While Greater Philadelphia is a sanctuary for professional and collegiate sports, there are also plenty of recreational activities in which you can participate. The region makes lifetime fitness an attainable reality, whether you're strolling through the city, hiking in wooded parks, shooting hoops or running the Philadelphia Marathon. Get out there and work up a sweat or just enjoy the fresh air — we've got everything you need right here.
If you're looking for a little friendly competition, join the Philadelphia Sports and Social Club. It is the region's largest organizer of recreational adult sports leagues and social events. It offers coed and single-sex sports like soccer, flag football, basketball, volleyball, softball, floor hockey and kickball. Best of all, there is a strong social emphasis, so it is a great way to team up with old friends or make new ones. Take a look at www.phillysportandsocialclub.com to see how you can get into the action! You can also join the Manayunk Sports and Social Club, which offers a wide array of recreational sports as well. Visit manayunk.usasportandsocial.com for more information.
After re-enacting Rocky Balboa's famous run up the Art Museum steps, perhaps you'll be warmed up and ready to go for a jog. Philadelphia's Fairmount Park has multiple trails for running, walking and biking. The five-mile long Wissahickon Trail, which is locally known as "Forbidden Drive" because it's closed to cars, provides a wonderful scenic escape. The Kelly Drive and Martin Luther King Drive loop that runs along the Schuylkill River is also scenic and widely accommodating — Martin Luther King Drive is even closed to traffic on weekends from April through September. On the Jersey side, Camden County's Cooper River Park is another top destination. A flat, tree-lined, paved path circles Cooper River and is exactly 3.65 miles around with mile markers and marked 5K and 10K courses. Start training now and you just might be ready for the annual Philadelphia Marathon (www.philadelphiamarathon.com), which takes place each November.
Feel like hitting the greens? Greater Philadelphia has an array of public and private golf courses throughout the region, with six public courses right in the city. Check out GolfersGuide.com to locate area courses. If you're lucky, you'll get to test your skills at New Jersey's Pine Valley golf course or the Merion East golf course in Pennsylvania, both ranked among the top 10 greatest golf courses in the world. If you prefer miniature golf, then head over to the newly renovated Fairmont Park on 6th and Race streets. You might also want to try a round of disc golf, a game played much like golf but with a disc, or Frisbee®, rather than a golf ball. The Sedgley Woods Disc Golf Course (www.sedgleywoods.org) in East Fairmount Park is a great place to play and best of all it's free!
In seasonal weather, the region has waterways that are ideal for canoeing, rafting, tubing, kayaking or fishing. Tubing down the Delaware River is a particularly exciting activity! Check out www.rivercountry.net for information on a variety of water sports. And if you're a dedicated canoeist or kayaker, consider contacting the Philadelphia Canoe Club — you can meet up with others who share your passion. For more information visit www.philacanoe.org.
If you're looking for a little adventure, there are several full-service indoor rock climbing facilities in the region. For instance, the Philadelphia Rock Gym in Montgomery County is an excellent place to spend the day. Visit www.philarockgym.com to find out how you can get started. For an outdoor climbing excursion, Livezey Rock in the Wissahickon Valley section of Fairmount Park is a popular destination.
Free outdoor public tennis courts and basketball courts are available in most Greater Philadelphia area municipal parks, and there are also indoor courts in many private athletic and racquet clubs. The region has a great number of public swimming pools you can splash around in. Throughout area suburbs, there are many neighborhood clubs and you may be able to find one within walking distance that offers reasonable membership fees. A number of Pennsylvania State Parks also have swimming pools open during summer months.
Have aspirations of becoming the next Lance Armstrong? Or maybe you just like to bike around with friends? Either way, The Bicycle Club of Philadelphia has a wide variety of options for levels of cycling ability. Take part in their Sunday Morning Breakfast Ride, or enjoy a leisurely ride through Fairmount Park. Get Additional details at www.phillybikeclub.org. Anyone is welcome, just remember — helmets are required on all rides.
On cold days, head over to the Blue Cross RiverRink in Penn's Landing for some outdoor ice skating. The rink generally opens Thanksgiving weekend and runs through February. Check www.riverrink.com for season dates and hours of operation. Winter weather is also perfect for skiing! The Pocono Mountains are just a short drive from Greater Philadelphia and are perfect for the snow bunny in all of us. www.poconoski.com has all the information you need — compare ski lodges or get an update on snow conditions.
If you've got that competitive edge or if you just like to have fun, Greater Philadelphia offers enough recreational activities that satisfy the weekend warrior in everyone!