Running the Ben Franklin Bridge: Scenic and Uncrowded

View of Campbell Field in Camden from Ben Franklin Bridge

On a given sunny and relatively warm day in Philly, the main running trails are packed with runners, walkers, cyclists, dogs on walks, and others.  One trail that is immune from crowds is Ben Franklin Bridge (yes the bridge).

For those who’ve never run it, the Ben Franklin Bridge is a surprisingly fun run.  You enter the sidewalk entrance at 5th Street at Race and then begin a steady climb to the middle of the Delaware River and the state border.  On the New Jersey side, there’s a subsequent steady downhill run as you cross the river.

Then, there’s the surprising part: the view of the Camden waterfront from the bridge is quite pretty (probably the only time you’ll see a sentence with the words “view,” “Camden,” and “pretty”).  You’ll see the Adventure Aquarium, Campbell Field and the Susquehanna Bank Center from 100 feet or so up.  If you keep going, you can probably see a lot less scenic views and things that probably aren’t part of the Camden tourist brochure.  But that’s neither here nor there.

The roundtrip from Philly to Camden and back is about 2.5 miles.  The views on a nice sunny day are definitely worth it.  There’s also something satisfying about running to a different state.  Plus, it’s one of the few times you can go from New Jersey to Pennsylvania without paying a toll.

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