Friendsof the Wissahickon



Erin Mooney, Publicist


Friends of the Wissahickon Schedules May Walks in the Park

Philadelphia, PA—(May 2015) Enjoy May in the Wissahickon, when Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) Trail Ambassadors are offering free hikes in Wissahickon Valley Park and free talks at the Cedars House, located at 200 Northwestern Avenue.

Registration is recommended for all hikes so that participants can be informed of weather or other emergency cancellations. Unless otherwise specified, Trail Ambassador hikes may use rocky, rugged trails that may be wet and slippery. Wear sturdy shoes or boots with socks. Bring water and a snack if desired. Unless otherwise noted, children over seven years old are welcome if accompanied by a responsible adult. Walks are cancelled in heavy rain. For more information or to register, contact Sarah Marley at For updates, go to

Saturday, May 2: Bird walk along Forbidden Drive with Mary Phalan

9-11 a.m.

Mary Phalan

Meet at the concrete picnic tables at Bells Mill Rd and Forbidden Drive.

Bring binoculars and a bird book if you have one. Please, no dogs. This hike is uitable for children over 12 accompanied by a responsible adult. Bird watching requires slow and silent walking, listening and looking. Expect to see spring warblers, hawks, woodpeckers, and many more species.

Sunday, May 3: Explore the woods and Andorra Meadow with Kimberly Quinn

1 p.m.-3 p.m.

Meet at Cedars House: Northwestern Ave and Forbidden Drive

Kim Quinn

Join us on a 3 mile hike covering the Andorra Meadow from Cedars House and then circle around to Bells Mill Road and return to Cedars House. Learn about the former Andorra Nursery and visit the Wissahickon Environmental Center– The Tree House. See the “great beech” and “fallen magnolia.” Moderate hiking level. Wear good sneakers or hiking boots. Children over 8 years old are welcome with responsible adult.

Saturday, May 9: Varied terrains of the Wissahickon with Scott Quitel

9 a.m. to noon

Meet at Forbidden Drive and Bells Mill Road

Scott Quitel

Starting from our meeting spot, at the base of the valley, we’ll head up the forested gorge to the open natural area known as Houston Meadow. Nearby, discover where a suspension bridge from Roxborough across the gorge to Chestnut Hill was planned but never built. Head down along Cathedral Run, across the Wissahickon, up the other side of the gorge, and to a schist barren, upon which Tedyuscung peers across the gorge. On the way back, pass a bubbling cascade that looks like a mountain stream. This will be a brisk walk.

Saturday, May 9: Kid-friendly hike with Marv Schwartz

1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Meet at the Valley Green Inn

Marv Schwartz

This family-friendly hike will take in many of the most interesting Wissahickon sites. From the Valley Green Inn, down Forbidden Drive, we will visit the Livezy Dam and Gorgas Creek cave. Crossing the Mt. Airy bridge, we will take the hillside trail upstream past interesting rock formations, and pass through the intriguing, enclosed, steel mesh Fingerspan Bridge. We will stop to enjoy our snacks and drinks on the stone steps high above the scenic Wissahickon Creek and continue on to Devils Pool and Pee Wee Rock on our return path to the inn. This is a hike of moderate difficulty on some rocky trails.

Saturday, May 16: Geology hike with Sarah West

3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Sarah West

Meet at Valley Green Inn. This hike covers about 1.5 miles along a rough, steep trail on the east side of the creek upstream from Valley Green. It can be slippery or muddy in places. We’ll discuss the likely formation of Wissahickon rocks as the result of plate tectonics and learn to identify several different types of rocks. This hike is suitable for children 10 years and older who are accompanied by a responsible adult.

Founded in 1924, FOW is a 1,600-member nonprofit organization and works in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation to restore historical park structures, eliminate invasive plant species, monitor watershed management issues, and restore trails throughout the Wissahickon Park. Follow FOW on Facebook and Twitter. For more information or to become a member, visit


Erin Mooney