6 Fun Destinations to Plan Your Next Bike Ride Around

When it comes to outdoor amenities, the Schuylkill River Trail is to Philly what Justin Bieber is to Canada: It is our crown jewel, recognized nationally as a truly spectacular urban trail. And the trail itself, with upwards of 60 completed miles—many of ‘em paved—truly is a gem.

That said, sometimes you need more than the promise of a great trail to strap on your helmet and get moving. Like, say, the promise of pizza at the end of your bike ride. (We feel you.) That’s where this list comes in. Below, six worthwhile stops along the Schuylkill River Trail to plan your next bike ride around.

For the pizza: In Riva

Feel free to steal this as a surprise midweek dinner date idea (I won’t tell): Bike the Schuylkill River Trail to East Falls, where you’ll find all the Neapolitan-style pizza you and your partner’s hearts desire. Located right on the SRT, they have plenty of bike parking and outdoor seating. After getting your thin-crust fix, hop back on your bikes for a breezy ride back into Center City.

For a full-day adventure: Sullivan’s Bridge
Photo by jmcginnis12@gmail.com

The ride out to this bridge is not the faint of heart: It’s over 20 miles from the Art Museum. That said, if you’re looking for a fun day-trip ride, a ride out to this bike-and-pedestrian bridge is worth crossing off your bucket list. Not only does it offer some impressive views of the Schuylkill River, it also connects to Valley Forge, offering a whole other string of trails to explore.

For the ice-cold refreshments: Conshohocken Brewing Company

Planning your bike ride around a pit-stop at the Conshohocken Brewing Company makes for a good  mix of work and play. Out and back, the ride is no joke: You’ll clock nearly 23 miles along the trail if you’re starting at the Art Museum. Play comes in midway when you can rest your legs, refuel, and sip on a cold glass of one this trailside brewery’s small-batch beers.

For the faraway feels: Belmont Plateau

So this stop isn’t quite as straightforward as the rest, but it’s well worth the turns. You’ll bike the SRT to either Falls Bridge or the Art Museum, whichever is closer for you, to connect MLK Drive, which is closed to traffic on the weekends in the warmer months. From the wide-open MLK Drive (a destination in its own right), you’ll see signs for Belmont Plateau, a massive hill overlooking the city. It’s oh-so-green and quiet enough to make you feel like you’ve teleported straight out of the city while only biking a few miles. Take a picnic and enjoy your mini getaway.

For the downward dogs: Yoga on the Banks

This outdoor yoga series held on the Schuylkill Banks offers donation-based classes at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and 7 p.m. on Thursdays, starting May 4th. You can stop there, get your downward dog on, then zip on into Center City for a post-savasana brunch. Sounds delightful, right? (Note: The best way to stay updated on changes to the schedule is to join the Facebook group here.)

For the history: Laurel Hill Cemetery
Photo by Brian Carroll

Sure, hanging out in a cemetery may seem like a morbid suggestion. But at this cemetery, a National Historic Landmark that was founded in the 1800s, folks are encouraged to explore and soak in the astounding sculptures and architecture across its 78 acres. The cemetery even hosts events like movie nights, Yoga in the Cemetery, and stargazing evenings to encourage use of the space. You can access from the SRT at Kelly Drive and Hunting Park Avenue.

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