5 family-friendly bike trails in Northwest Philly

     Ready to take on the trails of the Wissahickon. (Courtesy of Dena Driscoll)

    Ready to take on the trails of the Wissahickon. (Courtesy of Dena Driscoll)

    Biking is a great recreational activity for families to do together. Northwest Philadelphia is ripe with off-street places to ride this spring. Here are a few trails and destinations along the way that are great family-friendly parts of the Greater Philadelphia’s Regional Trail Network known as the Circuit.

    Wissahickon Valley Trail is the paved route between Ridge Avenue and the “start” of Forbidden Drive. The trail runs along the creek so lots of great wildlife. During the weekdays it is a great place to bring a newbie bicyclist as the trail can be quiet. Don’t forget to watch the falls at the bridge and you can even make a side excursion out to historic Rittenhousetown for a nice picnic.
    Forbidden Drive is packed stone or gravel path that leads from Kelly Drive to Chestnut Hill. The whole route might be tough on the tiniest of riders as there are some hills to climb. But it is great to do in segments with kids. Valley Green Inn and the Cedars House are great places to check out for a light bite to eat. My kids also love taking breaks and throwing stones into the water.
    Manayunk Canal Tow Path runs along the canal just below Main Street Manayunk. The crushed stone path is fun for all ages and has a host of restaurants and cafes nearby on Main Street to catch a bite.
    The Kelly Drive segment of the Schuylkill River Trail is a great place to ride a bike. Between the outdoor art and river, there is so much for kids to see. Pack a lunch to have riverside picnic or stop at Trolley Car Cafe for ice cream and food. Word of caution: During the regatta season the path can be crippled with foot traffic.
    MLK Drive shuts down to cars every weekend between April and October and opens to recreational users! Four open lanes leave plenty of room for everyone to ride. It is a great spot to take new bikers in Philly. If your family is really adventurous this path leads you easily to the zoo.

    I hope your family can take advantage of these trails this year.

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