Run, Walk, Bike, Hike ... Forbidden Drive

The drive gives people an opportunity to enjoy a fabulous oasis within the city limits

Maybe people like that which is forbidden, so Forbidden Drive beckons us to come.  Once we get there, there are many options for a fit (or relaxing) day.  Though Forbidden Drive runs from Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill to Lincoln Drive, possibly the most popular stretch is in the Roxborough portion around Valley Green - the historic restaurant with attached ice cream shop, and nearby picnic tables.  

If you want to "get away" without the pricetag of a long drive, airfare, or hotel stay, there are many options along Forbidden Drive.  Some folks bring their kiddies to “feed the ducks,” though they’re mostly geese, and they’re aggressive! Others come to exercise, or hike, or have a great meal at Valley Green. 

Forbidden drive itself is paved, and most of it is "forbidden" to cars.  So you can walk (277 calories per hour), jog  (584 calories per hour), run (986 calories per hour), or bike (300 calories per hour) without hassle.  This is especially great if you want to take a nature walk with the kids.  

Though Forbidden Drive itself is 5.42 miles long, there are over 57 miles of trails in this 7 mile stretch of the Wissahickon Creek.  Some trails are open for biking and horses, others are for hikers (hiking with backpack burns about 511 calories per hour).  So, if you’re looking for a day to “get away from it all” this area could be exactly what the doctor ordered. 

If you really want to feel like you’ve been transported to the country, take forbidden drive away from Manayunk and towards Chestnut Hill.  You will stumble across the only covered bridge in the United States that is located within an urban center’s city limits.  

Oh, and if you want to “do good” while you enjoy the area, you can join up with the Friends of the Wissahickon for a service day.  There are plenty to choose from, both on the weekends and on week days. 

I am a city girl.  To me, living in Roxborough is the suburbs.  I’m raising my kids here.  But for as much as I love the buildings, lights and energy of downtown, I have fallen in love with Forbidden Drive and the Wissahickon Creek area.  It is nature at its finest right here in our back yard. 

A word of caution: women, please never take trails alone - especially in darker hours of the day.  No matter how many kickboxing classes you've had, it would be a shame for you to have to use that in a real life struggle.   And on a health note, check for ticks.  I’ll be honest, I am a bit of a tick-a-phobe.  But, for good reason.  Next week I’ll explain why, in a piece about Lyme’s Disease - a hidden epidemic


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