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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 14 mi (22.5 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +1,799/2 ft
Total: 306 riders
 

Mountain Biking Wissahickon Valley Park

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#3 of 296 mountain bike trails in Pennsylvania
#128 in the world

There is a multi-use flat trail that runs the length of the park. This provides access to the many trails that climb out of the valley. The trails are well marked and not all trails allow mountain bikes. The trails are primarily intermediate to expert and have plenty of both up and down hill sections. This is not really a trail for beginners, but a beginner can always walk the more difficult areas. There are some sweet single-track areas, rock gardens, logs, jumps... Overall this is one of the best Trails in the Philadelpha area

First added by usrtjew on May 11, 2020. Last updated May 11, 2020. → add an update
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Getting there
Many access points in Philadelphia: Northwest Ave, Valley Green Road... Be careful parking in remote spots and take all of your valuables because theft is a real issue in parts of Faimount Park
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Wissahickon Valley Park Trail map

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Trail conditions

Good (on Dec 8, 2019)
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Mountain Biking Wissahickon Park - January…
 
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Wissahickon Mountain Biking
 

Mountain Bike Trails Near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

****
Advanced | 5 mi

Rider questions

Q: How do you get to it? The directions on here take you to a horse stable, I couldn't find the trail. I found a lot with trail access, the forbidden drive upper lot, apparently there is a lot near the valley green in, you cannot park at the inn.
A: There are a number of trailheads along the entire length of the park. One good one is if you park at the Bells Mills lots (where forbidden drive and Bells Mills meet). From there you can access the trail on either side of the creek.

Q: Hey Singletracks is there a way to edit the trail mileage. It is way more than 14 miles at Wissahickon. Easily 24 and even more if you add the spaghetti bowl across Lincoln Drive. Please update the mileage to at least 24.
A: I've done this in the past. Log in and scroll down to the bottom of the site and click the "Support" link. Then to the right of the search bar near the top of the page click on the "New support ticket" link. This will take you to a page where you can send the corrections to Singletracks staff. I'm sure that Greg and Jeff can make the edits, not sure who else has the rights too. Take care. -GT

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Reviews

  • Cole_Walker
    *****

    Great trail system! Lots of miles and tons to offer. It's hard to believe this place is within the city limits of Philadelphia.

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  • jkancycling
    ****

    Physically demanding trail system with tons of 2-3 minute PUNCHY climbs. Easy access back to the gravel section for a bailout in case of emergency. Generally well maintained and respectfully ridden by local riders.

    Certainly, there are some technical climbing section with big rocks and logs to get over/around. Some sections have seen some "mellowing", which I presume is to make it more beginner friendly. Downhills are short, part rocky part flow and very fun. Don't be intimidated or expect EWS level downhills. Some people ride on their Enduro bike, which I think are way overkilled. There are plenty who rides it with a hardtail or short full sus bike. If you're unsure, a trail bike with 130-140 rear suspension and 150-160mm front suspension is a good place to start.

    This was the very first trail I ridden on a mountain bike with no prior experience. It's certainly doable for a beginner but ultimately will come down to an individual's skills, fitness and competency. Some will say this is not a beginner trail, but there's certain a little something for everyone, from easy single tracks to physically demanding climb, skill depending technical climbs, to downhills where you can go fast or as slow as you want. It really is a trail with a lot of diversity.

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  • redserpente
    *****

    This trail is great if you want to ride frequent climbs and downhills back to back. The trail that goes all the way around the park is full of technical climbs and rocky descents, mixed with some smooth singletrack sections. Some parts are a bit overgrown, but the majority of the trail is well maintained and fun to ride.

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  • K2 Zed X
    *****

    Great variety of trails, from flat road (forbidden drive) to hilly, technical single tracks.

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  • Wyatt_EarpMTB
    *****

    This is my home trail. I love the variety; technical root/ rock sections, single trek, nice hills and nice down hills. If you have the time and energy to explore, there are nice sections that aren't marked that are really memorable.

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  • Nick Hepler
    ****

    This is a beautiful place with some great but challenging riding. There's a lot in the way of technical features and some decent climbs and drops. Some of the trails get pretty rocky which make this is a great place to test your skills. You are required to have a trail permit to ride here. I don't mind having to pay to ride, but if I am paying I wish the majority of the trails were open to biking. There are a lot of would be great trails that are not open biking. Overall though this is a great park for upper intermediate to advanced riders.

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  • Jake Houston
    *****

    Great double, triple whatever wide tracks. There's enough room for everyone, walkers, bikers, kids etc.

    Don't get caught out here at night without damn good light or 2.

    As for the single tracks, we'll this is my home trail that i ride regularly and train on and this trail is definitely one hell of a workout with all the hills, depends, rocks etc...

    It's a must ride along with Belmont plateau...

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  • Alexlee
    *****

    Definitely a city gem, can be easily reached through schurkill river trail then forbidden drive. Well maintained and loads of climb, remember to fill up your water bottle!

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  • Lenny R
    *****

    I've ridden alot of trails in the area and a friend of mine said we had to go here. never heard anything about it. that being said, I was shocked and amazed at the steep climbs, rock gardens and down hills right in the middle of Philly. definitely not recommended for the beginners, and it gets packed with people on the weekends, bring a bell and get there early!

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  • BigBenG
    *****

    Went riding here for the first time and was pleasantly surprised at how technical and enjoyable the trails are! Lots of tight single track with log crossings, tree roots, rock gardens, and some steep hill climbs. For being so close to the city this place is a gem!

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  • peteralt
    ****

    I've been riding here for about a year now and the fact that it's so close to the city is a huge plus. I'm trying to explore new segments every time and I'm sure I haven't found all trails yet. This year we finally got some maps in the park, making it much easier to navigate. (You can still purchase a map and take it with you, but it lacks But truth be told, the labeling of the trails is still lacking, so it's easy to get lost at an intersection of trails.
    Getting there by car is crazy, there are so many small parking lots that are so hard to find, getting there from the city by bike is super simple, there's a bike path that directly leads to the Wiss.
    I really like the concept of forbidden drive, you can go all out on the trails and then loop back onto forbidden drive to take a breath before you take another trail.

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  • Sam Gottesman
    *****

    This is my home trail so I'm a bit biased, but the Wiss is an amazing trail system. The fact that it's located in the middle of Philly puts it on another level. If you're in the area, it's a must ride. The trails range from flowing double track to technical and grinding climbs with some great descents. I highly recommend starting at the Rittenhouse Town trailhead and riding counter clockwise.

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  • djf500
    ****

    Great in-city trails. Lots of double track with some good single track mixed in. Some big climbs and DH's. Can ride it both directions. As a local, I can get 23.5 quality miles of trails at Wiss w/ over 3,000 feet of elevation. Best to ride early since there's lots of hikers, other bikers and some horses.

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  • elevenses
    ****

    The Wiss is truly amazing considering its proximity to Philly, but I don't think it's amazing enough to warrant 5 stars. It ranges from fast and flowy at the meadow on the NW side of the creek near Bell's Mill Rd to extremely rocky and technical with lots of drops at the Indian Stairs on the SE side between Bell's Mill Rd and Valley Green Rd. It's basically 15 miles of steep, rocky climbs alternating with equally steep and rocky descents with a bit of flow, a few jumps, a couple stream crossings, log rides etc. thrown in for fun. The soil has tons of schist and drains very well after the rain but the trail erodes very rapidly so something is different every time I go. I've been riding the Wiss for a year now and I still haven't cleaned everything in the park. Not a good place to take a beginner but if you've got a bit of experience under your belt and you're looking for a challenge right in the city, look no further than the Wiss.

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  • fretter34
    ****

    I've only ridden the outer rim of trail. It was a nice ride. I dipped into the technical stuff a tiny bit...seems like it will be a challenge!! I will definitely be riding this place when it gets warmer.

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  • *****

    this is a awesome trail. it is well maintained and lots of fun to ride. it is not really aimed towards beginners but you could walk over the more difficult parts. over all great trail, and very fun to ride

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  • philly19
    ****

    Really fun trail with some tough climbs. Beware that all the rocks are lose. That will make your climbs hard as you spin out or get pushed off your line. That will also make the downhill tricky as your tires will want to washout or send you over the bars. Use good judgement and have fun ripping through these trails. They are a ton of fun and a must if you are in the Philly area!!

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  • MikeNuckols
    *****

    Love this trail. I head here at 6 am about once a week before work. Loads of fun. Plus with the Forbidden Drive always close, you can always head back easily.

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