Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wissahickon Valley Park / Forbidden Drive / Valley Green Inn

Wissahickon Valley Park, also known as Forbidden Drive, runs along the Wissahickon Creek and makes up 1,800 acres of Philadelphia's 10,500-acre park system. It was named Forbidden Drive because automobiles were forbidden on its gravel road in the 1920's and still kind of are today. (With the exception of certain parking areas). Because I did not have the time or resources to cover that much space, I narrowed my picture-taking down to the Valley Green Inn area.

If you're passionate about history...

  • According to the Schuylkill River National & Heritage Area, Wissahickon Valley is a registered national landmark. It is one of the 600 National Natural Landmarks in America. During the 18th and 19th century, the creek was utilized by the local mills and factories that surrounded the area. 
  • Throughout the valley, you can encounter historical structures including damns, bridges, houses, and statues, that have been preserved by the Friends of the Wissahickon. These structures usually include plaques in order to explain their significance in history. 

If you enjoy hiking, cycling, walking, and recreational activities...

  • Forbidden drive can provide a location for all of these things and more.  The Friends of the Wissahickon have listed bird watching, fishing, photography, horseback riding, and running/jogging under activities to do within the park. 
  • The Friends note that there are more than 50 miles of trails, trout available in the spring within the creek, seven miles of beautiful gorge that entices the photographer, 167 different species of birds over the course of a year, three public stables, and several running clubs. You can view the list here
  • If you have children, this is also great place to take strollers. Although the gravel can be a bit bumpy, people have always been running, walking, jogging with their strollers back the park. 

If you were wondering about food...

  • The Valley Green Inn may be available! The Inn is also a part of the Wissahickon Valley Park's history having been around since the 17th century (the name and location, not necessarily the building. )
  • The Inn is only open for certain hours of the day. For instance, 12 pm to 3 pm for lunch hours and 4 pm to 8 pm  for dinner hours, and that's only Monday thru Friday hours. 
  • The Inn is also popular for larger events such as wedding and banquets. 
  • You can check out the Valley Green Inn website here!  

 If you like creeks... 

  • According to the Philadelphia Water Department, the watershed of creek has been preserved for years. But, there are still efforts to preserve and restore in recent years because of stormwater runoff and discharge of treated wastewater. The PWD have partnered with other groups in order to keep the creek up to its full standard.
  • The creek also consists of 'Devil's Pool,' which is a popular place for people to swim.
  • In addition, the popular place to feed the ducks is right in front of Valley Green Inn. 

For more information on Wissahickon Valley Park, 
please visit the Friends of the Wissahickon site here!

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