Top 5 Hiking Trails In Philly

When people think of Philadelphia, thoughts of cement and street lights come to mind. Few people realize that Philly has abundant green spaces. There’s no need to go to the Poconos for good hiking trails. They’re right here in Philadelphia. In fact, Philadelphia has the largest urban park system in the WORLD!

There are lots of trails beyond our top five. When we get to our No.1 pick, we’ll give you a site that can help you find all the trails in Philadelphia.

 

Let’s get started with our No. 5 entry….

 

#5 – Belmont Plateau Trail (West Fairmount Park)

belmont -plateau-trail

If Belmont Plateau Trail sounds familiar, it’s probably because you remember the line in Will Smith & Jazzy Jeff’s song “Summertime”: “The place called the Plateau is where everybody go”.

Indeed, the Belmont Plateau Trail is a beautiful 5-mile trail with hill variations, logs, stream crossings and the like. Even though you’re in the heart of the 5th largest city in America, you can get lost here. So bring your cell phone loaded with your favorite map program. If you’re old school, bring a paper map.

 

Since there are a number of ways to get onto the trail, contact the Belmont Plateau Trails Alliance for more information on the trail.

 

Image credit: TrailLink.com

 

 

#4 – Pennypack Trail (Pennypack Creek Park)

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One of the nice things about the Pennypack Creek Park Trail is that it extends beyond the City. You could start as far as Byberry Road in Huntingdon Valley or Pine Rd in Abington and wind your way through the hills and flat land.

 

Because of the many picnic and fishing areas, it’s an awesome place to take the family for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon outing. Stick to the marked trails and you’ll be fine. Just remember, if you want to be adventurous, bring your map or GPS.

 

Image credit: TrailLink.com

 

#3 – Tacony Creek Trail (Tacony Creek Park)

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The Tacony Creek Trail makes you feel like you’re in the woods of a mountain as it stretches from Juniata Park and wrapping around until the Cheltenham/Philly border. Unlike the trail’s name, it doesn’t simply follow the creek. It takes you off and back allowing you to experience nature at its finest.

 

It’s hard to believe that a place this serene lives in the heart of the urban jungle. Yet, here it is, waiting for you to relax on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Bring a lunch and extend your day bird watching on Tacony Creek Trail.

 

Image credit: TrailLink.com

 

2- Schuylkill River Trail

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Hidden in plain view of the Schuylkill River, the Schuylkill River Trail is a recreational and cultural gem. Head to the Fairmount Water Works. Once inside, go past the Water Works Restaurant and down the hill.

 

The trail opens up to a panoramic view of the Schuylkill River and the Schuylkill Expressway. If you’re into skateboarding, bring one with you. Because a skate park was built to satisfy your skating pleasure.

 

If you don’t have a skateboard, bring your walking shoes. You’ll need them to cover the 27 miles assuming you start at Walnut St and follow it to the end at Longford Park in Valley Forge. And since the trail is behind the Art Museum, carve out some time to stop in. If you do it on the first Sunday of the month or any Wednesday evening, it pay what you want for admission.

 

Image credit: Belmont Plateau Trails Alliance

 

1- Forbidden Drive (Valley Green Hiking Trail)

forbidden-driveAnyone who has been to Forbidden Drive knows why it’s in our number one position. This trail is truly “hidden”. After making a sharp right turn to make your way to the trail, you drive deeper and deeper into forestry on the left and right. Finally, you emerge into a forest Oasis.

 

This is our favorite trail because even if you don’t want to walk, sitting by the water and watching the ducks and geese go by is the epitome of relaxation. You may even catch an outdoor wedding at the Valley Green Inn. If there isn’t one, grab a bite in at the Inn before or after your hike.

 

If you can only visit one of these incredible trails, Valley Green Inn should be the place to go before leaving Philly.

 

Image credit: Traillink.com

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