Cycle Philadelphia, Road Ride, Spring Garden Bridge to Bartram’s Garden

The bike ride from the Art Museum to Bartram’s Garden in West Philadelphia is definitely for the more adventurous cyclist. You’ll enjoy such Philadelphia classics as trolley tracks and double parked cars, especially on Woodland Avenue. But wow, is the lovely Bartram’s Garden ever worth it!

Terrain

Mostly flat with a few short hills. Watch out for the unrelenting maze of trolley tracks in West Philly!

Traffic

This ride is a hodgepodge of bike paths, bike lanes, and side streets. Some of the streets are very urban, and though both trolleys and cars will be rolling alongside of you, there should be room for you to ride on the right side.

Access

You’ll find a ramp to the Spring Garden bike lanes across the street from the entrance to Schuylkill Banks Park on the Ben Franklin Parkway. There is parking behind the Art Museum as well, if driving. Septa bus routes 7, 32, 38, 43 and 48 serve the museum area.

Food and Drink

You’ll find a lot of great food trucks around the Penn campus. My favorite is the Magic Carpet Truck, parked at 34th and Walnut – just look out for the one with the longest line! There are also some good spots on Sansom Row and all along Spruce Street.

Side Trip

The Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is located at 33rd and South, just after Spruce Street. The collection has grown with each of the 400 expeditions that the museum has conducted since 1887, the year that the museum was founded.

 

More Details

Bartram’s Garden is America’s oldest living botanic garden, with a list of visitors including George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. The 45 acre garden includes the Bartram House, meadow, parkland and wetland. The grounds are open daily until dusk. A word to the wise – while trolley tracks, broken glass, and double parked cars are all over the city, there is a higher proportion of these obstacles on the way to Bartram’s. So if you’re not terribly comfortable riding with said conditions, this ride might not be the best for you. If you do not wish to pedal all the way to Bartram’s, there is an early turn around at 43rd Street after Woodlands Cemetery. This alternate route will pick up the ride log at mile 5.4 and send you on your way back towards the Art Museum.

The route is a mix of bike path and on-road. It takes advantage of the Spring Garden bike lanes, the lesser known West Bank Greenway, and the Woodland Avenue bike lanes. You will bike ride through a number of university campuses including Drexel, Upenn, and the University of the Sciences.

As would be expected with a small town of college students, the food trucks in this neighborhood are some of the best in the city. The loop around Woodlands Cemetery is amazingly serene for its location in the middle of West Philadelphia. A few of the famous names buried here include Thomas Eakins, Anthony Joseph Drexel, and Edward T. Stotesbury. Have a look around – it’s a cool little nook.

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Start on Spring Garden bike lanes behind the Art Museum, and cross over bridge into West Philly.
  • 0.3 Move across traffic to the left and make a left onto the 31st St bike path. Thirty-first St is one way, and this will appear to be a turn into oncoming traffic, but there is a path on the sidewalk.
  • 0.4 Follow the bike path around the Philadelphia Boys Choir Building.
  • 0.5 Exit path at 32nd and Powelton. Make a left onto 32nd St.
  • 0.7 Make a right onto Arch St.
  • 0.8 Make a left onto 34th St and pick up the bike lanes.
  • 1.4 Right on Spruce St bike lanes.
  • 1.9 Left on 40th St. Cross Baltimore Ave and the trolley stop.
  • 2.1 Right on Woodland Ave bike lanes. The entrance to Woodland Cemetery is on your left.
  • 2.4 If you wish to return at this point, make a left onto 43rd St, and pick up directions below at marker 5.4. Otherwise, continue on Woodland Ave bike lanes to 54th St.
  • 3.4 Make a left onto 54th St. You’ve gone too far if you’ve hit 55th St.
  • 3.6 Right on Lindberg Blvd, which forms a T in the road.
  • 3.7 Sharp left on Harley Ave/53rd St. You’ve gone too far if you pass 54th or 56th St. On Harley Ave/53rd St, you’ll pass Bartram’s Village on the right. Follow signs towards Bartram’s Garden, which is straight ahead.
  • 3.9 Bike parking at entrance to Bartram’s Garden. You’re here! When ready to leave…
  • 3.9 Exit Bartram’s Garden via 53rd St/Harley Ave.
  • 4.1 Sharp right on Lindberg Blvd.
  • 4.2 Left on 54th St.
  • 4.5 Right on Woodland Ave bike lanes.
  • 5.4 Left on 43rd St.
  • 5.8 Right on Spruce St bike lanes. If you pass Locust, you’ve gone too far. At Pine St, you haven’t gone far enough!
  • 6.3 Left on 38th St bike lanes.
  • 6.6 Right on Chestnut.
  • 7.0 Left on 33rd St.
  • 7.4 Right on Cherry St (after Arch, before Race).
  • 7.5 Left on 32nd St.
  • 7.6 Make a right on 32nd and Powelton to enter bike path.
  • 7.8 Right on Spring Garden bike lanes, over the bridge and back to the Art Museum.
  • Trail map

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    13.092 km / 8.135 mi

    Total Distance

    181 m / 592 ft

    Total Ascent

    180 m / 590 ft

    Total Descent

    30 m / 98 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    Ride Duration: <1 hr
    Fitness Level: High
    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: 7.8
    Elevation Gain: 105
    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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