsto is surrounded by a number of preserved forests and some nice rivers. The flat land and empty roads make this a great place to ride. This cruise takes you around the area and shows you some of the nicer forests, rivers, and roads around.
Hammonton, NJ - Road Biking - Trail Length: 27.8
With its many restaurants, attractions, and special events, Penn’s Landing, along the Delaware River, is one of the main public gathering areas in Philadelphia. This area is also one of the best places to get nice views of the city and riverfront. If you look across the river, you will see the Battleship New Jersey next to the Aquarium. This ride will help you explore the waterfront from both sides of the river and will take you from Center City to the Battleship New Jersey and back. Along the way you get some good views of the river and learn a little of the history of the area.
Philadelphia, PA - Road Biking - Trail Length: 10.1
This ride travels through a mixture of farmland and shady woodland. Although there is some development visible along this route, much of the route travels through the Blackbird State Forest and is one of the quieter rides in the book. To start the ride turn right onto North Main Street from the parking lot, bike 0.3 mile, and turn left onto Duck Creek Parkway. The parkway runs past the school complex and along the northern edge of town, so traffic is generally light when school isn’t in session. Bike 1.5 miles until you reach North Main Street in Clayton. Turn right, cross the railroad tracks, and then turn right again onto Clayton Avenue. Clayton Avenue ends in a T intersection at DE 15, which will take you out of town.
Bridgeton, DE - Road Biking - Trail Length: 29.6
The Brandywine area of Pennsylvania is nestled in the rolling hills of southern Delaware County close to where it meets Delaware. This is where the Battle of Brandywine was fought during the Revolution, where the du Ponts made their fortunes, and where three generations of Wyeths have lived and painted the landscapes. This is an area with a lot of history that has managed to maintain its rural charm despite the encroachment of modern society. This ride will take you along the creeks and farmlands so that you can enjoy part of this historic area.
Wilmington, DE - Road Biking - Trail Length: 21
Brendan T. Byrne State Forest is one of the nicer state parks in South Jersey. It’s a good place to get away from the city and take a relaxing ride in the woods. Brendan T. Byrne State Forest offers a lot of variety to explore from the pine forest to cranberry bogs to small lakes and streams. It also offers a lot of different terrain for riding from paved roads to sand paths to single track. Whatever type of riding you’re looking for, you should be able to find something here to enjoy.
Red Lion, NJ - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 12.8
Historic churches are scattered all in and around Philadelphia. One of the most magnificent ones is Bryn Athyn Cathedral. The cathedral, located just outside the north limits of the city, was built between 1913 and 1919 in the Gothic and Norman styles. This ride will take you through the Pennypack valley for a view of the cathedral and the surrounding area. The northeast suburbs of Philadelphia are one of the most popular areas around the city to live in. This area is a mix of small towns, residential neighborhoods, and a few nice rural parks. The diversity and less crowded nature of this area make it a good area for a bike ride.
Philadelphia, PA - Road Biking - Trail Length: 16.1
At one time Bucks County had over fifty-four covered bridges. Although many of them have fallen into disrepair and have been replaced, there are still twelve of them in the county that have been preserved. Throughout the year a number of festivals and bike rides celebrate the unique beauty and history of these bridges and help fund their upkeep so they will be around to be enjoyed for many years to come. This ride will lead you through this area by a few covered bridges and show you some countryside that will take you back in time.
Doylestown, PA - Road Biking - Trail Length: 33.1
Philadelphia is a great city to bike in partly because of the many bike lanes and trails that make it easy to get to the different parts of the city. This ride will take you from Pennypack Park in the north through Center City and all the way to the airport by John Heinz Park. This will help you understand the best way to get around the city and connect to the other rides in the book. Philadelphia is the top city for bicycle commuters per capita. One of the reasons for this is the many bike lanes and bike paths that have been added in and around the city. This makes it relatively easy to get around. Some of the roads you will be riding on will be high traffic, but as long as you are careful and don’t mind a little urban riding, it is no problem coexisting with the traffic.
Philadelphia, PA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 26.5
The city of Philadelphia is busy and crowded, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your way around it by bike. In fact Philadelphia is relatively easy to get around. There are a lot of bike lanes and paths that can get you in and around most parts of the city as long as you don’t mind doing a little urban riding. This ride will take you from the Art Museum to Penn’s Landing and back; along the way you get to see some of the city’s neighborhoods and historic sights.
Philadelphia, PA - Road Biking - Trail Length: 10.2
For those who live in West Philadelphia, Cobbs Creek is one of the few places to go to hike, swim, rest in the shade of trees, and otherwise enjoy nature. This ride will take you from the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge up the Cobbs Creek Trail to 63rd Street and back. The ride starts at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge (or at 63rd Street Station, if you take the train). If you start at John Heinz, you ride out the same way that you drove in and bike north on Lindbergh Boulevard. This part of the route uses the Cobbs Creek Bikeway, so you can follow the bikeway signs to guide you to the bike trail. The bikeway meanders generally north and west to the bike path.
Wilmington, DE - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 13.6
Cooper River Park is a showcase park for Camden County. Built in 1936 by Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers, the park features a river that has been reclaimed from its industrial past and that regularly hosts sporting events such as rowing tournaments and triathlons. Cooper River Park serves as a nice oasis to the urban landscape that surrounds it. It may only be 346 acres but there are a lot of things tucked into this park that make it a popular place. Besides the trail that you will be riding, the park also has a stadium, yacht club, dog park, miniature golf, and a sculpture garden.
Camden, PA - Road Biking - Trail Length: 3.7
Cross-state rides are very common bicycle events in many states. Some of them can measure hundreds of miles. Delaware, however, is a very small state so this ride will take you all the way across the state of Delaware in a single day. Twice. At just over 30 miles it is a nice ride anybody should be able to enjoy. The small state of Delaware has a lot to off er bicyclists. The roads are mostly flat and there are a lot of quiet roads to explore. This ride will take you across the state into Maryland and back all in just over 30 miles. Along the way you will see some of the parks and wildlife areas along the canal that crosses the state. To start the ride leave Battery Park in Delaware City and ride west on Clinton Street.
Delaware City, DE - Road Biking - Trail Length: 33.3
Back when the country was new, if you wanted to move a lot of goods quickly and cheaply from one point to another, you moved it by boat. If there wasn’t a handy water route between the two points, often a water route was made by digging a canal. The D&R Canal is a great example of one of these canals and one of the few from this era that still holds water. Today, besides being used as a water supply, it also is a great recreation area with a great towpath that this ride will explore.
Trenton, PA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 27
The area around Devon has historically been associated with the Philadelphia elite, who would commute between their homes in the city and their estates in the western countryside. The estates are somewhat more subdivided now, but you don’t need to go far off the beaten path to see horse farms and country clubs. From the Friendship Park driveway, turn left onto Bear Hill Road (PA 252). Cross carefully, because the highway is busy at this point. After 0.1 mile, turn left onto Maple Avenue, and after another 0.1 mile turn right onto Russell Road. This part of the ride travels through a residential neighborhood about a block north of the railroad line. When Russell Road ends in a T intersection, turn left onto Old Lancaster Road, bike another 0.4 mile, and then turn left onto West Conestoga Road.
Philadelphia, PA - Road Biking - Trail Length: 10.9
The pastoral settings of the gentle country life are not far away from Philadelphia. Nestled in the hills above the Delaware River lies Doylestown. This town was home to James A. Michener, Oscar Hammerstein, and a number of other notable people. The area around Doylestown is filled with farmland and forests, which makes for some good scenery as long as you don’t mind a few hills along the way. This ride will lead you through this area by a few covered bridges and show you some nice countryside.
New Hope, PA - Road Biking - Trail Length: 33.9
In Philadelphia, Fairmount Park is where people go to escape the urban jungle and enjoy some recreational time in grassy fields or nice walks through wooded areas. The park has everything a big-city park needs, including plenty of open space, lots of different athletic fields for both kids and adults, and many interesting sites and attractions. This ride will take you through some different areas of Fairmount Park to show you the beauty and variety it offers.
Philadelphia, PA - Hiking,Road Biking - Trail Length: 10
Just behind the Art Museum is the southern part of Fairmount Park and the Schuylkill River. This is one of the nicest parts of Philadelphia and the easiest place to take a bike ride. This ride will take you up the east side of the Schuylkill River and down the west side for a relaxing 8-mile ride that will show you some of the beautiful and historic sights of the city. Fairmount Park is one of the largest and oldest municipally-operated park systems in the United States. The park encompasses over 9,000 acres and shows how government and citizens can work together to create useful public spaces. The bike path that is part of Fairmount Park makes it very easy to take a leisurely ride through this beautiful landscape.
Philadelphia, PA - Road Biking - Trail Length: 8
As the city has grown, suburbs and exurbs have taken root in what was once a broad expanse of farmland. Much of this farmland has been developed, but there are still some plots here and there that have been preserved and adapted to their new suburban setting.
Bridgeport, PA - Road Biking - Trail Length: 22.6