Photo: Jason Fritzsche, Lone Wolf Cycling

Photo: Chuck Uniatowski

Philadelphia is a great place to bike, and not just on the streets, Circuit trails and at the Pump Track. As it happens, the Philadelphia parks system has a series of very cool, very usable mountain biking trails, utilized by action-seeking cyclists all over the Delaware Valley. And to celebrate this often-ignored form of Philly cycling, the Bicycle Coalition is beginning a photo contest today to celebrate the women and men who participate in this fun activity.

In a partnership with Lone Wolf Cycling, we’re asking Delaware Valley bicyclists who utilize these trails to go ahead and take some snapshots of their rides and post them to social media (or, email them to us so we can post) for a chance to win a full kit from Lone Wolf Cycling!


  • Go mountain biking on a Delaware Valley mountain biking trail.
  • Take some epic photos.
  • Put them on your social media pages using the hashtag #bikePHLdirt. We’d also appreciate if you tagged the Bicycle Coalition (@bcgp on Twitter, @BicycleCoalition on Instagram, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia on Facebook) in your post.
  • Come to our Happy Hour on August 6

The photo contest will be judged by Jason Fritzsche and Tim Woods, co-founders and owners of Lone Wolf Cycling. They’ll be looking for photos that show some combination of the following:

  • You
  • Your bike
  • The trail you’re using
  • Something that makes Philadelphia’s mountain biking trails unique

If you’ve got any questions about the contest, feel free to email us at Photos will also be posted to this blog and shared on our social media accounts for all to enjoy. As it happens, there’s not a lot of great information on Philly bike trails online, other than what’s this and some other resources) so we’ve provided some information on mountain biking in Philly below.

Photo: Jason Fritzsche

Photo: Jason Fritzsche

Mountain Biking In Philadelphia

Permits are required to use mountain bikes on city trails.

Important Bike Trail Terms:

Single Track– the trail is just wide enough to fit one bike

Double Track or Fire Road– the trail is wide enough to accommodate four-wheeled off-road vehicles.

Grade– this refers to the change in a tail’s elevation from start to finish. It is calculated by dividing its vertical rise by its full length. For example, a 100 foot long trail that rises 5 feet has a 5% grade.

Here are some trail-biking ideas:

Photo: Jason Fritzsche

Photo: Jason Fritzsche

Wissahickon Valley Park

1,800 acre park in the Northeast portion of Philadelphia County and has 34.77 miles of bicycle trails. 22.33 miles are single track which are also referred to as “upper trails” in this park. This term denotes all the trails which are not Forbidden Drive.

The park’s main trail is called Forbidden Drive due to when cars were originally banned from using it. The trail is mostly gravel and dirt and not paved.

All bikes are allowed on this trail but for those wanting to tackle the higher trails, a permit is required.

Forbidden drive runs 5.35 miles from where Lincoln Drive and the paved Wissahickon Bike Trail intersect and it winds northwest to the end of the Philadelphia County line close to Chestnut Hill College at the intersection of Andorra Road, Thomas Road, and West Northwestern Avenue.

There are trails of varying difficulty in other parts of the park which are more suited to hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. These trails are not meant for road bikes.

mountain map

A map of some mountain biking trails, available at

Some of these other main trails include:

Orange Trail

Length: 5.64 Miles

Average Trail Width: 3 feet

Maximum Obstacle Height: 24 inches

Average Grade: 11%

This is a singe-track trail of dirt and rock that runs along the East side of the park with some difficult sections. The portion from Hortter Street to Thomas Mill Road Covered Bridge is restricted to hikers only.

White Trail

Length: 4.39 miles

Average Width: 3 feet

Max Obstacle Height: 24 inches

Average Grade: 9%

This is a singe-track trail of dirt and rock that runs along the East side of the park. It has some steep sections and some technical climbs. Some sections may be difficult for inexperienced trail users.

Yellow Trail

Length: 7.89 miles

Average Width: 3 feet

Max Obstacle Height: 24 inches

Average Grade: 9%

This a single track dirt and rock trail that runs on the West side of the park. The terrain varies with the occasional steep and technical climb.

Remember: We’ll announce a winner at our final Summer Happy Hour (location TBA this week). We are looking for photos from all over the nine-county region. Please email us at if you have any questions. And good luck!

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