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Wissahickon Loop

Difficult

Trail

10.5 mile 16.9 kilometer loop
95% Singletrack
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 938' 286 m
Descent: -971' -296 m
High: 350' 107 m
Low: 58' 18 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 15% (9°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Map Key

Trail shared by amanda delcore

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

amanda delcore

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

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.

Overview

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.)

Description

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.

Biked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed

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Check-Ins

May 24, 2020
Andrew W
Yellow orange white. Not too muddy 5.4mi
Oct 18, 2019
Reid Betsker
1st ride
May 24, 2019
Andrew W
7mi — 1h 30m
May 23, 2019
Jack Raube
May 15, 2019
Joey Atkins
Nov 10, 2018
Nicholas White
Great rocky descents. Great views. 10.5mi
Nov 4, 2018
Mike Prieto
Nov 4, 2018
Andrew W
11mi

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 50 votes

#156

Overall
  4.7 from 50 votes
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4 Star
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Ride Rankings

#1

in Pennsylvania

#156

Overall
824 Views Last Month
28,044 Since Nov 28, 2015
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Photos

You can take the route to the right and cross on Mt. Airy Lane, but this is more fun.
Nov 30, 2015 near Bala-Cy…, PA
Old acqueduct and view of Walnut Ln from below on the Wissahickon trails.
Nov 29, 2015 near Bala-Cy…, PA
The Wissahickon trails highlight a flowy section and balance beam.
Nov 29, 2015 near Bala-Cy…, PA
Wooden shelter near Wissahickon. No restrooms.
Nov 29, 2015 near Bala-Cy…, PA
An incredibly beautiful area in the fall.
Nov 14, 2016 near Bala-Cy…, PA
The Wissahickon trail opens up before Wises Mill Rd.
Nov 29, 2015 near Bala-Cy…, PA

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