Want to Get Fit Outdoors? Here Are the Best Spots in Philadelphia to Exercise and Enjoy the Scenery

By Jamie Kidd | February 19, 2020 | Culture

Ready for the warm weather? Luckily for you, the days of cooping up in a crowded gym where everyone is trying to get in their workout are coming to an end. As spring approaches, get ready to hit the pavement for your favorite running spots. A few of our favorites are listed below.

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Kelly Drive

Anyone who lives in Philadelphia is familiar with the 8.5 mile route Kelly Drive, and now that the weather is starting to break, it’s time to revisit the popular fitness spot. Running along the Drive is a tour of Philly in and of itself—starting at the Philadelphia Museum and leading runners along Boathouse Row make for a scenic experience. Take this path as a runner who wishes to be surrounded by nature, as well as historic landmarks of Philadelphia.

Ben Franklin Bridge Pedestrian Walkway

The Ben Franklin Bridge Pedestrian Walkway, one of the main attractions on The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia, doubles as a beautiful, picturesque outlet for a workout in the city. The bridge that connects Philadelphia and New Jersey is nearly a mile and a half long—offering views of the city skyline up close and personal. As the bridge lights up at night, there is never a bad time to hop on by foot and enjoy one of Philadelphia’s oldest landmarks while staying fit.

Penn Park

It is not always common to find a park in the middle of a busy city, however, Penn Park allows this convenience. Between the University of Penn and the Schuylkill River, this hot spot offers 24 acres of land and features athletic fields, courts and a stadium, as well as a great amount of green space.

Valley Forge National Historical Park

For an explorative exercise, head to Valley Forge National Historical Park and kill two birds with one stone—a workout and a historic war tour. There are several trails within the vicinity that will allow for a scenic workout through nature, or through the cabins from the historic Philadelphia. The landmark includes historical artifacts along the pathways of a 28 mile trail. This is the perfect place to run, bike, hike or even horseback ride and truly embrace what it means to be a free American.

FDR Park and the Navy Yard Loop

Take your running shoes to South Philadelphia where you will find FDR Park. If you are ready to explore a new trail that will keep you fit while simultaneously allowing you to explore the city, this 348 acre park is the place to be. Covered in pathways and golf courses, FDR Park offers views of the lake and a tour of the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Begin this journey on Broad Street near the Xfinity Center and loop all around the park and the Navy Yard back to the starting point, totaling a near five and a half mile voyage.

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Schuylkill River Trail

The famous 120 mile trail that runs through several counties in Pennsylvania including Montgomery and Berks County, is the Schuylkill River Trail. This path allows people to stroll, run, or to simply relax and enjoy the magnificent views of the City of Brotherly Love. The favored spot may get busy thanks to everyone’s anticipation to run outdoors, but no worries—the 15’ wide pathway keeps you on your track without hindering others.

Delaware River Trail

As warm weather sneaks upon us, people tend to want to be near water. It is time for you to take your outdoor exercise to the Delaware River Trail. Take on this two mile long, brick pathway with a scenic view of the Delaware River along the whole route. This path is perfect for a jog, walk or skate on a warm spring day, where you can sit by the water when you need to take a break and enjoy the breeze. Learn about the development of the U.S. Navy ships along the way if you want to take a casual walk rather than an intense jog. The trail is surrounded by local attractions including parks, museums and restaurants, perfect for a post-jog activity or snack. For a fun-packed day after a sweat-filled workout, head to the Delaware River Trail.



Photography by: J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia / Editorial use approved