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Key Info

Valley Green Road

Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Free, Parks and Gardens Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 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.

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