Five Family-Friendly Ways to Get Active This Fall

Summer may be ending, but your physical fitness doesn’t have to. Beautiful scenery and cooler temperatures make the autumn months the perfect time for families to get outdoors, and in the greater Philadelphia region, there are no shortage of ways to get active this fall.

Go For a Hike

One of the many perks of living in southeastern Pennsylvania is the abundance of beautiful parks and scenic trails just a short drive away. The autumn months are a particularly great time to catch mother nature in all her glory. If you prefer to keep things local, you can find great hiking and walking trails right around the corner at Marsh Creek, French Creek, Evansburg, Ridley Creek, and Fort Washington State Parks.

If you don’t mind a longer drive, pack a lunch and bring your hiking shoes for a day of birdwatching at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary or waterfall hikes at Bushkill Falls or Ricketts Glen State Park.

Take to the Water

Throughout most of the fall, you can still spend a Saturday afternoon out on the water before temperatures drop too low. Bucks County River Country offers kayaking and canoeing rentals and Green Lane Park in Montgomery County offers fishing, kayaking and canoeing rentals.

Put the Pedal to the Metal

The Philadelphia metro region is full of scenic trails perfect for a family bike ride.

The Schuylkill River Trail stretches almost 130 miles from Reading to Philadelphia and the Perkiomen Trail runs another 20 miles through Montgomery County, and you can hop on anywhere along the way.

Discover History

Independence Hall isn’t the only place to get a taste of national history right in our backyard. Valley Forge National Historical Park is just 25 minutes from The Shipley School and is the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

You can tour the Visitor Center and catch a short, educational film in the theater to learn about the events that took place at the park before you spend time touring the grounds. Be sure to visit Washington’s Chapel and the Washington Memorial Chapel, and stop to see memorials, cabins, and canons along the way.

And when you’re done your tour, be sure to take advantage of the park’s 19.5 miles of designated hiking trails and 21 miles of biking trails. You can even rent bikes right in the park!

Hit the Pavement

Each year runners of all skill levels flood the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the Philadelphia Marathon. But you don’t have to run 26.2 miles to get in on the fun! The weekend also includes a half-marathon, the Rothman Institute 8K and a Kids Fun Run, so while mom or dad sweat it out, children 12 and under can participate in a short-distance, non-competitive race.

Registration for the Fun Run is $15 and ends November 18. More information can be found here.

And if you’re not sold on the idea of running for fun, you can join the crowds of cheering spectators lining the course on November 19 to get your heart pumping!

About the Author


The Shipley School is an independent, coeducational day school in Bryn Mawr for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world. Through a strong college-preparatory curriculum in the humanities and sciences, our school encourages curiosity, creativity, and respect for intellectual effort. Shipley upholds and promotes moral integrity, a sense of personal achievement and worth, and concern for others at school and in the larger community.