Forbidden Drive

by laury on October 23, 2011 · 25 comments

Hey, Friends! How was your weekend???

Ours was pretty relaxing. Dinners, football, and some outdoor activity.

We took Ella to one of my favorite local nature paths this weekend:


I remember coming here since I was a very young kid. When my cousin and I would sleep over our grandparents house they always would take us out to breakfast in the morning then for a walk on the Wissahickon trail. I remembering being confused as a kid because everyone called it something different. I always call it “Valley Green” then people will say “where’s that” because they know it as “Forbidden Frive” or “Fairmount Park.” Regardless of what you call it, it certainly holds a lot of memories and is a wonderful peaceful place to walk, bike, run, hike or even swim.


My parents would always bring us to “Devil’s pool and we would jump off the big rock into the water. I spent lots of time hiking there with friends and in high school we spent our senior cut day(s) hanging out near the bridge with portable barbeques

Weezy enjoyed looking at and listening to the water as we walked along the path:

However she slept most of the time.


When she woke up she was actually really happy and content until we were about 1/4 mile from the car [when I had to carry her the rest of the way].


As much as I love it at Valley Green/Forbidden Drive I don’t go as often because I refuse to go alone. It seems like every week I hear about an attack there and I am not willing to risk it. If you go on a weekend or early in the morning there are usually a lot of people around. Obviously I would never go off onto one of the hiking trails alone but even the main path can be deserted at times…even on the weekend. It’s a shame that it has to be like that because it is beautiful and so peaceful. I would be there every day! Maybe I am just overly paranoid. It happened to me once I became a mom. There were plenty of people there running solo but I just am very uneasy about it.

I love getting outdoors and exercising but I get way too bored walking over on the path at the park or one of the high schools. I can’t look at the same thing in circles over and over. I end up only walking a mile or two out of boredom. Then just go to the gym.  Here I could walk 10 miles and not know the difference.

Ella and I need daddy or a walking buddy though. Or a big dog.

We walked about 8 miles and ended at this cute little cafe:

I was so excited when this place opened. I never really got a chance to go there this summer, but they have fitness classes, and a Vitamix [smoothies!], and some tasty menu items.

It’s very charming inside. And quaint.

Michael was all about the cookies. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a taste.

I got a smoothie and the kid working seemed very confused about me making up my own concoction. It was the least complicated recipe ever, way less than what they had on their menu but I guess I threw him off?

Spinach, blueberries and peaches with soy milk.


Michael is trying to talk me into making him snickerdoodles right now but I really just have a lot of laundry to do and some articles to write for work. Hope you all have a great rest of your night!!

Do  you have a favorite trail where you live?

Do you feel safe running alone when there’s not a lot of people around or do you feel relatively safe where you are?

If you are in the Philadelphia area…what do you call “Forbidden Drive” by it’s name or one of the many others it’s known for?


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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous! October 23, 2011 at 11:00 pm

What beautiful pictures! There is a lake about a mile from my house that I love running around. There are always TONS of people at the lake so I feel realy safe there; however, I have to run about 1.5 miles on not so well lit streets to get there which always makes me a littler nervous when it’s dark outside. :/


2 laury October 24, 2011 at 10:27 pm

the lake sounds beautiful..but I would be nervous too running a mile and a half in a shady area 🙁


3 Chelsea October 23, 2011 at 11:37 pm

I go running every Saturday at this trail around the corner from my house by myself 🙂 The first time was super scary but I’m used to it now. For like 10-15min NOBODY is there and I feel so alone, but after awhile more and more people seem to show up.

Your trail looks MUCH more prettier than mine though. There’s nothing but woods on mine. I would love to have a place as lovely as that around me.


4 laury October 24, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Be careful 🙂 Glad to hear it gets more people in the weekends though!


5 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 24, 2011 at 5:39 am

Looks like a fun day, and a great restaurant too! I don’t usually run on my own because my typical workouts happen far before the sun comes up. If it’s daylight and I’m in an open area, I feel totally safe but I’m not sure if that would still be true for secluded trails. It’s always fun to have a running buddy!


6 laury October 24, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I don’t blame you!


7 Keri @ Blue-Eyed Runner October 24, 2011 at 6:19 am

Aww the park and restaurant are so cute! What a fab little Sunday! Love Ella’s fall hat 🙂


8 laury October 24, 2011 at 10:29 pm

it’s her sock hat…my mom makes them and I die!!!


9 Heather October 24, 2011 at 8:05 am

Those pictures are beautiful. I agree with being out alone and running. I get up really early to run (4:30am) and I use to take the dogs with me on short runs. I started going to the gym just because I don’t feel safe that early out, and it’s so! dark out. On the weekends I take very familiar paths or if I go to the trails, it’s either very populated or one very familiar to me and I always let my family know where I am going and it’s usually mid day as well. I would love to find great little multi purpose restaurants too….


10 laury October 24, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Wow! You are hard core 4:30am! That’s incredible! Yes I don’t blame you for jjsut going to the gym. Not to be a Debby downer but all the attacks I hear about on women runners, at least here in Philly are usually very early in the morning. It’s horrible and better safe that sorry! Or keep pepper spray in your hand! A true shame we all can’t take in the outdoors alone on a run when we can fit it in because of safety


11 Amanda - RunToTheFinish October 24, 2011 at 8:11 am

oh my gosh what a beautiful place! I love finding great outdoor places to enjoy


12 Lisa October 24, 2011 at 9:29 am

Looks like a fun family outing—and sleeping while riding along was probably really enjoyable too 🙂
We have lots of trails around here, and some are definitely nicer than others—it is a good place to take my nephew on a bike ride since I don’t have to worry about traffic!


13 laury October 24, 2011 at 10:31 pm

I bet you have some gorgeous ones in upstate NY. My brother goes to school near you I believe and I hear how amazing it is there!


14 Traci October 24, 2011 at 11:42 am

In Baton Rouge everyone likes to run & walk around the LSU lakes. A lot of people are out there by themselves but I wouldn’t do it. Better safe than sorry!


15 laury October 24, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Yes it is better safe than sorry!!!


16 the delicate place October 24, 2011 at 1:03 pm

scary or not it looks like a beautiful trail! i always steal bites of nate’s treats! he bought chocolate covered potato chips (i dont even like potato chips really! unless they are sweet potato 😉 from TJs and i couldn’t stop eating they were so good! i blame PMS! that smoothie wasn’t even that hard?! how does he still have a job lol!


17 laury October 24, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Oh it is! Next time you guys are in Philly [if it isn’t the dead of winter] you both should check it out! On the weekends it’s crowded and my sister and her boyfriend go hiking there all the time. I just wouldn’t o alone. Hear about attacks on women real early in the morning and on an elderly man in the middle of the day. So sad. But other than that it’s peaceful and pretty if you have a partner to go with!


18 thehealthyapron October 24, 2011 at 3:48 pm

That is such a shame about those attacks. I use to try not to walk/run anywhere outside where I used to live. Now that I’ve moved it’s a much safer area though. Still, running or walking alone deep in the woods is not safe and I wouldn’t do it no matter where I lived! Safe call! 🙂


19 laury October 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm

oh yes…never alone deep in the woods. That’s nothing I would ever do not even for human on human attacks I would be afraid of animals too!!!


20 Alisa October 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm

That looks so beautiful and relaxing!

I’m overly cautious about runs and walks, only going alone in well populated areas – always with someone on a trail – always!


21 laury October 24, 2011 at 10:35 pm

It was!!! Especially in the fall!

I totally agree with you!


22 Pure2raw twins October 26, 2011 at 8:10 am

wow that trail looked beautiful, have not been on any trails yet over here. but i know there are some good ones up and around the mountains.

and that cafe, too cute!


23 Jamie @ FoodinRealLife November 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm

So glad I found your blog! I live in the Philly burbs and always refer to it as Forbidden Drive. I run alone sometimes but usually when it’s crowded so I won’t be alone. I often do long runs at Valley Forge park. I’d thought about joining a running group because Philly has some great places to run. I love Kelly Drive too- it’s nice and flat and a great distance, but I won’t do it alone. Right now I’m not running anyway because I’m 7 months pregnant, but maybe soon enough!


24 laury November 4, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Awww yey! Welcome and many congrats to you HOW exciting!!!! 😀

I love Kelly drive too! So happy to hear from a local gal!!!


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