Trail regulations

Trail permits

Residents and visitors can enjoy Philadelphia’s trails, but some people need a permit when using the Upper Wissahickon and the soft trails of Pennypack Park.

For these areas, you need a permit if you use a:

  • Bicycle.
  • Horse.
  • Carriage.
  • Horse-drawn vehicle.
  • Other non-motorized, wheeled vehicle.

There is a $35 permit fee for non-residents of Philadelphia.

Apply for a trail permit


Trail hours

All trails are open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. No person may ride a bicycle or horse in the parks or on the trails between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.


Bicycles

In places where bicycles are permitted, bicycles are restricted to existing sidewalks, footwalks, and designated trails. No bike riding on grass areas. Bicyclists should give right-of-way and move for people on foot. The only exception to this is during bicycle races organized or sanctioned by Parks & Rec.

No bicycles may be used in the Andorra Natural Area, except on Bell’s Mill Trail, the driveway to the Tree House, and the bypass, which connects upper Northwestern Avenue with Forbidden Drive. Bikers are welcome to leave their bikes at the Tree House while on the trails.


Horse-drawn vehicles

Horse-drawn vehicles may be driven on trails wide enough to safely allow them. Travel by horse-drawn vehicles should be single-file on all trails including Upper Wissahickon trails and Forbidden Drive.


Jogging

Pedestrians have the right-of-way except during sanctioned and/or organized running races.


No motorized vehicles

The use of any motor vehicles, including but not limited to snowmobiles, motorcycles, motorbikes, motor-powered dirt bikes, and motor-powered All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) is prohibited on all trails at any time.


Pets

All dogs/pets must be on a leash of no more than six feet at all times. Read all of our dog regulations.


Single file

All those who use trails, except pedestrians, must proceed in single-file on all trails except on Upper Wissahickon trails and Forbidden Drive.

Upper Wissahickon trails and Forbidden Drive: Trail visitors can travel in pairs as long as space allows. However, horse-drawn vehicles must still travel single file.


Speed limits

Those on trails must observe a 7-miles-per-hour speed limit.


Swimming

Swimming in the rivers, creeks, and streams is prohibited.


Trees

Just as there are many kinds of trees in Philadelphia, there are many kinds of laws governing the planting, maintenance, and removal of trees. Read our tree policies and regulations.


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