Hitting the trails for a family bike ride is an awesome way to get active and enjoy the outdoors. It’s one of the few activities that have remained “open” throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biking allows you to cover miles of trails in a single outing, giving you a chance to truly explore the area where you’re riding. Thanks to the many trails we have in and around Philadelphia, you can choose the location and trail difficulty that fits you and your crew.
Have a kiddo who you think is ready to learn to ride? This short tutorial will give you some great tips to help them get rolling in a way that’s safe and fun.
A family bike ride is also a great option for a day trip, especially during these times when vacation options are limited or cancelled completely. Before you go, just make sure you’re aware of the status of any public restrooms on the trail and have a back-up plan if they are closed.
We’ve gathered a list of some top local trails for family bike rides, plus a perfect choice if you’re looking for more than a day trip.
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
This 8-mile trail in Center City Philadelphia takes you along the Schuylkill River and past landmarks like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Boathouse Row. With picturesque parks, gardens and mansions along the way, this urban trail lets you see the city from a whole new perspective. The popular paved trail is also shared with walkers and joggers, so just be sure your kids are aware of how to navigate through more congested spots.
Wissahickon Valley Park – Forbidden Trail
Valley Green Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128
This 5+ mile trail is within the city limits, but it certainly won’t feel like it as you bike along the peaceful Wissahickon Creek. The gravel path is mostly wide and even, so while it is a popular trail that can get busy on weekends, there’s usually plenty of space to spread out.
Ridley Creek State Park, Media
1023 Sycamore Mills Road
Media, PA 19063
A paved trail with gently rolling hills makes a perfect spot for family bike rides. Traveling the 5-mile loop within Ridley Creek State Park gives you access to picnic areas and restrooms, and will even take you through a Living Museum of Delaware County. The multi-use trail is shared with walkers and equestrians as well.
Pennypack Preserve Trails
8500 Pine Road
Philadelphia, PA 19111
The Pennypack Preserve is home to 2.5 miles of the Pennypack Trail, as well as three small multi-use trails of .5 to 1.5 miles, making it an ideal spot for younger riders and casual outings. You’ll enjoy views of Pennypack Creek along with other natural and historic sites.
Centennial 5K Route at the Please Touch Museum
4231 Avenue of the Arts
Philadelphia, PA 19131
The Centennial 5K is a scenic, 3.1 mile loop through Fairmount Park that starts behind the Please Touch Museum. This accessible, well-marked path is perfect for families with some cool sites along the way, as it winds past the Japanese Tea House and the Centennial District, site of the 1876 Centennial Exposition.
Tyler State Park
101 Swamp Road
Newtown, PA 18940
Tyler State Park in Bucks County offers 10.5 miles of paved bike trails that travel through farm and woodland along Neshaminy Creek. Most of the bike trails are more than eight feet wide and designed for easy, two-way travel. There are some hilly areas and curves, so be prepared to take it slow in some spots if you have less experienced bike riders.
Valley Forge State Park
1400 Outerline Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
To get close to history when you get out on the trails, head to Valley Forge National Historical Park. Ride through the state park and Revolutionary War encampment on 6.5 miles of paved trails, surrounded by monuments, farmhouses and peaceful rolling hills. Just be prepared to stop when the kids spot the reconstructed log cabins that are so tempting to explore.
520 Conestoga Road
Wayne, PA 19087
For family-friendly biking on the Main Line, head to the Radnor Trail, which runs along what was once part of the Philadelphia & Western Railway Company. The paved, multi-use trail is just 2.4 miles long, making it a great choice for an easy family bike ride with kids of all ages.
John James Audubon Center
1201 Pawlings Road
Audubon, PA 19403
This 175-acre site features a 4.5 mile trail, the Audubon Loop, which circles the perimeter of the property that was home to naturalist and artist John James. The paved, family-friendly trail also connects to the Schuylkill River Trail and the Perkiomen Trail if you want to extend your ride.
Gettysburg National Military Park
1195 Baltimore Pike
Gettysburg, PA 17325
As the turning point in the Civil War, Gettysburg makes a perfect family trip. But those famous battlefields are also home to a 7.4-mile trail that combines amazing scenery with historical significance. The picturesque bike ride will take you past civil war monuments, historical markers, the National Cemetery and the Eisenhower National Historic Site.