Get Out: Where to Take a Hike in Philly

Philadelphia has plenty of dining, entertainment, cultural, and historical hot spots. If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, Philly is also home to hundreds of miles of trails for runners, cyclists, and hikers. Check out the best places within the city limits to lace up and hit a trail.

WISSAHICKON VALLEY PARK

Wissahickon Valley Park is only ten miles from Center City, but it’s a completely different world from the bright lights and zooming cars of downtown. Situated in the Chestnut Hill, Mount Airy, and Roxborough neighborhoods, the park provides more than 50 miles of scenic marked trails for all experience levels. For challenging terrain and steep inclines, head to the White, Orange, and Yellow trails which run between 4 and 8 miles. If you’re looking for a more leisurely wilderness adventure, take the gravel path on Forbidden Drive and enjoy views of bridges, trees, and the creek. It’s also one of the best places to take that perfect Instagram in Philly.

SCHUYLKILL RIVER TRAIL

The Schuylkill River meanders for over 130 miles, and flows right through Philadelphia. Hikers, runners, and cyclists can utilize 60 miles of mixed-use trails. A 26.5-mile stretch from Philly to Phoenixville includes views of local landmarks like Boathouse Row and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as clear vantages of the city skyline. Parks, gardens, rural surroundings, and residential areas make this trail a varied hike destination. Don’t forget to check out the newly opened area, Bartram’s Mile, if you get down there.

FAIRMOUNT PARK

Over 9,000 acres of rolling hills, walking trails, waterfront views, and sprawling woodlands make Fairmount Park a natural getaway in the city. Whether it’s for a stroll, a game of frisbee, fishing, or just sitting outdoors, the expansive grounds are perfect for relaxing or getting active. Horseback riding, deep-woods hiking, and off-roads biking are option for the more adventurous visitors. In addition to making your own fun, visitors can also tour historic colonial mansions or enjoy outdoor concerts.

JOHN HEINZ NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

Ten miles of trails wind through this 1,000 acre marshy refuge that teems with wildlife and plants. The marsh is well-known among birdwatchers, as 80 species nest in the protected area. The endangered red-bellied turtle and southern leopard frogs can also be spotted. For more active ventures, visitors can canoe and fish or enjoy the network of trails.