Contributor: Jonas Oesterle, Fairmount Park Bicycles
Looking to explore Fairmount Park on two wheels? From picturesque skyline views to unique settings, from cherry blossoms to horses, you can spot a variety of unique views in Fairmount Park.
Here are 5 of my favorite biking spots:
- Belmont Plateau – For my money, the best skyline view in Philadelphia is from the top of “The Plateau,” as it is affectionately known among long-time Philadelphians. It’s a great reward for climbing the hill (Montgomery Drive and then Belmont Mansion Drive), a moderately challenging workout.
- Centennial District Paths – From the Smith Memorial Arch, you can take bike paths past Memorial Hall and around the recently revitalized Concourse Lake, Travel through some of the lesser-known history and beauty of the Centennial District. With bike and pedestrian paths looping just under a mile long, this is one of the many West Fairmount Park gems hiding in plain sight.
- Strawberry Mansion Bridge – Wide boardwalks line the bridge on both sides and make for very pleasant and safe riding. Although you may occasionally share the boardwalk with horses, you’ll often be alone. Enjoy the view of rowers on the Schuylkill and be sure to circle around to get the views from each side. Riding from East to West, this is a good way to connect to Chamounix Drive and take the “back way” to Belmont Plateau.
- Laurel Hill Cemetery – With plenty of roads and paths where bikes are allowed, make sure to show your respect and sticking to the paved areas. Slow riders are encouraged here, especially when you are near people on foot.
- The Horticulture Center – Plenty of bike paths circle the grounds of the Horticulture Center, but there is very little traffic on the roads here. Ride through the sculpture gardens, past the fountains in front, and around the Japanese House. The grounds are well-maintained but not widely used, making this the perfect spot to pull over for a picnic.