Laurel Hill Cemetery3822 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19132 visit website> admission is always free
I have always loved passing Laurel Hill Cemetery on the way to the Kroc Center or when I am on Kelly Drive. It has this great mix of beauty, majesticness and creepiness. Also ever since I saw on the Laurel Hill Cemetery sign on Kelly Drive “joggers and stroller welcome” I have really wanted to check it out. Last week I finally decided I was going to load up the jogging stroller and figure out how to get in that place. I took a ton of pictures because it was such a nice day. You can find them on Hipster Henry flickr.
Jogging with the stroller in Laurel Hill Cemetery is cool but not exactly what I expected. Laurel Hill is made up of 78-acre tract of land that is divided into three sections. From what I can tell you can access two of these sections – which are connected by a bridge. Numerous prominent people are buried at the Cemetery, including many of Philadelphia’s leading industrial magnates. Names such as Rittenhouse, Widener, Elkins and Strawbridge certainly pique local interests, but Laurel Hill also appeals to a national audience. General Meade and thirty-nine other Civil War-era generals reside here, in addition to six Titanic passengers. I was able to snag a parking spot right inside the main entrance but check out my parking tips below under directions. The hours of the cemetery are Monday-Friday 8:00am -4:30pm and Saturday -Sunday 9:30am-4:30pm. Closed Major Holidays. History of Laurel Hill.
Pros: On a sunny fall day the place is beautiful and has amazing views of Kelly Drive and the Schuylkill River. There are tons of crazy tombstones and beyond elaborate mausoleums to look at. Basically the whole place is a mish-mash of personal taste. It seems that after people bought their plots they went to great lenghts to trick it out in what they considered their “after-life style.” Another plus is the hills. There are some great hills to climb that help make it a great workout. There is also this look out area with a bench on the main side that has a great view of Kelly Drive.
Cons: If you are a runner and you have a stroller you will want to come back without it some time. The road that winds around the cemetery is wide which is great but it is not one long continues road. You go down a path and then all the sudden it ends in a circle and you have to go back he way you came. If you are going without a stroller there are these awesome sidewalks which also double as rain funnels and that is what I would like to run. They are wide enough for a stroller but every once in awhile there is a step. They run all through the cemetery and up some great side hills.
I think Laurel Hill is a great place to check out and it will definelty mix up your workout routine a little. As a side note it is also a great place to look for baby names. Yeah I know I sound crazy but some of these tombstones date back to the 1800′s. You are bound to find some names you haven’t thought of.
The entrance is on Ridge Ave. and I think the best way to get there is to take Kelly Drive to South Ferry Road then right on Ridge. It will come up on your right at the top of hill. The main entrance is on your right and the parking lot is on your left. There 5 spots if you go through the main entrance which are pretty much taken up by the people that work there so I suggest you park in the little parking lot across the street.