Lights, Camera, Action #OnTheCircuit!
Authored By: The Circuit Trails
You might be surprised to learn that many of your favorite movies and TV shows filmed in and around the Greater Philadelphia region have featured the Circuit Trails! From Netflix original series to Hollywood blockbusters—the trails have served as a backdrop for many memorable scenes, showcasing the beauty and diversity of the region.
Check out which Circuit Trails are movie stars in the making!
The fifth season of the Netflix original series “Queer Eye,” which focuses on life and fashion makeovers for its guests, was filmed in Philadelphia in 2019—making it one of the latest productions to showcase the city’s diverse landscapes. In episode seven, Karamo, one of the members of the Fab 5, the hosts of “Queer Eye,” and Jennifer, the guest of the episode, take a stroll in Wissahickon Valley Park along Forbidden Drive and other hiking trails in the park. Forbidden Drive is a Philadelphia favorite for many, stretching seven miles and offering a welcome refuge of dense foliage, waterfalls, streams, and wildlife within a short distance of Center City.
It’s always sunny on the Circuit! Or at least when “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”—the longest running live-action sitcom—is filming. The show has featured innumerable Philadelphia landmarks during it’s nearly 20 years of filming, including a Circuit Trail. The iconic opening of the show features the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, which offers an off-road trail for walkers and cyclists between Camden and Philadelphia on the Ben Franklin Bridge Pedestrian Walkway.
The Circuit has been featured on the silver screen, too. A few movies have been filmed along trails, including Philadelphia-native M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split.” Released in November of 2016, the film garnered international attention grossing $278 million worldwide. The movie was filmed primarily in Philadelphia, and featured the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk. The boardwalk runs through the Schuylkill River Trail, an iconic multi-use trail popular with runners, walkers, and cyclists alike along the east bank of the river.
Another film you might spot one of your local trails in? The movie “Hustle,” featuring Adam Sandler and Juancho Hernangomez, was filmed in and around Manayunk. Many of the scenes take place on the “Manayunk Wall,” a large hill that starts at Green Lane and ends by Manayunk Ave. The Schuylkill River Trail is featured various times throughout the film, which runs directly to the Manayunk Bridge Trail. This past August, the trail installed safety and lighting improvements, making the trail accessible all day long.
While these movies may not feature the trails directly, parts of “The Pink Panther 2” starring Steve Martin were filmed in Trenton, NJ—where you can hit the Delaware River Heritage Trail or the Calhoun Street Bridge Trail. “Live Free or Die Hard” filmed scenes in Camden, NJ at Rutgers University—just a short walk to the Ulysses Wiggins Waterfront Park Promenade.
So next time you’re settling in for a binge-watching session, keep your eyes peeled for familiar sights in the region. Who knows, you might just catch a glimpse of your favorite trail on screen! Don’t forget to tag us #OnTheCircuit—whether you’re enjoying the trails from the comfort of your couch or getting active and taking in the scenery and share it with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.