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.
This log includes a mix of residential and city streets, with a couple of steep hills.
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.
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.
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.
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.
21.535 km / 13.381 mi
345 m / 1,131 ft
344 m / 1,127 ft
136 m / 446 ft