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best walking, running, & hiking trails in Philadelphia

a collection of the best walking, running, & hiking trails in Philadelphia

There’s something healing about getting out in nature. That’s not just new-age hearsay — scientific research suggests that nature has a profound effect on human health. In fact, a 2019 study found that people who spent at least two hours a week in some sort of greenspace reported significantly better mental and physical health than people who didn’t. In addition to providing therapeutic benefits, outdoor spaces offer plenty of recreational opportunities, including sports games, cardiovascular exercise and the chance to explore nature. 

One of the best things about exercising in nature is that it can be as minimalist as you want it to be. You don’t need equipment, a team or a huge time commitment; you can just show up and explore the outdoors at whatever pace suits you best. If you’re a nature lover in Philly, you’re in luck: Philadelphia has some of the best walking, running and hiking trails around. Keep reading to learn about the best outdoor spots around the city to move your body and get connected with the natural world. 

Sports aren’t just for competitive athletes; sports are for anyone who wants to engage with their surroundings through physical exercise. That’s why eseo is committed to connecting everyone in the Philly area with the sports resources that matter to them. 

Take a Walk in Philadelphia Parks

Philly natives and tourists alike can tell you that Philadelphia is a beautiful city with ample greenspace. Even residents who live downtown are never too far away from a park or trail system. If you’re looking for a soothing outdoor environment to take a walk in Philadelphia, a few options stand out. 

Fairmount Park — a massive park of over 2,000 acres, divided into East and West Fairmount by the Schuylkill River. Spanning from Central to North Philadelphia, Fairmount Park is the perfect location for Philly residents who want to stroll its miles of trails, enjoy pier-side fishing, catch a concert or tour one of the many of its historic mansions. 

Schuylkill River Trail — a 75-mile trail connecting Philadelphia and Parker Ford and Pottstown and Reading, with a 30-mile stretch in Philadelphia. The Schuylkill River Trail follows the Schuylkill River up through the heart of Philadelphia and is the ideal walking path to get better acquainted with the city. 

Central Greena newly constructed walking park in South Philadelphia East with a large track, outdoor games like ping pong and bocce ball and exercise stations. This lovely park also includes a rest area with hammocks and chairs, a perfect place for the whole family to stretch their legs in the sunshine. 

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Philadelphia Running Paths

Most people equate sports with team sports and competition. However, running doesn’t require a team or a competition; it is a sport of endurance, willpower and athleticism. No matter your skill level, running can improve your physical fitness and give you an opportunity to see the city from a different perspective. 

Belmont Plateau Cross Country Coursea wrap-around cross-country course with four treks ranging from three to six miles long. This scenic course is perfect for both aspiring and highly skilled runners, as it allows them to veer off at several points to shorten their run or continue onward to complete the full six miles. 

FDR Parka large urban park in South Philadelphia with trails, a golf course and other recreational options. Runners will find a three-mile lap of the park that includes views of the lake, historic gazebo and Navy Yard. 

Penn Parka flat concrete and asphalt running spot for runners who enjoy a short, hilly jog. As part of Penn University, Penn Park is clean and well-maintained, with plenty of opportunities to veer and extend your run. 

Philadelphia Hiking Trails

Philadelphians enjoy an access to greenspace that people living in similar-sized cities in the Northeast do not. In addition to its urban forests of nearly three million trees, Philadelphia is surrounded by even larger state and national forests, as well as mountains. If you’re interested in hiking in Philadelphia and beyond, there are a few Philly hiking trails you have to check out. 

Wissahickon Creek Trailheada trail access point north of the Manayunk neighborhood that leads into the 1,800-acre Wissahickon Valley Park. This majestic park offers 50 miles of rugged hiking trails through dense forests, open meadows and creeks that are stocked yearly with trout. A true wild area, Wissahickon is perfect for hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, bird-watchers and fishermen.  

Saunders Woods Preservea 25-mile nature preserve in Northwest Philadelphia with a lively forest habitat and open meadow. The Bridlewild Trail passes through the preserve and connects to a wider system of paths. 

John Heinz at Tinicuma national wildlife refuge charged with preserving, restoring and developing the Tinicum Marsh. A treasured urban greenspace, the refuge includes 10 miles of trails from which hikers can observe freshwater tidal marsh, open waters, mud flats, woodlands and a rich diversity of wildlife. 

Exploring Philadelphia Greenspace

It doesn’t matter whether you prefer a leisurely stroll through a city park or a vigorous hike through one of Philadelphia’s many wild places — time spent exploring nature is time well spent. These paths, tracks and trails are just a few of the many green spaces where you can clear your lungs and your mind. When you need recreation ideas, eseo is your ultimate sports resource. We’ve got all the information you need to start enjoying the recreation and sports activities you love. Questions? Contact eseo online for more info. 

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a collection of the best walking, running, & hiking trails in Philadelphia