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  1. #1
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    Philadelphia Area Trails Accessible by Public Transport

    So, having lived in the city for a while, I decided a while back to make a radical adjustment and ditch my car altogether and just get around by bicycle. So, most of the time, when I ride single track, I generally either carpool with friends or ride to the trail head, which can be as far as 14-20 miles. A recent thread had me thinking about getting to the trails from either train or bus and with that in mind, I've put together a map showing the trails near the metro Philadelphia area that are accessible by train and/or bus, with a bicycle commute of 5 miles or less from the train station or bus stop. Let me know what you think or if I've missed any trails.

    https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?auth...cf424141241ace

  2. #2
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    don't forget buses.

    the rt27 or rt9 will take you from center city all the way out to andorra at the far northern end of wissahickon. tons of other busses go to the wissahickon transfer center at the southern edge of the park.

    i am sure there is a bus that gets you up near pennypack from CC too!

  3. #3
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    truth be told, it's difficult to make sense of the SEPTA bus routes, however that info is readily available via google maps by clicking the public transportation option when getting directions.

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    Great idea!
    I guess from which thread..

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    It might not be at all convenient, but you can get to Core Creek Park, by taking a Septa bus last time I checked. It stops at St. Mary's medical center right there. I think regional rail from Langhorne (West Trenton line) would be your start. I bet Neshaminy high school's trails can be accessed some how, but it would need a mile or two of riding roads to get there after a bus.

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    Where in Kensington are you Gigantic? I live in Mt. Airy, and riding to my wife's work (in Kensington) is about a six mile ride, one way. So that would make it about six miles from Kesington to Wiss. A teeny bit less to Belmont.

    My feeling is that you should just ride there. Don't take the bus. Don't throw your prized possession on the front of a Septa bus.

    View the ride as warm up and cool down miles.
    Stay aware of those who hide in plain sight.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    Where in Kensington are you Gigantic? I live in Mt. Airy, and riding to my wife's work (in Kensington) is about a six mile ride, one way. So that would make it about six miles from Kesington to Wiss. A teeny bit less to Belmont.

    My feeling is that you should just ride there. Don't take the bus. Don't throw your prized possession on the front of a Septa bus.

    View the ride as warm up and cool down miles.
    I'm at Frankford and Cumberland, more or less. On my 29er, I'll ride up to 14 miles to get to a trail, but on my Pugsley, that's a bit of work, even just to ride 6 miles to the Wiss or Pennypack. this was more of an exercise in seeing just how accessible the trails in our are via public transportation, using center city as a starting point. Frankly, I expected 6 trails (which is quite a lot, actually), but I'm amazed that you can get to at least 14 trails by train with a 5 mile ride or less to the trailhead. That's a majority of the trails in the area!

    Frankly, I'm not a fan of the bus, anyway. if I had to chose between riding and the bus, I'd ride any day.

  8. #8
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    Core Creek & Neshaminy have been added, bringing the total up to 16 trails accessible from Center City using SEPTA, PATCO and/or NJ Transit trains.

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    just thought about this... i doubt a fatbike tire would fit in one of those septa bus racks anyway.

    i'll take a closer look on the way home tonight but i bet the tire would be too fat for that hook you use to secure the bike by the front wheel.

    the rack is very secure for normal bikes. i never worried about my bike on there the few times i used it. they are pretty nice racks and very easy to use once you figure them out!

  10. #10
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    Marsh Creek is a 5.3 mile ride by road from the bus stop Google Maps

    I know on the east side of the park there is a spur that looks like it goes off through a field to a road. Not sure if its Dorlan Mill Rd or Founders Way, but either would cut the distance you're actually on the road in half. I'll try and remember to check out that spur next time I ride out there.

    Evansburg is 1.2 miles from a bus stop: Google Maps

    Black Rock trails in Phoenixville/Mont Clare is 1.2 miles also Google Maps
    Last edited by AlexCuse; 01-29-2013 at 11:05 AM.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

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    Noticed you have White Clay Creek on the map. If Delaware is in play may as well add Brandywine Creek State Park - looks doable too assuming you can bring your bike on the bus in Delaware Google Maps
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  12. #12
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    I've limited it to the train thus far, but I'll add bus-able trails later this week, perhaps.

  13. #13
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    gradually making my way from Center City out to all of the trails. It's been an interesting adventure.

    So far, I've done Wiss, Belmont, Valley Forge, Smedley/Swarthmore, Kresson in Cherry Hill & White Clay. White clay was a bit of a haul, but worthwhile. On the way to Valle Forge on the Norristown line, the conductor was so smitten with my FatBike, that he forgot to charge me my fare. Bonus!
    Last edited by Gigantic; 02-22-2013 at 06:34 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    gradually making my way from Center City out to all of the trails. It's been an interesting adventure.

    So far, I've done Wiss, Belmont, Valley Forge, Smedley/Swarthmore, Kresson in Cherry Hill & White Clay. White clay was a bit of a haul, but worthwhile. On the way to Valle Forge on the Norristown line, the conductor was so smitten with my FatBike, that he forgot to charge me my fare. Bonus!
    Thank you for putting that map together, Gigantic. I have been car free in philly for almost ten years now. Only MTB for about three of those, and since I SS it can get tedious to ride to the trail head from South Philly. Like w the wiss, 7 miles on knobbies on flat pavement at 32x19 adds up.

    FYI if you didn't know, you can bring yr bike on subway and the EL after 9 AM. This helps a lot for me getting to Belmont, and you could do similar if you are in Kenso. Get off at the 46th street stop and just hook up with Belmont Ave. the route 40 bus also goes out by Belmont as well if you are in CC.

    Time for me to finally check out Penny Pack. I just did Swarthmore and the ther park out there, but since the trails have been leveled/neutered it doesn't seem worth the train ride. :/

  15. #15
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    bump~
    Is there anything that's been missed?
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  16. #16
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    I wanted to bump this because it has been really useful for me researching which trail systems are accessible while I'm carless. Since buying my bike a few months ago I've been riding Wiss and Belmont fairly regularly but it is time for me to branch out. I am thinking Friday I will try taking the train down to White Clay.

    As you went through taking public transit to these trails are there any that you thought were not worth the trip (or the opposite)? I've been on the fence about going out to Kresson and Smedley a few times but then just ended up going back to the Wissahickon instead of chancing a long trip for less riding...

  17. #17
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    Kresson may not be worth the trip, unless you're going out for a skills clinic or a group ride. The trails there are nice, but there's not much and if you ask me, they're too buff. The good stuff is on the other side of Springdale, but it's only semi legit and you'd really want to have someone who knows them along with you.

    Smedley and Swarthmore are worth the trip, there's quite a bit of trail there and it's rather technical, but some of it can be hard to find. The Strava Global Heatmap shows a lot of it, though: Strava Global Heatmap The best thing about Smedley is going to Pinocchio's for pizza & beer afterwards.
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  18. #18
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    others may disagree, but i'd add that i don't think Mercer is worth the trip. it's a boring place to ride, with almost zero elevation, quite a bit of mud and a lot of roots. There are also trails at Haverford Reserve- i've not ridden them, but i don't believe that there is much there.

    i'm quite fond of Betzwood/Valley Forge and i'm due to make a trip there one of these days, soon. if i'm feeling ambitious i'll do a loop of the trails, which is about 16 miles and take the SRT all the way back to the city. combined with the ride out from the Norristown transit center, it makes for about a 45 mile ride.
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  19. #19
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    I'll add Valley Forge to my list, I haven't really looked into going out there at all yet. 45 miles would whoop my ass though, I'll probably have to wait for next summer to try to ride it all the way.

    Adding a pizza lunch into the mix did just bump Smedley up a few notches.

  20. #20
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    and beer. Don't forget beer.
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