Cycle Philadelphia, Road Ride, Chestnut Hill Loop 

This is a fun, meandering bike ride through Chestnut Hill and Mount Airy. There are a lot of shady green trees, and many of the streets are well paved and extra wide. The loop has a few turns that double back, a couple of steep hills, and one very enjoyable downhill.

Terrain

This log includes a mix of residential and city streets, with a couple of steep hills.

Traffic

The traffic here is pretty relaxed, save for a few spots around busy intersections (including Germantown Avenue, Lincoln Drive, and Bells Mill Road). But you’ll be in good company - there are a ton of cyclists in this part of town.

Access 

Take the train to the Chestnut Hill West line to Allens Lane – the ride starts here on the corner of Nippon and West Allens Lane. Easy peasy.

Food and Drink

Weaver’s Way Coop is the place to be! It’s on Carpenters Lane in Mount Airy. Of course, there are also many spots on Germantown Avenue for a snack.

Side Trip

Take Bethlehem Pike all the way to Germantown Avenue and lock up your bikes for a stroll through Chestnut Hill. This is a fun area of the city; the sidewalks are lined with trees, cafes, and shops. You’ll be at the “top of the hill” – walk down a ways to find Bredenbeck’s Bakery and Ice Cream, just after Harwell Lane.

 

More Details

The bike ride starts conveniently at the Allens Lane train station. You’ll start off exploring a little bit of Mount Airy before making your way into Chestnut Hill. You’ll travel to and fro on some of the same roads, including McCallum Street, Mermaid Lane, and Willow Grove Avenue. Traffic will be easy for the most part, but a few streets, including Cresheim Valley Drive and Willow Grove Avenue, will have heavy car traffic. Please be careful around a few tricky intersections, including Lincoln Drive, Germantown Avenue, and Bells Mill Road. And some fun: Germantown Avenue is cobblestones!

The bend in Cherokee before it becomes West Harwell Lane is blind. There’s a downhill here, so enjoy it and get your speed up but be sure to stay to the right. After the turn you’ll be greeted by a very stately site – the back of the Philadelphia Cricket Club, founded in 1854. If you tire early, you can hitch a ride back to the city at the St. Martins train station, which is just ahead. Soon, you’ll be in the heart of Chestnut Hill.

The roads are much quieter here, and the lack of cars, surprise hills and strange curves make for great bike riding. This is not a bike ride about getting somewhere fast; it’s a bike ride about wandering through a lovely neighbourhood just to see what’s around the corner. So take your time and enjoy yourself.

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Start at the Allens Ln train station; make a left on Nippon St.
  • 0.1 Right on Bryan St.
  • 0.3 Right of West Mt Pleasant Ave.
  • 0.4 Left on Mower St.
  • 0.5 Right on West Sedgwick St.
  • 0.6 Left on Cresheim Rd.
  • 0.8 Right on Carpenter Ln and follow for a ways (you’ll have to cross Lincoln Dr – sorry!).
  • 1.5 Right on Sherman, which becomes North Mt Pleasant Rd.
  • 1.9 Left on McCallum St – a very well traveled road for bicycles.
  • 2.4 Cross the McCallum St bridge.
  • 2.6 Right on Mermaid Ln.
  • 3.1 Left on St. Martins Ln.
  • 3.3 Right on Springfield Ave.
  • 3.4 Right on Cresheim Rd (fun downhill!).
  • 3.6 Right on Lincoln Dr, but just for a bit!
  • 3.65 Left on Cresheim Valley Dr.
  • 4.3 Left on Crittenden St (if you hit Stenton, you’ve gone too far).
  • 4.7 Left on Willow Grove Ave.
  • 6.0 Right on Cherokee St. Follow Cherokee down the hill and around the bend; it becomes West Hartwell Ln.
  • 6.6 Right on St. Martins Ln.
  • 6.8 A left back onto Willow Grove Ave.
  • 6.9 Quick left on Seminole St.
  • 7.3 Left on Gravers Ln.
  • 7.4 Right back onto St. Martins Ln.
  • 7.5 Left onto Seminole St.
  • 7.8 Right on W Chestnut Hill Ave.
  • 8.0 Left on Crefeld St.
  • 8.6 Right on West Hampton Rd – you’ll be heading downhill for a bit here!
  • 8.8 Left on Green Tree Rd.
  • 8.9 Quick Right on East Bells Mill Rd.
  • 9.3 Right on Stenton Ave/Bethlehem Pike; follow Bethlehem uphill.
  • 10.0 Hairpin turn onto Summit St, just before Germantown Ave.
  • 10.3 Right on Prospect Ave.
  • 10.5 Right on East Gravers Ln, then a quick left on Crittenden St.
  • 10.9 Left back onto your favorite – Willow Grove Ave!
  • 11.8 Left on St. Martins Ln.
  • 12.0 Right on Mermaid Ln.
  • 12.5 Left on McCallum St.
  • 13.0 Left on West Allens Ln.
  • 13.6 Right on Cresheim Rd and back to the station.
  • Trail map

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    21.535 km / 13.381 mi

    Total Distance

    345 m / 1,131 ft

    Total Ascent

    344 m / 1,127 ft

    Total Descent

    136 m / 446 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
    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: 13.6
    Elevation Gain: 456
    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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