Cycle Philadelphia, Sightseeing & Kids friendly Ride, Schuylkill River Trail to Valley Forge
This tried and true bike ride comes highly recommended by droves of city cyclists. It is pretty straight forward, offering a couple of good hills in Manayunk and a flat and fast path through to Valley Forge. You also have the option of picking up the towpath in Manayunk if not comfortable on the busy Main Street.
For most of the trip, you’ll ride on the Schuylkill River Trail, an off-road, paved path. However some trail connections are not yet complete and you will be on-road for a bit through Manayunk.
This is a pretty popular ride – though there will be a decent amount of car traffic through Manayunk, plenty of cyclists will join you between Ridge Avenue and Umbria Street. Once on the path, there will be a steady flow of bicycles.
Septa bus routes 7, 32, 38, 43 and 48 serve the museum area. If driving, you’ll find ample parking behind the Art Museum and Boathouse Row. The Manayunk/Norristown Regional Rail line runs parallel to the Valley Forge section of the Schuylkill River Trail in the event of poop-out.
Food and Drink
You’ll pass tons of places to stop for a bite or a cup of coffee on Main Street in Manayunk, including Le Bus and La Colombe. The Spring Mill Café is just off the path on Barren Hill Road in Conshohocken. But be sure to pack extra water for the rest of the trail to Valley Forge!
The Valley Forge National Historical Park, with its stunning landscape, monuments and shaded paths, is an excellent place to picnic or spend the afternoon.
The great thing about this bike ride is that you can go for as long as you wish, and when sufficiently cycled out, you can return along the same route or hop on the Manayunk/Norristown line to hitch home. If making a realxed day out of it, then you should lock up your bikes and stroll through the ‘Yunk; there are lots of lovely shops and cafes to visit in this part of town. If clad in Spandex, you will enjoy the ability to extend this ride quite a bit farther by utilizing the trail network just beyond Valley Forge National Historical Park.
You’ll start off as with most other Art Museum Departures, heading north along the Loop. After Falls Bridge, you’ll continue along the river until Ridge Avenue, where you’ll make a sharp left to head into Manayunk. There are two options for you: the onroad Main Street/Umbria route, and the towpath. Umbria has traffic and a nice hill. The towpath is packed gravel and can sometimes be muddy. At about mile eight, you’ll pick up The Schuylkill River Trail to Valley Forge.
Try to stay on the section that leads to the right and pass on the left here – this path can be very busy on the weekends, and it isn’t terribly wide. Some sections are green and shaded, others are sunny and hot in the warmer months. The path will take you along the rail line through Miquon, Spring Mill, Conshohocken, and Norristown. At about mile 15, you’ll pass the Norristown Transportation Center – the last on the line. Once in Valley Forge, you have quite a few options to extend the ride. For starters, there is a good network of paved trails in the Valley Forge National Historical Park.
There is also the Audubon Loop, offering a challenging nine percent grade hill. If you want to be bold, take the Perkiomen Trail all the way out to Perkiomenville. Just remember to turn around!
32.922 km / 20.457 mi
261 m / 856 ft
234 m / 766 ft
55 m / 182 ft