Wissahickon Valley Park

#7 in Best Things To Do in Philadelphia
Wissahickon Valley Park picture
Wissahickon Valley Park
1 of 3
Jon Lovette/Getty Images

Key Info

Valley Green Road

Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Parks and Gardens, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

The 1,800-acre Wissahickon Valley Park appeals to outdoorsy types keen on enjoying a breath of fresh air in the city. Located about 5 miles northwest of downtown, the park boasts more than 50 miles of hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails. Plus, visitors can go bird-watching, picnicking or fishing in the Wissahickon Creek.

Past travelers raved about Wissahickon Valley Park's serene setting. Many also appreciated the property's historical architecture, which includes a covered bridge built in 1737, North America's first paper mill and a man-made cave that once housed John Kelpius (a mystic cult leader who brought his followers to the site in 1694 anticipating an apocalypse). For some of the park's best panoramas, visitors suggest strolling along the vehicle-free Forbidden Drive trail.

The park itself is free to visit 24 hours a day. However, licenses (which are sold on the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission website) are required for fishing, and permits (available for a fee on the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation website) are needed for biking and horseback riding on select trails. In addition to the featuring numerous trails and old-world structures, the property is home to a cafe, an inn, an environmental center that provides educational programming and stables that offer horseback riding lessons (for a fee). SEPTA's Regional Rail line makes several stops within walking distance of the park, or visitors can park for free by one of five entrances. To find out more about Wissahickon Valley Park, travelers can check out the Friends of the Wissahickon website.

See all Hotels in Philadelphia »

More Best Things To Do in Philadelphia

Liberty Bell Center
Independence Hall
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 22
#1 Liberty Bell Center

Opposite Independence Hall, you'll find the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. Now residing in a huge glass gazebo, this 2,080-pound piece of history was once mounted in the belfry of Independence Hall. It was used to mark important historic events, most notably at the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Historians believe the first crack developed in the early 1840s. Metal workers were tasked with repairing the bell in anticipation of George Washington's birthday in 1846. The repair was unsuccessful and the bell ceased to chime ever again.

Despite the long lines, recent visitors called this attraction a must-see for all Americans. They also suggested planning your visit first thing in the morning during the week.

Read more
Songquan Deng/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Philadelphia »

Explore More of Philadelphia

Recommended

10 Amazing Montana Vacations

Breathtaking landscapes and year-round outdoor adventures will inspire you to visit Big Sky Country.

Gwen PratesiMay 20, 2019

The 13 Best Savannah Tours

Experience real southern hospitality when visiting Savannah with these top tours.

John RodwanMay 16, 2019

The 15 Best Boston Tours

Get to know one of America's most historic cities with these tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonMay 14, 2019

The 18 Best New Orleans Tours

With so much to see and do in New Orleans, these tours will help you maximize your time in the Big Easy.

Claire LawtonMay 10, 2019

The 7 Best Chicago Boat Tours

These low-key tours offer unique views of a city famed for its skyline.

Holly JohnsonMay 9, 2019

30 Cheap Weekend Getaways in the USA

From beach destinations to amusement parks, these vacations are perfect for an affordable and quick trip.

Holly JohnsonMay 9, 2019

The 15 Best Chicago Tours

Foodies, boat enthusiasts and historians alike will appreciate any one of these tours of the Windy City.

John RodwanMay 8, 2019

16 Incredible Midwest Vacations

See which outstanding escapes showcase some of Middle America's top destinations.

Lyn MettlerApril 29, 2019

The 21 Most Beautiful Waterfalls to See Around the World

Discover which stunning falls offer once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences.

Kyle McCarthyApril 25, 2019

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019