Take a Hike: Free Walks in Wissahickon Park


image via phillynews.org

April is just a day away, and what better way to bring on spring than to take a walk in the park.

Throughout April, The Friends of the Wissahickon Trail are offering free walks in Wissahickon Valley Park, led by FOW Trail Ambassadors. The day of hiking is offered to everyone, just be sure to heed the following warnings before registering:

>Trails are rugged and rocky, and may be wet and slippery

>Wear sturdy shoes, or boots with socks

>Wear long pants for protection against occasional poison ivy and possible ticks

>Bring water and snacks

You can even bring the kids along for a day in the wilderness. They just note that they must be over the age of seven and accompanied by a responsible adult.

 The scheduled hikes are free, but register to keep yourself up to date on weather or emergency cancellations. To register, please contact Heather Davis Jones at 215-247-0417.

Read the descriptions after the jump to see which hike is calling out your name!

Sunday, April 3, 3-4:30pm

Lower Forbidden Drive with Sarah West (westsarah@aol.com)

Meet at the small parking lot where Forbidden Drive meets Lincoln Drive downstream from Rittenhouse Town.

This includes a one mile walk along lower Forbidden Drive on level ground as far as the Walnut Lane Bridge.

You’ll be sure to see: Historical sites of the area.

You’ll be sure to discuss: Wisshahickon Turnpike and the construction of the Walnut Lane Bridge.

Saturday, April 9, 9am-12pm

Spring in the Park with Scott Quitel (squitel@comcast.net)

Meet at the intersection of Bells Mill Road and Forbidden Drive.

Follow the orange and white trails in upper Wissahickon Valley Park. *Moderately strenuous.

You’ll be likely to see: Red-backed salamanders, early spring ephemerals like trout lily and spring beauty, and a close-up view of the Indian Statue.

Sunday, April 10, 1pm

Spring Hike with Merritt Rhoad

Meet at Northwestern Ave. & Forbidden Drive

The hike will follow along Forbidden Drive to Bells Mill Road, and then along the orange and white trails of Wissahickon Valley Park. The return will go down Northwestern Avenue along the yellow trail. *Moderately difficult, About 4 miles.

You’ll surely see: The Indian Statue.

Sunday, April 10, 10am-12pm

Three Mile Hike with Kimberly Quinn

Meet at the Valley Green Inn

Travel Wissahickon Valley’s orange trail, downstream from Valley Green. * Aggressive, 3+ miles, Be sure to bring supportive hiking shoes and water. Cameras and binoculars are encouraged.

You’ll surely see: caves, the Fingerspan Bridge, Devil's Pool, The Spring House, Shakespeare's Rock, major improvements to the trails,  and Livezey Mill.

You’ll likely see: Awesome local wildlife.

Saturday, April 16, 1-3pm

Horses and History with Diane Garvey and Cynthia Turecki (Diane@garveyresources.com)

Meet in parking lot at the bottom of Kitchen’s Lane

Hike over rocky outcrops and logs along the orange trail between Kitchen’s Lane and Mt. Airy Avenue. The return will follow the white trails. *Moderately difficult, About 3 miles

 You’ll surely see: The historic Monastery Mansion

You’ll surely discuss: Horses in the park, the history of the Monastery Mansion and the adjacent stables, and steps taken to protect the environment.


Saturday, April 23, 2pm

Meanderings in the Wissahickon with Shelly Brick

Meet at Kitchen’s Lane

An exploration of the Wissahickon Valley Park trails. *Easy pace, 1.5-2 hours

You’ll likely discuss: The park and your own stories.


 Mark down the dates that interest you, buy yourself a pair of hiking boots, and explore the outdoors! Visit www.fow.org for the most up to date information.