Summary: The city of Philadelphia boasts the largest municipal park system in the world. At 9,200 acres, Fairmount Park is a conglomerate of public lands throughout the city. One of my personal favorites is the Wissahickon Valley Park, comprising 1,400 acres on both sides of Wissahickon creek. Located in the northwestern corner of the city, it is easily accessible by public transportation or bicycle. The trail I outlined here makes for a delightful bike ride or a pleasant stroll. Along the way, you will find waterfowl, including various duck species, Canada and other goose, and rarely blue heron. Fishing is popular along the Wissahickon, as is horseback riding. Old man-made structures include a 19th century covered bride, WPA shelters, 19th century spring houses, and dams. Marvel at the massive road bridges spanning the deepest parts of the river gorge, as well as the tall 2nd growth poplar and sycamore trees. You may even forget you are in the 5th largest city in the U.S.
Trailhead: By bicycle from downtown Philadelphia: Start at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, located at the north end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Take the bike path north from the Museum, following Kelly Drive on your right and the Schuylkill River on your left. Staying on the bike path, continue north past the Falls bridge in East Falls. Go another 0.7 mi. to Ridge Avenue (the end of the bike path) and make a left. Continue 1 block to the first stop light, and cross Ridge Avenue. The start of the trail is to the left of the Wissahickon Creek. Total Distance from Art Museum = 4.7 mi.
Also, the following SEPTA Bus lines stop at the trailhead: 1, 9, 27, 35, 38, 61, 65, 124, 125, and the R6 Regional Rail line. (Lat:40.01558 Lon:-75.20676)
Trail Guides for Wissahickon River Gorge:
50 Hikes in Eastern Pennsylvania
by Tom Thwaites (The Countryman Press)
Hike America Pennsylvania
by John Young (Beachway Press Publishing Inc.)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Fairmount Park Commission, 215-685-0000
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jeremy Taitelbaum, who has posted 9 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by bob on 7/9/2009
Reviewed by lmd on 7/9/2009
it was awesome
Reviewed by Dee on 3/21/2009
Nice Hike, you forget your in Philly still.....still did not find the tolerance statue, but today my be the day...also find what the locals call dre. rock....enjoy. D
Reviewed by JD on 10/9/2006
It's a creek and not a river!
Reviewed by MSD on 10/8/2006
Great trail. Awesome rock formations. And try to find the TOLERANCE statue.
Reviewed by Viewer on 8/14/2006
This is a very nice trail and has all skilled levels for bikers and every hiker/ biker should try it.
Reviewed by SteveF on 5/28/2005
Almost in my backyard, it is a good place to get out of the city without driving over an hour. Not the most challenging but get off the main trail and you can get a decent workout. Very dense trees and good to take the dog.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: Pennsylvania Hiking, Pennsylvania Trails, Pennsylvania Hikes, Philadelphia County Hiking, Philadelphia County Trails, Philadelphia County Hikes