Main entrance to Forbidden Dr.: Valley Green Rd. at Wissahickon;
Friends of the Wissahickon located at 8708 Germantown Ave., 215/247-0417,
Those seeking an escape will be thrilled to learn that dense forests, lush greens, and a gentle creek exist within the city limits. The part of Fairmount Park that occupies the northwest section of Philadelphia is known as “the Wissahickon.”
Wissahickon Park surrounds Wissahickon Creek, which runs along the length of its seven miles. There are around 57 miles of trails snaking through the park and the Wissahickon Gorge, crossing bridges, climbing high ridges, and offering ample views. Some are rugged and hilly and others are flat with gravel.
The Friends of the Wissahickon publishes a detailed map for $6, available at FOW office and several other locations listed on their website. It includes roads, trails, buildings, bridges, dams, and statues, and is well worth it for anyone looking for an in-depth exploration of the park.
Easy access and parking can be found near Forbidden Drive, the 11-mile well-traversed gravel stretch. There are no restrooms along the trails, so be sure to use the public restrooms at the entrance near the Valley Green Inn restaurant and parking area.
There are multiple entry points to Wissahickon Park throughout the neighborhoods of Mt. Airy, Roxborough, and Chestnut Hill.
© Karrie Gavin from Moon Philadelphia, 1st Edition