Cycling from Philadelphia to the Pine Barrens

Philadelphia may not be on your short list for outdoor adventures, but this month we hope to change that. Follow along as our staff share their top trail picks. Become inspired to check out a new trail in our region!

Chris Grabowski and Chris Vanderslice – or simply Chris² – work tirelessly during our program season to oversee expedition planning and logistics as POBS’ Faculty Instructor and Logistics Manager. This past January they cycled from Philadelphia’s City of Brotherly Love to the New Jersey Pine Barrens, covering a total of 90 miles (in eight hours) round trip! Grabowski recalls the experience as “accessible and wild.”

To plan their route they relied on maps from Adventure Cycling that outline bike paths from Lancaster, PA to New York City.

Their grand adventure led them to the campgrounds in the Brendan T. Byrne State Forest, known for having one of the least light-polluted skies in New Jersey – perfect for stargazing! While you’re exploring the 25 miles of hiking trails, keep your eyes peeled for Whitesbog Village – once the largest cranberry and blueberry farm in the state.

“My favorite part of this trip was sleeping in the open, inside of two sleeping bags, in 18-degree weather. The air felt crisp, and the swaying of the pines was calming,” Slice recalls.