The Wissahickon features a variety of terrain types. Within this loop you'll encounter short, steep climbs, plenty of rocks and roots, a handful of log-overs, jumps, a balance beam, old water viaducts, and the occasional rubble-filled descent.
This standard loop can be easily expanded if you're willing to explore the other trails that spin off the park. Some of them can be combined into a loop, others lead up and out of the park entirely. This ride is technical enough to keep you coming back, but not so hard that an intermediate rider wouldn't have fun.
Forbidden Drive is a gravel road that runs the entire length of the park; if you ever need to bail on the ride, this is a fast-track way to get out of the park. Valley Green Inn is a great place to fill up on water, use the restroom, or grab a beer. (Limited availability in the winter.)
There are multiple ways to access this trail. You can ride from the city and access the trails from the multi-use paved path starting at the Wissahickon transfer center. You'll ride north to the Lincoln Drive parking lot. You may also park at the Lincoln Drive parking lot, on W Rittenhouse Street, or in the gravel lot off of Rittenhousetown Ln. You may also park at the Valley Green Inn, but this is in the middle of the loop.
0.0 - Starting at the Lincoln Drive parking lot, you'll see the beginning of Forbidden Drive
to your left. Continue to ride north on the paved multi-use trail until you hit another parking area. Turn left onto the gravel drive; you'll see a parking area in front of you and an Orange Trail
1.5 - Singletrack begins (Orange Trail
2.3 - Trail splits, go right to follow White Trail
, begin climbing. At top of climb, bear left to stay on trail.
3.8 - Cross another parking area, shoot straight across to pick up the trail again.
4.4 - Encounter a paved road, bear left and follow it for 200 yards, pick up the trail again on the right; you'll see a gate disallowing cars, and the trail goes to Valley Green Inn.
4.8 - Creek crossing.
5.3 - Cross another paved road; bear right onto Forbidden Drive
(gravel road). However, if you need water and bathrooms, Valley Green Inn is to the left. 1/4 mi. down the gravel drive (away from Valley Green Inn), bear left for singletrack climb.
5.9 - Sharp left toward Summit Ave and Yellow Trail
. If you want a bonus loop through the Meadows, continue straight.
6.1 - At top of climb, continue straight across road to for a small singletrack shortcut. It will spit you back out onto the road. Turn right and ride down the road about 1/4 mi.
6.4 - Look for a trail on your left in the grass, after the creek, before the houses. Turn left onto trail.
6.7 - Trail splits, but both come back together. Stay left for easier route.
7.0 - Cross Wises Mill Road to continue on singletrack (Yellow Trail
). You'll encounter a section of jumps.
9.4 - Bear left to stay on the Yellow Trail
11.2 - At end of downhill section, turn right (away from Forbidden Drive
) and climb up. Before the bridge overhead, turn left to pickup the Yellow Trail
11.4 - Ride under Walnut Bridge; this is a flowy section with a balance beam.
11.7 - Turn left and ride downhill to meet Forbidden Drive
. If you want to add a challenging steps section, turn right before descending down to Forbidden Drive
11.8 - Turn right onto Forbidden Drive
and ride out of the park.
12.2 - Finish at Lincoln Drive parking lot.
This ride is in one of 600 identified National Natural Landmarks.