Cycle Philadelphia, Road Ride, Chestnut Hill to Bryn Athyn

You will pedal from Chestnut Hill to Jenkintown, on towards Bryn Athyn and Huntington Valley, then back in a long, luxurious loop. While there will be some busy intersections to navigate, the route is chock full of wide residential roads, rest stops, and poop-out train stations.

Terrain

You’ll be riding on heavily cycled suburban roads that go up and down and up and down.

Traffic

There are some narrow roads along the way and a handful of busy intersections, but for the most part, you will enjoy wide shoulders and residential streets.

Access

Parking is located at the Forbidden Drive trailhead Ride on Northwestern Avenue. You can also take the Chestnut Hill West line to Highland Avenue and follow Boathouse Row to Bruno’s Ride log (starting at mile marker 11.3) to ride the two miles to Bruno’s. Or – follow the full Boathouse Row to Bruno’s Ride log and pedal all the way from Center City to Bryn Athyn for a sweet 60-mile loop!

Food and Drink

Bruno’s – an obvious and excellent choice – is at the start of the ride. You’ll pass pockets of rest stops and snack shops every few miles, including a Whole Foods around mile seven and a bunch of cafés in the heart of Jenkintown at mile 19.

Side Trip

Visit the Bryn Athyn Cathedral and stroll through the rolling hills that surround this magnificent structure, constructed between 1913 and 1928.

 

More Details

Bike ride from Chestnut Hill to Jenkintown, on towards Bryn Athyn and Huntington Valley, then back in a long, luxurious loop. While there will be some busy intersections to navigate, the route is chock full of wide residential roads, rest stops, and poop-out train stations. Be ready for the steady incline waiting for you in miles 16 through 20. The last two miles are a fun and fast downhill. You’ll see a lot of different suburbs on this loop. Starting in Chestnut Hill, you’ll make your way towards Flourtown, Oreland, and Glenside.

You’ll go through Jenkintown on your way out to Bryn Athyn, loop around Fox Chase, then head back to Chestnut Hill via Wyncote, Cheltenham, and Wyndmoor. The Bryn Athyn Cathedral, built between 1913 and 1928 by members of the New Church, peeks through the trees on Alnwick Road before it comes into full view. It has amazing stained glass windows and, according to its history, not a single right angle or straight line.

The Bryn Athyn Historic District was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2008 – there are daily tours if interested. On your return, you’ll pass Fox Chase Farm before eventually reaching Jenkintown (mile 19.7), another town where you might want to stop for a bite or a stroll. You’ll cycle down West Avenue, home to many shops and cafés. If you wish to increase the length of the ride, add on Boathouse Row to Bruno’s or Jenkintown Train Station Loop. You will also cross the entrances to Forbidden Drive in Chestnut Hill and Pennypack Park in Fox Chase – two wooded, gravel packed bikeways that make for shaded picnic stops. 

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Start out at Bruno’s, on the corner of Northwestern Ave and Germantown Pike.
  • 0.6 Cross Stenton Ave.
  • 1.7 Three fast turns here: Right on Kopley Rd, a left on McCloskey, and a right on Chestnut Ln.
  • 2.0 Left on Haws Ln. There will be slightly more traffic here than on the previous residential streets.
  • 2.9 Right on Church Rd at the T.
  • 3.3 Left on Paper Mill Rd.
  • 3.6 Right on Edann Rd.
  • 4.1 Left on Station Ave at the T.
  • 4.9 Right on Mt Carmel Ave. This is a weird turn – take the sharp right.
  • 6.1 Cross Easton Rd.
  • 6.7 Left on Highland Ave.
  • 6.9 Right on Wharton Rd (at the second light). Bear left towards Baeder Rd.
  • 7.8 Left on Old York Rd, then a very fast right onto The Fairway. Caution please!
  • 8.4 Whole Foods Market to the left for a snack.
  • 8.5 Left on Rydal Rd, becomes Valley Rd.
  • 11.1 Left on Terwood Rd and up the quick hill.
  • 11.2 Right on Fetters Mill Rd.
  • 11.5 Bear Left on Alnwick Rd.
  • 11.8 Look left to see the Cathedral!
  • 12.0 Cross Huntington Pike – Alnwick becomes Tomlinson Rd (you will be biking through the campus of Academy of the New Church). Follow Tomlinson past Buck Rd and Philmont Ave. There are a few zigzags as you bike through Philmont Country Club.
  • 13.3 Right onto Pine Rd.
  • 14.4 Left on Welsh Rd at the T.
  • 14.6 Right to get back onto Pine Rd.
  • 15.9 Cross Moredun Rd. The entrance to Pennypack Park Ride is just ahead.
  • 16.3 Bear right to pick up Shady Ln (just past Fox Chase Farm). Shady Ln is narrow.
  • 17.6 Right on Fox Chase Rd.
  • 18.4 Pass Alverthorpe Park to the right.
  • 19.0 Right on Meetinghouse Rd at the T.
  • 19.1 Immediate left on Fair Acres.
  • 19.4 Left on Washington Ln.
  • 19.5 Right on Newbold Rd, and a quick left onto West Ave.
  • 19.7 Cross Old York Rd and you’re in Jenkintown! Snacks and coffee here.
  • 20.5 Follow the left curve in the road as you come to the Jenkintown train station.
  • 20.6 Right on Greenwood Ave to take the bridge over the train tracks.
  • 20.7 Right onto Glenside Ave.
  • 21.0 Left onto Waverly Rd. Stay on Waverly for about 2.5 miles. Cross Easton Rd and Limekiln Pike.
  • 22.4 Bear left to remain on Waverly. Cross Church Rd.
  • 23.5 Right on Cheltenham Ave.
  • 23.8 Left on Willow Grove Ave.
  • 24.0 Right on Douglas Rd.
  • 24.3 Left on Churchill Rd.
  • 24.4 Right on Southhampton Ave.
  • 24.8 Right on Flourtown Ave at the T.
  • 25.0 Left on Gravers Ln.
  • 25.1 Right on Ardmore Ave.
  • 25.3 Left at Evergreen.
  • 25.3 Right on Montgomery. There is a long awesome downhill here, with a light at the end.
  • 26.4 Left on Bethlehem Pike.
  • 26.5 Right on Gordon Rd.
  • 26.8 Right on Stenton Ave.
  • 27.0 Left on Northwestern/Wissahickon Ave.
  • 27.5 End at Bruno’s!
  • Trail map

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    Back

    42.945 km / 26.685 mi

    Total Distance

    536 m / 1,758 ft

    Total Ascent

    531 m / 1,744 ft

    Total Descent

    129 m / 423 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: 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
    Trail Signage: Average
    Mobile Coverage: Excellent
    Estimated Distance: 27.5
    Elevation Gain: 423
    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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