Great Trails within 90 Miles of the City

I’m just going to go ahead and say it:  the Philadelphia metro area has the best cycling trails in the United States.  Within an hour’s drive, there are hundreds of miles of safe, car-free paved and gravel trails with beautiful scenery and interesting towns to explore.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey were industrial powerhouses in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when coal was king and manufacturing flourished, facilitating the development of riverside canals and train lines.  Now those tow paths and rail beds have been converted to recreational trails, and modern cyclists are the lucky beneficiaries.


Continue reading “Day Rides Around Philadelphia”

Gravel, Dunes, and Boardwalks

Beach PathThe Delaware shore has a cluster of popular beach towns that are great for cycling.  Moderate traffic, flat terrain, interesting scenery, and a few nice trails make it well worth loading your bike on the car for some exploration.

I recently spent a long afternoon pedaling through three towns, past suburban developments, marshlands, forests, dunes, boardwalks, tourist-filled beaches, and the captivating Cape Henlopen State Park.

Official Sites:    Delaware Greenways,  Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware Seashore State Park

Difficulty:  Easy

Ride Type:  Lollipop (out-and-back, with a loop)

Surface:  Paved and Gravel


Overnight Ride – Northwest Out of Philly

CampgroundSometimes it’s nice to get out of the city for a night.  Fortunately, if you live in Philly, there are lots of good options.  If you want to do the whole thing on two wheels, with no cars, buses, or trains involved, a ride out to Green Lane Park in northwest Montgomery County is a great choice.  The route is almost completely off road, following the (paved) Schuylkill River Trail to Oaks then meandering up the (gravel) Perkiomen Trail to the park, which is set around three lakes dammed on Perkiomen Creek.

If you’ve never done any bike camping and want to give it a shot, this is a perfect intro.  It was my first loaded adventure, back in 2008, and I’ve repeated it whenever an opportunity has arisen.

Official Sites:  Schuylkill River Trail, Perkiomen Trail,  Green Lane Park

Difficulty:  Easy-to-Moderate

Ride Type:  Out-and-Back

Surface:  Paved and Gravel