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Wissahickon Loop

 4.7 (45)
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10.5 Miles 16.9 Kilometers



938' 286 m


-971' -296 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (9°)

350' 107 m


58' 18 m


Shared By amanda delcore


All Clear 10 days ago
Muddy History

Getting forecast...

Within the city limits, this is a fun, technical ride around the Wissahickon Creek Gorge.

amanda delcore

Dogs Leashed

Features -none-

Permit Information: In order to mountain bike on the upper trails (any place in the park other than Forbidden Drive), you must have a City of Philadelphia Natural Surface Trail Permit.

Please do not ride the trails when wet. There are very few trails close to Philadelphia, and the community works hard to keep them in good condition.


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.

Need to Know

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 marker.
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 singletrack again.
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.

History & Background

This ride is in one of 600 identified National Natural Landmarks.


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Your Check-Ins


Nov 10, 2018
Nicholas White
Great rocky descents. Great views. 10.5mi
Nov 4, 2018
Mike Prieto
Nov 4, 2018
Andrew W
Oct 6, 2018
Andrew W
Aug 29, 2018
Mary Orth
Aug 25, 2018
James M
Aug 25, 2018
Tim Blaikie
Aug 21, 2018
Allison Edmonds
So fun. Very challenging. Lots of rock gardens 10.5mi

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 45 votes


  4.7 from 45 votes
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in Pennsylvania


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Michael Mitchell
Paoli, PA
Michael Mitchell   Paoli, PA
Yes, you do need a permit from the city. It's $20 for non-Philadelphia residents, free for residents (donation still requested.) Oct 13, 2017
I was there, 3 or 4 times, on the white and orange trails. I would like to know which trail is better, and what differences there are. I see that many use the yellow trail ... I would also like to know which entrance is better. Thank you !!! Nov 11, 2017
Aaron F  
Be wary of MTB project's algorithm for putting this towards the top fo the list for pennsylvania's "best trails". It most definitely is not. Was I very thankful to have them within distance to my downtown apartment? Absolutely. Unique to a major city. HOWEVER, many of the trails are either straight up/down from the river trail below. Most trails (except for those at most northern end of park) are very short. Your day here will be as follows: fire road fire road fire road, make left on to trail, steep climb up, short trail, back down to fireroad, then fireroad, fireroad, and repeat Sep 16, 2018

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