Outdoor Activities

Outdoor Activities

It’s hard to believe, but this wooded paradise is nestled within the city limits. With over 57 miles of trails running throughout the 1,600 acre park, the Wissahickon is an idyllic retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Take a walk on Forbidden Drive, a flat gravel road that meanders through the park. Pack a picnic and slow down for the afternoon. Let your imagination run wild as you discover thousands of plant and animal species, or get active and go for a hike, ride, or run through the park – the possibilities are endless. Click here to view a map of locations for outdoor activities.

Upcoming Events in the Park

  • April 19, 10:00 am

    Awbury Arboretum Easter Egg Hunt

    Save the date to join friends and neighbors for a spring egg hunt on the gorgeous grounds of the Arboretum! Free and open to the public, no registration required.

  • April 19, 1:00 pm

    Annual Stenton Easter Egg Hunt

    On Saturday, April 19 at 1:00PM, Stenton will host its annual Easter Egg Hunt in the museum's historic gardens. Visitors can celebrate the beginning of spring by filling their baskets with eggs and chocolate goodies, and learn about the historic uses of natural dyes made from flowers, vegetables, and animal products, while dyeing eggs that are provided.

  • April 27, 11:00 am

    Earth Day at Awbury Arboretum

    Celebrate Earth and Arbor Day at Awbury Arboretum! Tree planting, plant sales, games, tours, crafts, food for sale, and much more! Fun for the whole family!

  • May 3, 10:00 am

    Germantown Flea at Grumblethorpe

    Germantown Flea at Grumblethorpe will feature vendors selling antiques, handicrafts, tools, vintage items and other merchandise.

  • May 8, 5:00 pm

    Stenton Garden Party

    On May 8, 2014 Stenton will hold its annual Garden Party event. All are invited to join The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for this annual fundraiser in the historic gardens at Stenton from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.



From Forbidden Drive to a network of trails, there’s always a new path to discover on a trip to the Wissahickon. Hit the trails on your own, or join a group and get social in the park. Follow the colored signposts as they guide you through the 57 miles of trails that wind through the park. See more.

Location: Forbidden Drive and Trail System Plan It!

Feeding Ducks

Children of all ages delight at feeding the ducks – don’t forget to bring some bread! See more.

Location: Valley Green Plan It!

Walking and Running

Forbidden Drive, “forbidden” to motor vehicles since 1920, is a charming gravel paved path through the woods that is ideal for hiking, jogging, and the casual stroll. See more.

Location: Forbidden Drive Plan It!


Trout are released into the Wissahickon Creek every spring, summer, and fall. See more.

Location: Bells Mill Road to Valley Green Plan It!


Casual cyclists can ride along the creek on Forbidden Drive, while mountain bikers can get off the drive and onto the trails with a permit. See more.

Location: Forbidden Drive (okay for all bikes) and Upper Trails (by permit only) Plan It!

Rock Climbing

This 40 foot high outcrop of schist is beloved by area climbers See more.

Location: Livezey Rock, accessed via Livezey Lane Plan It!

Horseback Riding

With three stables offering riding lessons, boarding, and more, the Wissahickon is a horse-friendly destination. See more.

Location: Monastery Stables, Northwestern Equestrian Facilities, and Courtesy Stable Plan It!

Exploring Historic RittenhouseTown

Discover the birthplace of paper in America! The seven remaining structures along the creek are all that is left of British North America’s first paper mill, built by the Rittenhouse family in 1690. See more.

Location: 206 Lincoln Drive Plan It!


Pack a lunch, grab a blanket, and enjoy your meal in the great outdoors. Nearly a dozen designated picnic sites are located throughout the park (there's a great one located in the Mt. Airy section). There is no better place than the Wissahickon to enjoy a meal al fresco. See more.

Location: Blue Bell Park Picnic Grove Plan It!


The Wissahickon, recently named an Important Birding Area by the National Audubon Society, is home to an impressive array of birds. Be sure to watch out for owls, wood peckers, mourning doves, orioles, herons, and more. See more.

Location: Carpenter’s Woods Plan It!

Wissahickon Environmental Center

The Wissahickon Environmental Center offers environmental education programming and has a children’s activity center. See more.

Location: 300 Northwestern Avenue Plan It!


Morris Arboretum

Explore the beauty of nature at the University of Pennsylvania’s Morris Arboretum, located in nearby Chestnut Hill. Stroll through the dozens of gardens on their 92 acre grounds, and be sure to stop by the Tree Adventure, a canopy walk through the arboretum! See more.

Location: 100 E. Northwestern Avenue Plan It!

Awbury Arboretum

Get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy the quiet of Awbury Arboretum, located in Germantown just off of Chew Avenue. Awbury’s grounds are free and open to the public. The arboretum also offers extensive environmental education programming to area youth. See more.

Location: Chew Avenue between Washington Lane and Haines Street Plan It!

Plan it.

Click this icon for Maps, Parking, Hours, & More.

Get out!

Looking for organized fun outdoors? Click here for a listing of regularly scheduled activities.

Fun Fact

Did you know Northwest Philadelphia is home to not one, but two fantastic arboretums? Be sure to check out the Tree Adventure at Chestnut Hill’s Morris Arboretum and the Agricultural Village in Germantown’s Awbury Arboretum.

Plan it.

Click this icon for Maps, Parking, Hours, & More.

Fun Fact

Did you know Northwest Philadelphia is home to not one, but two fantastic arboretums? Be sure to check out the Tree Adventure at Chestnut Hill’s Morris Arboretum and the Agricultural Village in Germantown’s Awbury Arboretum.