Update March 30, 2017: Spring is back and MLK Drive will be closed weekends to car traffic all season long!
Open Streets on MLK every weekend, now through October. Fun, easy trips for Fallsers.
When I first heard that the city closes this whole drive from East Falls all the way downtown, I thought it must be a rumor, or a quaint memory from a time before traffic & parking issues trumped public recreational needs.
But no: it’s true!
Since 1995 — from the first weekend in April to the last weekend in October — MLK drive is closed to motorized traffic, providing miles of fun, safe, scenic trails for outdoor-loving Philly locals and visitors alike.
Technically, the part that’s officially closed down is 4 miles long, but once you get around the Art Museum, you can access bike paths into Center City, to the new Schuylkill River Trail, and out to the suburbs, even.
Pedal and Pour alert: Conshohocken Brewing Company has a wonderful tap room right next to the Schuylkill River Trail in Conshohocken. Bike north from East Falls — about 8 miles — and then kick back and enjoy your sudsy reward. The locally sourced food is pretty tasty too.
Another awesome beer destination: Wissahickon Brewing Company, up just a short ways off the bike path in East Falls! Their tasting room includes a rotating roster of food trucks, and of course fantastic beer brewed right here in the neighborhood.
So much fun to ride on the open road! The drive follows the river opposite Kelly Drive, passed boat launches, picnic & exercise areas, and amazing views of the Fairmount Water Works.
Perfect for families, beginners & weekend-warriors: the ride is basically flat and pretty easy except on windy days when gusts off the river might be challenging to pedal into.
Only one small caveat: beginning at noon, cars are allowed on the lower portion of the drive, from the Sweetbriar cutoff to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (not a big deal, just use the regular bike path for this stretch).
Let’s Do This! Try one of these awesome online itineraries for families, artsy folks, history buffs — anyone who wants to get out & explore this area’s many charms.
Or just bike till you find a good spot to sit & stare at our shimmering Schuylkill, or marvel at how we’ve repurposed our industrial history along Manayunk Tow Path.
And join us for our first East Falls BYOB Bike Ride Saturday April 11th at 9:30AM (*NOTE* April 1st ride has been rescheduled due to weather forecast, TBA). Meet at the MLK side of the Falls Bridge for a relaxed bike ride down to the Schuylkill Boardwalk and back up Kelly Drive.
It’s like a Pack Walk, but with alcohol. And no dogs. And we’re all riding bikes. The goal is still the same, though: treats, exercise and socializing. Follow the tandem bike & magic backpack! Hope you’ll join us as we explore local bike trails this spring and summer. REGISTER (check our calendar for announcements or email us for updates).