Ridley Creek State Park

Cycle Philadelphia, SIghtseeing & Kids Ride, Ridley Creek State Park

There are plenty of places to begin your bike ride. Park in the lower lot and look for the sign marking the trail. You’ll have to walk your bike for just a bit on the hiking trail to reach the paved trail. Once you arrive at the paved trail, you have a major decision to make. Do I turn right, or do I turn left? If you turn right, you’ll have a slow steady climb for three and a half miles of your trip with a steep half mile downhill in the middle.

If you choose left, you’ll be coasting downhill for most of the ride but then be faced with a super steep incline. Your call! Of course. The path can be narrow at times and it is well traveled, so be sure to call out when passing. The area near the steep hill is a little wider, so even though it seems like a good idea to burn it, there are strict speed limits for bicycles on the downhill.

There is quite a bit to do in Ridley Creek State Park, including 12 miles of hiking trails through the woods, formal gardens near the entrance, summer fishing in Ridley Creek, and sledding and cross-country skiing when snow covers the ground. The paved multi-use trail along Sycamore Mills and Forge Road are very popular for biking, and it provides city-dwellers with a relatively close (only 16 miles from Center City!) option for a change of scenery.


Ridley Creek Park provides a multiuse, paved path that loops around the woods. One section of the path has a very steep downhill, and the remainder gets your heart pumping with a slow incline.


This park is usually packed – I went in the dead of winter and was surprised to be in the company of many other cyclists, runners, and hikers.


Ridley Creek is located in Media, about 15 miles west of the city. Not a ton of public transit options to get here, so it might be best to pack up the car and drive on out. Lots 7, 11, 15, and 17 will give you access to the trail, as well as the lot at the park office (the address is 351 Gradyville Road in Newtown Square).

Food and Drink

This ride is a great excuse for a big, delicious picnic. Shady places to stop for a rest abound, in addition to 14 designated picnic areas with charcoal grills.

Side Trip

Check out the Tyler Arboretum, located adjacent to Ridley Creek State Park. The arboretum provides 650 acres of rare and ancient trees, and there is year ‘round programming for the whole family.


Ride Log

  • 0.0 Hop on the trail by the put-in near the park office mansion.
  • 0.1 Make a right if you wish to take the loop uphill, or a left if you wish to take it downhill. The log follows the path if you were to take a right.
  • 0.7 There is a small fork here – follow the trail to the left. If you take the straight path to the right, you’ll end up at the Rt 352 exit – nope you don’t want to ride there! For the next little bit, the path is narrow and curves quite a lot.
  • 1.5 Path straightens out as you follow E Forge Rd.
  • 2.2 Welcome to an awesome downhill! It’s very easy to get your speed up here, so be sure to stay in control.
  • 2.7 Take the switchback at the bottom of the hill. The sign will direct you towards Sycamore Mills Rd. Now you’ll begin to follow the Ridley Creek.
  • 3.4 The path veers away from the river as you climb.
  • 4.2 Back to the put-in.
  • Trail map

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    6.729 km / 4.181 mi

    Total Distance

    238 m / 780 ft

    Total Ascent

    239 m / 784 ft

    Total Descent

    142 m / 466 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Beginner (Green)
    Ride Duration: options
    Fitness Level: Low
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Excellent
    Estimated Distance: 4.2
    Elevation Gain: 410
    First Aid
    Bike hire
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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