FOW to host guided hikes this month

Break out your boots, long pants and heavy socks, the Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) Trail Ambassadors want you to go for a hike. 


Starting next week, the FOW will be offering a series of free nature walks throughout Wissahickon Valley Park.

The hikes are along rocky, rugged trails that are often wet and slippery so wearing sturdy trail shoes and socks is highly recommended. The long pants are used to protect hikers from poison ivy and possible ticks. Here’s a list of what’s being offered this month: 

Wednesday, July 13 at 5:30 p.m. – Three Mile Hike with Kimberly Quinn

Participants should meet at the Valley Green Inn for this two hour, moderate difficulty hike. The hike begins along the orange trail, downstream from Valley Green. Bring cameras and binoculars to further examine the areas covered. Prepare to experience natural caves, trek the famous Fingerspan Bridge, cross Devil’s Pool, discover the Spring House and Shakespeare’s Rock, learn about the history of the Livezey Mill, and spot local wildlife. For more information, contact

Saturday, July 16 at 10 a.m. – Waters of the Wissahickon with Diane Garvey and Michele McElderry

This is a two hour, two-mile hike intended to show the community the Wissahickon as a living laboratory. Those interested should meet at the Northwest Equestrian Facility on Northwestern Avenue. Starting downstream on the orange trail, we will proceed to the covered bridge and get back on Wissahickon Drive. We will learn about turbulent and laminar flow. Test tube experiments will be conducted to measure stream water quality. We will discuss pollution in the Wissahickon and talk about how to prevent it. A friendly fly fisherman will share his secrets and teach us to think like a fish. Bring binoculars if interested in birding. This hike is ideal for families and homeschoolers accompanied by a responsible adult. For more information, contact

Sunday, July 17 at 1 p.m. – Orange Trail Hike with Merritt Rhoad

Participants should meet at the corner of Northwestern Avenue and Forbidden Drive for this two and a half hour, four-mile hike. We will hike along Forbidden Drive to Bells Mill Road and then along the orange and white trails to the Indian statue. The return hike will be to Northwestern Avenue along Forbidden Drive. Along the way we will discuss Wissahickon history and point out interesting plant life and animal habitats.

Saturday, July 23 at 1 p.m. – Meandering in the Wissahickon with Shelley Brick

Meanderers should meet at the Springside School parking lot to enjoy our park and share “talk stories” as we explore the trails for about two hours. The group will set the pace.

Saturday, July 30 at 6 p.m. – Houston Meadow and Courtesy Stable with Cynthia Turecki

Participants should meet at the corner of Cathedral Road and Wissahickon Avenue for this two hour hike. The trail entrance is just below Courtesy Stable. Wear sunscreen and bring a hat as this hike is mostly flat; half of it being in a sunny meadow and the other half in a shaded wooded area. There are a couple inclines and steep descents as well as some rocky areas. Prepare to learn about meadow and forest ecology and the dramatic diversity of plants and animals located therein. After the hike, the group will stop by Courtesy Stable to meet the horses.

Sunday, July 31 at 3:30 p.m. – Lower Forbidden Drive with Sarah West and Mary Hathaway

Those interested in this final, easy one-mile hike should meet at the small parking lot where Forbidden Drive meets Lincoln Drive downstream from Rittenhouse Town.

We will walk along lower Forbidden Drive as far as the Walnut Lane Bridge looking at historical sites connected to the Revolutionary War such as the Henry Rittenhouse Mill and Lotus Inn. Come learn about the Wissahickon Turnpike and the historical bridges built in this area. For more information, contact

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