Schuylkill Banks is the best spot to join the Schuylkill River Trail from Center City, South Philadelphia and West Philadelphia. The trail currently runs 1.2 miles along Schuylkill Banks in the heart of Philadelphia before hooking up with Kelly Drive.
Looking for a new place to run? Grays Ferry Crescent has 5,805 feet of trails. Access points to this new segment of Schuylkill Banks are located on the 34th Street Bridge, Grays Ferry Avenue & 36th Street, and Wharton Street & Schuylkill Avenue. This section will eventually be part of the link from Center City to Bartram’s Garden.View the map here.
Looking to time your mile? The trail segment between the inside edge of the Locust Street turnaround and the inside edge of the MLK Drive turnaround is one mile.
You can take advantage of the beaten dirt path on each side of the trail to help protect your joints and avoid conflicts with bicycles. Trail blades located in several locations along the trail on Schuylkill Banks and Kelly Drive indicate mileage and point out nearby destinations.
Schuylkill River Trail routes from Schuylkill Banks
East Falls Loop
This route is ideal for weekends when MLK Drive is closed to automobiles! From the north end of Schuylkill Banks, stay on the trail and ride under the MLK Drive and Spring Garden Street Bridges, continue on the trail past the Fairmount Water Works and Lloyd Hall. Turn left at Lloyd Hall to stay on the Schuylkill River Trail. Continue along the Kelly Drive portion of the Schuylkill River Trail approximately four miles until you reach the East Falls Bridge. Ride across the East Falls Bridge – being careful of traffic – and turn left on MLK Drive (or the MLK Drive trail). Take MLK Drive approximately four miles until it takes you back across the Schuylkill River to Schuylkill Banks. This loop is 8 miles from the Art Museum to the Art Museum. It is 10.4 miles from Locust Street to the Art Museum, up around the loop and back to Locust Street. Click on the map to the left to see a Google map of the route.
Getting to Schuylkill Banks on foot
From South Philadelphia, Rittenhouse Square, Fitler Square and adjacent neighborhoods
Take Locust Street to 25th Street. An at-grade railroad track crossing into Schuylkill Banks is located on the northwest corner of 25th and Locust Streets. Do not use this entrance if it is blocked by a train.
From West Philadelphia or central Center City
Take Walnut Street, Chestnut Street Bridge, Market Street Bridge or JFK Boulevard Bridge to the east side of the Schuylkill River and then take the Ramps from Chestnut and Market Streets or the stairs from Walnut Street or JFK Boulevard down to Schuylkill Banks.
From Logan Square and adjacent neighborhoods
Take Race Street past 23rd Street to the at-grade railroad track crossing onto Schuylkill Banks. Do not use this entrance if it is blocked by a train.
From the Art Museum area
Starting at Eakin’s Oval take Martin Luther King Jr. Drive just south of the Art Museum and use the signalized crossing to cross MLK Drive and enter Schuylkill Banks by the Plaza/Pergola. Alternately, take Kelly Drive South, continue on the trail past the Fairmount Water Works and under the Spring Garden and MLK Drive bridges to connect directly to Schuylkill Banks.
Running on MLK Drive
Parts of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive (West River Drive) are closed to automobiles Saturdays and Sundays in April through October.
MLK Drive between the Art Museum and Sweetbriar Drive is bicycles and pedestrians only from 7am to noon and MLK Drive from Sweetbriar Drive to the East Falls Bridge is bicycles and pedestrians only from 7am to 5pm on these weekends.
You can connect to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive from the north end of Schuylkill Banks, simply turn off the trail when you reach the Schuylkill Banks Plaza and Pergola and enter MLK Drive at the signalized pedestrian crossing.