Today the verdant Wissahickon Valley Park offers a welcome refuge of dense foliage, waterfalls, streams, and wildlife within a short distance of center city Philadelphia. At one time, however, the area was filled with the sound of logging mills. Established in 1868 as a park in order to preserve the City’s water supply, Wissahickon Valley Park is a recognized National Natural Landmark, and the Wissahickon Gorge, located within the park, is a designated “Important Birding Area” by the National Audubon Society.
Visitors to this pristine park can enjoy the 7-mile long gravel and asphalt Wissahickon Valley Park Trail - Forbidden Drive (WVPT). In addition, numerous other trails are open to equestrians and mountain bikers, but note that a permit is required for these. Access to the WVPT is from Northwestern Avenue at Thomas Road in Wyndmoor, or at Lincoln Drive at the south end of the park. Note that Lincoln Drive is paved, while the Forbidden Drive section of the route is crushed stone (this section is also closed to vehicles).
Follow the tranquil Wissahickon Creek as it winds its way through the park between the Schuylkill River, where it links to the Schuylkill River Trail, and Montgomery County, where via an on-road route, it links to the Wissahickon Green Ribbon Trail. Throughout the route find numerous historic sites and buildings, including Historic Rittenhouse Town near the Lincoln Drive Trailhead, the Wissahickon Environmental Center, and near the Montgomery County trailhead, the Morris Arboretum. For more information click here.
Photos: Trail Link