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
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.
Children of all ages delight at feeding the ducks – don’t forget to bring some bread! See more.
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.
Trout are released into the Wissahickon Creek every spring, summer, and fall. See more.
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.
This 40 foot high outcrop of schist is beloved by area climbers See more.
With three stables offering riding lessons, boarding, and more, the Wissahickon is a horse-friendly destination. See more.
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.
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.
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.
The Wissahickon Environmental Center offers environmental education programming and has a children’s activity center. See more.
BEYOND THE WISSAHICKON
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.
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.