Running is one of the best exercises you can do, with proven scientific benefits. Running has been shown to improve memory, mood, and prevent cognitive decline. So if you’re going to do it, why not make it enjoyable? Whether it’s to clear your mind or get a workout in, Philadelphia is home to great trails for runners of all abilities.
The Manayunk Towpath is approximately 2 miles long located along the Schuylkill River. The trail is excellent for runners with mixed terrain, sections of gravel, and a boardwalk adjacent to Main Street in Manayunk. This path takes you right along the bustling streets and into a part of nature not quite seen in Manayunk. This trail is one loved by locals, Saint Joseph’s University student Adriana Formica raves about the towpath “It’s a great place to exercise and it’s so close to home which I love.” Runners are greeted with artwork along the path, with a series of murals along the path. It is easily accessible with main entrances at Locke St. & Main St. as well as Green Lane & Main St. Runners are not limited to those entrances and there are additional entry points along Main Street, allowing for easy entry and exit from the trail.
Manayunk Bridge Trail
A popular trail amongst locals, the Manayunk bridge is a great place for runners looking to get in a short run. The bridge trail starts at DuPont St. & High St. and is approximately a half mile in length, but don’t be alarmed! The Manayunk bridge trail seamlessly connects the Cynwyd Heritage Trail, letting runners continue on for another 2 miles. This trail combo is perfect for runners looking to get up above Manayunk and enjoy the views of downtown as well as diving into the scenic Cynwyd Heritage Trails. SJU Student Allison Tzaneteas frequents the bridge trail, stating “The bridge provides beautiful views of Main Street and the river. I love running there!” The best part of it all, at the end of the trail is Trail’s End Cafe — the perfect place to grab a post-run snack!
Kelly Drive Path
A 9.3-mile loop Kelly Drive is one of Philly’s most popular running destinations. This scenic route takes runners along the Schuylkill River, passing by Boathouse Row and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This paved path makes for the perfect running spot for all runners. The loop is perfect for both short and long runs, with great scenery and a view of the Philadelphia skyline, what’s not to love about this trail!
With a mix of gravel, asphalt, and dirt paths Wissahickon Valley Park is an excellent destination for runners. Located at the edge of Northwestern Philadelphia, Wissahickon allows runners to escape that city feel and immerse themselves in the wooded trail. With nearly 9-miles of trails, this location is perfect for anyone looking to get in a long run.