Cycle Philadelphia, Road Ride, Northern Liberties

Bike ride from Old City to Penn Treaty and take a stroll through Northern Liberties in between! Nolibs is another one of those unique Philadelphia neighborhoods packed with shops, cafés, and galleries. There are also a few open spaces that are terrific for public sitting and people watching. But you’ll have to be comfortable riding in traffic – these roads have a steady stream of cars and bikes!

Terrain

You’ll weave in and out of bike lanes as you ride onroad all the way to Penn Treaty Park and back. There’s one, short hill on Second Street in Northern Liberties.

Traffic

Traffic will be heavy on most streets, including Second and Sixth, Columbus Boulevard, Girard, and Market. There are bicycle lanes on Columbus, Spring Garden, and Sixth Street.

Access 

The ride begins at the corner of Fifth and Market. If coming from the ‘burbs, take regional rail to Market East station and tote your bike from the 10th and Market exit on down to Fifth. Additionally, busses 17, 33, 48, and 57 all stop at Fourth and Market.

Food and Drink

Lock up the bikes and grab a bite on Second Street in Northern Liberties. There are so many little cafés and restaurants in this area, including plenty of options for outdoor dining and a mid-ride beer. Standard Tap and Cantina Dos Segundos, both around Second and Poplar, are tried and true favorites.

Side Trip

You might want to check out the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, which takes place every spring and travels through Penn Treaty Park. It’s a parade and celebration of human powered transportation with crazy looking, handmade floats.

 

More Details

Start out on Fifth and Market and decide how you feel – you can head straight north in the Fifth Street bicycle lane or make your way down to Third Street. Fifth will have faster traffic but a bicycle lane, Third offers a classic Philadelphia cityscape, with small businesses and brightly painted signs scattered about its brick buildings, but the street is a bit narrow. Whether you take Third or Fifth, you’ll end up on the Spring Garden bike lanes and make a right towards the Delaware River and a left on the Columbus Avenue bike lanes towards Penn Treaty Park.

There will be heavy traffic on this corner, so take your time and stick to those bike lanes as you head north. If you want to skip Penn Treaty Park, then just keep on Third Street and make your way onto Northern Liberties. Soon you will arrive at Penn Treaty Park! After you leave Penn Treaty, you’ll make your way over to Northern Liberties via East Allen Street, Frank ford and Girard. The turn on Second Street might be a hassle – you’ll have to get into the left lane and cross some trolley tracks to make it happen, but there’s a lot to do on Second – lock up your bikes and have a stroll! Stop by the Piazza, a large public space (with a huge outdoor screen that shows Phillies games, among other programming) and Liberties Walk on your way through Nolibs.

Heading home is simple – make a right at the 700 Club on Fairmount Avenue and then a left on the Sixth Street bicycle lanes. Pass Franklin Square and before you know it, you’re back to the start. Side note: Don’t miss the Liberty Bell, nestled in the corner of Sixth and Market. The National Constitution Center and Independence Hall are also right here, if you are interested in learning more about, you know… the birth of our nation.

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Start on Fifth and Market. Bike down Market and make a left to head north on Third St. If you prefer a bike lane, try heading north on Fifth St instead.
  • 0.8 Right on Spring Garden.
  • 1.2 Left on Columbus Blvd bike lanes – use caution on this turn. High traffic area!
  • 1.8 Arrive at Penn Treaty Park! Hang out.
  • 1.9 After leaving Penn Treaty, cross Columbus Blvd and make a quick left on E Allen St. It’s the first street parallel to Columbus.
  • 2.3 Right on Frankford Ave.
  • 2.5 Left on Girard Ave. Trolley tracks here!
  • 2.8 Left on N Second St and cruise through the center of Northern Liberties, all the way down to Fairmount Ave.
  • 3.2 Make a right on Fairmount Ave.
  • 3.6 Left on N Sixth St bike lanes.
  • 3.9 Pedal through 676 underpass, then wait at the light and follow the traffic pattern. This can be a tricky corner to negotiate!
  • 4.5 Left on Market St.
  • 5.1 Arrive at the beginning.
  • Trail map

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    8.111 km / 5.04 mi

    Total Distance

    64 m / 211 ft

    Total Ascent

    64 m / 211 ft

    Total Descent

    13 m / 44 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    Ride Duration: <1 hr
    Fitness Level: Medium
    Terrain:
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    On-Road
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Excellent
    Estimated Distance: 5.1
    Elevation Gain: 80
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire facilities
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber

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