Urban Jungle

In the midst of Philadelphia lies a park system claiming over 9,200 acres and 10% of the land in both the city and county of Philadelphia.  Along Forbidden Drive and the Wissahickon Creek, the canopy rises far above the basin of the creek, providing much needed green space for the residents of the city to sprawl out and take in nature.

The Wissahickon winds through about 23 miles from the Northwest suburbs right into the Schuykill river in the city.  Much of the creek runs through or next to parkland, with the last few miles running through a deep gorge.

The murky waters of the Wissahickon on a bright summer day.

The murky waters of the Wissahickon on a bright summer day.

The creek provides uplighting to the many trees along its banks.  At certain instances, limbs appear to dance above the Wissahickon.

The creek provides uplighting to the many trees along its banks. At certain instances, limbs appear to dance above the Wissahickon.

Peering through the canopy in search of sunlight, one can find amazing patterns in nature. Overlapping branches and leaves give geometry a whole new perspective.

Peering through the canopy in search of sunlight, one can find amazing patterns in nature. Overlapping branches and leaves give geometry a whole new perspective.

Amidst the thick foliage and underbrush, new life springs eternal.

Amidst the thick foliage and underbrush, new life springs eternal.

Cool Canine in the Hot Summer

Dog strolls out of the Wissahickon Creek after a quick swim to cool down on a hot summer day; Wissahickon Valley Park, Forbidden Drive, Philadelphia, PA, June 6, 2009

Dog strolls out of the Wissahickon Creek after a quick swim to cool down on a hot summer day; Wissahickon Valley Park, Forbidden Drive, Philadelphia, PA, June 6, 2009

Cycling into the woods

Cyclist rides off into the vast network of trails along the Wissahickon Creek; Forbidden Drive, Philadelphia, PA; June 06, 2009

Cyclist rides off into the vast network of trails along the Wissahickon Creek; Forbidden Drive, Philadelphia, PA; June 06, 2009

Canoeing the Wissahickon

The Wissahickon Creek awaits those who dare to ride its tide out to the Schuylkill River.

The Wissahickon Creek awaits those who dare to ride its tide out to the Schuylkill River.

Canoeing couple on approach to their next challenge along the Wissahickon

Canoeing couple on approach to their next challenge along the Wissahickon

Murky waters turn turbulent.

Murky waters turn turbulent.

Watch that tight turn with rocks and trees!

Watch that tight turn with rocks and trees!

Branches dead ahead- duck!

Branches dead ahead- duck!

Almost clear!

Almost clear!

We made it!

We made it!

What a rush!

What a rush!

One of Philadelphia’s hidden treasures for outdoor adventures, the Wissahickon Valley Park offers acres of trails for Equestrians, Mountain Bikers, and Hikers; clear roads for cycling, running, and walking; a serene getaway to fish, kayak, and canoe. Learn more about it and what the rest of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park System has to offer at http://www.fairmountpark.org/WissahickonValleyPark.asp.