Cycle Philadelphia, Sightseeing & Road Ride, The Art Museum to Manayunk
Want to add a little something extra to the Loop? Head to Manayunk! This is a great ride for confident beginners who want to bike a little bit farther than they are accustomed to. Main Street acts as the prime connector between two portions of the SRT: Philadelphia and Valley Forge, so you’ll be in good company, and there are a few bike shops in Manayunk that will help you change your first flat.
The ride to Manayunk begins on the flat Schuylkill River Trail, and then moves across the softest of hills before reaching Main Street.
After you turn off the SRT, there will be steady car traffic on Main Street. Cars are parked on both sides of the street here, so even though this is a heavily traveled bike corridor, make sure you watch out for the errant car door.
The starting point for this ride is just behind the Art Museum - 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.
Food and Drink
There are restaurants and cafés all along Main Street, many with outdoor seating. Le Bus and La Colombe are favorites.
Check out the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, just past the Ridge Avenue hill on Hagy’s Mill Road. One of the first urban environmental education centers in the country, the Schuylkill center offers visitors 340 green acres, three miles of hiking trails and a variety of exhibits, courses, and speakers.
This bike ride is a decent choice for confident beginners who want to start riding in traffic. If you are an experienced cyclist looking for more miles, this route will connect you to Valley Forge and the path out to Perkiomenville. You’ll start along the river, heading away from the city. This part of the Schuylkill River Trail will become very familiar to you if you take up cycling in Philadelphia!
You’ll pass the Girard, Columbia and Strawberry Mansion bridges. But, rather than cross Falls Bridge to MLK Drive as in the Loop, you’ll go straight across Calumet Street and head towards Ridge Avenue. This section is more like a sidewalk than a path, and sometimes cyclists play chicken. It won’t look like the rest of the SRT, but rest assured, you are heading in the correct direction. Once you hit Ridge Avenue, you’ll have to make a left turn to head towards Main Street (The Septa Wissahickon Transfer Center will be on the corner).
You’ll have two options here – take the hard left, which will put you on the path towards Main Street, Manayunk (you will see an enormous sign beckoning you towards Manayunk). There are a couple of bus lanes that you can abuse to make your way over to Main Street. If you make a mistake and take the soft left, you will find yourself heading up the very long, and very steep Ridge Avenue Hill. You will pass a movie theater to your right and then a few revitalized warehouses. The shops, restaurants and cafés that line Main Street are just ahead. The streets get more congested along this strip and there are also quite a few stoplights.
If you haven’t cycled in traffic before, take it slow. If you feel like riding farther, you’ll find an entrance to the gravel towpath just off Lock Street. Or just lock up your bikes and walk around town.
Hop on your bike anywhere on the Schuylkill River Trail near Lloyd Hall. The ride log begins at Boathouse Row.
8.575 km / 5.328 mi
137 m / 451 ft
131 m / 429 ft
18 m / 59 ft