Cycle Philadephia, Sightseeing and Kids Ride, The Cobbs Creek Bikeway
Far out in West Philadelp, ia you’ll find the Cobbs Creek Bikeway, a quiet path that stretches from 63rd Street and Market on down to 70th. City and nature collide along this bike ride – to one side you’ll see the creek and its verdant trees, to the other you’ll watch the cityscape of West Philly fly by. This juxtaposition makes for some of the most unique urban bike riding that Philadelphia has to offer.
A multi-use paved path that runs along the road, except for a small section that winds through the woods. As with many other routes in Philadelphia, be on the lookout for scattered glass and light debris patiently waiting atop the pavement to pop your new tires.
The Cobbs Creek Bikeway generally has less foot and bicycle traffic than the paths nearer to Center City, but the picnic areas, basketball courts and playgrounds along the way are hopping in the warmer months.
You’ll find a parking lot near the northern end of the path on 63rd and Walnut Street in West Philadelphia. The Spruce Street bike lanes and the 21 bus will also get you close by.
Food and Drink
Not many options along Cobbs Creek, so best to bring some snacks and extra water for your ride.
Check out Love Letter, a collection of 50 rooftop murals by former graffiti artist Steve Powers for the Mural Arts Program. This awesome collection of public art runs along Market Street between 45th and 63rd. TheMarket/Frankford El gives a great view.
Starting out at the northern tip of the recreation path, you’ll pass the Laura Sims Skate House and the Cobbs Creek Recreation Center. The pool by the rec center is barely visible from the path, but the giggling and splashing can be heard all the way down the block in the summer months. The Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center is up next. CCCEEC is housed in a beautifully restored stable on 63rd and Catharine. It offers programming for activists of all ages, from the Senior Environmental Corps to The Park Management for Youth Program.
The bike path follows the rhythm of the city blocks, and in some sections you’ll have to cross the street in order to reach the path on the next block. On 61st Street (seems illogical but the street number is correct, it’s just a funny angle) the path curves to the right around Cobbs Creek Park. You’ll continue along path adjacent to the park until reaching Baltimore Avenue. After crossing Baltimore, follow the path past the basketball courts to enter the woods. This section of the path is quieter than the others.
You’ll pass an old railroad trestle sprouting up from the ground, a striking sight in the summer when surrounded by big bushy tree leaves. It looks like the top of the canopy. Continue along the path and follow the creek before hitting a steep switchback – the only hill of the ride. When you emerge from the woods, you’ll be riding alongside the curvy Cobbs Creek Parkway.
The old stone walls after Mount Moriah Cemetery seem to hold the stories of centuries. You’ll pass under a few scattered bridges before you are jolted out of your escape by busy 70th Street, marking the end of the path. After you turn around at 70th Street to head back north, you may feel something of a slow burn – there will be a slight incline for most of the way back to 63rd Street.
11.237 km / 6.982 mi
154 m / 505 ft
154 m / 504 ft
34 m / 113 ft