Follow Joe Frazier’s Footsteps on Philadelphia Running Trail

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A quiet, lonely trail winds parallel to popular Kelly Drive, sitting high above the heavy car, bike, and pedestrian traffic below. The trail is wide doubletrack, leaving room for two runners or hikers to pass each other, though chances are you may never see another soul on the trail. As you twist and turn through the trees past old, historic mansions, you might forget you're in a city all together. You'd almost think this trail is too good to be true. This is the Boxers' Trail.

The Boxers' Trail is definitely not the first place most Philadelphians think of when they hear boxing and running in the same sentence. Rocky Balboa and his famous trot through the city streets and grand finale up the Art Museum steps is still the No. 1 Philadelphia boxing reference of all time. But the Boxers' Trail is where the pros actually ran, away from the busy streets and crowded sidewalks.

However, when Frazier trained on the trail in the ’60s, it was nothing like it is now. Thanks to the Fairmount Park Conservancy and other organizations, the Philadelphia running trail is a 3.8 mile mix of paved asphalt and crushed stone, starting at Sedgley Woods disc golf course and ending at the historic Strawberry Mansion. Along the way, the trail visits other historic mansions of East Fairmount Park, including Mount Pleasant, Ormiston, Laurel Hill, Woodford, with signage marking the way to each one.

Trail Route:  The paved portion of the trail begins on Reservoir Drive and North 33rd Street in Strawberry Mansion, right near the driving range and Sedgley Woods Disc Golf course. Follow signage past the Smith Playground and turn left down the paved path. Turn left again on Fountain Green Drive and head down the hill. The unpaved, crushed stone portion starts on the right, and heads up a steep hill. Follow the crushed stone portion about 1.5 miles until it meets Randolph Drive and becomes a paved path again. Follow the paved path around the Edgely Ballfields and follow signs all the way to Strawberry Mansion for a total 3.8 miles.

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