Springtime Fun: 5 Great Outdoor Activities in Philadelphia

Spring has finally sprung—hopefully for real this time. If the warm weather is here to stay, that means outdoor activities, and make no mistake, the city of Brotherly Love has plenty to offer.

Running for SpringWhether you’re into hiking, boating, biking, rock climbing or running, Philadelphia offers its best to the outdoor enthusiast come during the spring and summer months—here’s how to take advantage of them.

Hiking

The Wissahickon Valley Park is truly one of the great treasures of Philadelphia. The 1,800 acre parcel is all within city limits and offers day trippers excellent hiking opportunities close to home.

Scenic Trails like this can be yours... even inside the city limits.

Scenic Trails like this can be yours… even inside the city limits.

The park is home to over 50 miles of trail, many of which parallel the beautiful Wissahickon creek. There are variety of hiking options from single-track hiking opportunities (for the more dedicated hiker) to large open trails perfect for an easy outdoor activity with family and friends.  

In addition to the great hiking in the Wissahickon, check out the top 5 day hikes around the Philadelphia area.

Boating

Maybe it’s still too cold for a swim, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be on the water. The Schuylkill river boasts some excellent boating conditions.

Home to the famous boathouse row, kayakers, crew enthusiasts and canoers alike have long since called the Schuylkill river their home water. The gentle currents and wide open swaths of water make the picturesque outer limits of Philadelphia yours to roam.

Any boat registered in the state of Pennsylvania can use one of the many launch ramps, making accessing the river incredibly easy. Click here for a river map.

Rock Climbing

Climbers can find opportunities to climb natural rock inside the Philadelphia city limits.

Once again, we’re back at the Wissahickon. Wissahickon Valley Park offers great bouldering opportunities, easy access, and scenic views for urban climbers looking to get away for an afternoon. An ideal mix of easy to challenging bouldering (V0-V11) is all tucked within the beautiful Wissahickon, ready to be explored.

Excellent, natural-rock opportunities are plenty in Wissahickon Valley Park

Excellent, natural-rock opportunities are plenty in Wissahickon Valley Park

For more detailed information, MountainProject.com has a full summary including climbing conditions, route options and difficulty ratings.

Biking

Whether you own a top of the line road bike or you’re renting from Philadelphia’s excellent bike-share program, Indego, there’s no shortage of fun and diverse ways to bike Philly.

Philadelphia is one of the best cities in the country for the bicycle enthusiast!

Philadelphia is one of the best cities in the country for the bicycle enthusiast!

Currently, you can tour nearly 60 miles of the Schuylkill River Trail, but once the project’s complete, it will span nearly 130 miles of river. Flat, wide and scenic, this trail is perfect for either the competitive or the casual rider.

Runners

Philadelphia is home to many great runs. From the famous route used by Rocky Balboa to the ever beautiful Schuylkill river trail, there are no shortage of options for the running enthusiast.

Forbidden drive, once again part of the Wissahickon Valley Park, offers great running through the outdoors. With wide, flat paths, it makes for an ideal distance run.

Along the Schuylkill River Trail, you can find more than 60 miles of uninterrupted trail. On the other side of the river, East River drive offers some excellent running with limited crowds.

 

Regardless of your choice of activity, Philadelphia offers no shortage of options for the outdoor enthusiast. Take advantage of the excellent weather and get out today!

As always, yours in health,
Dr. Thomas Caley