Thursday, May 10, 2018

Wissahickon Valley Park Highlights in Fairmount Park

Forbidden Drive sounds devious, foreboding and mysterious, rarely do you find something that is exactly, what it says it is. If you read the sign, Forbidden Drive is simple that, a road you are forbidden to drive on. You can however, jog, stroll, walk your dog, ride your bike, ride a horse, hold hands, bring the kids and just enjoy the peaceful surroundings at Wissahickon Valley Park.


If you are new to the Wissahickon trail you should read the signs, you don't want to miss anything.


This structure may be a WPA but this building expresses its own special dedication and appreciation..


Engraved in stone it reads:

This Meadow in Fairmount Park
Is Dedicated By
The Friends of The Wissahickon 
In Memory Of
William Warner Harper
of Andorra
A lover of nature in all its forms
1936


The meadow must be popping with all kinds of good things in the spring. 

 
Pictured below is a resident of the Northwestern Stables, established in 1929 and located at the beginning of Forbidden Drive on Northwestern Avenue. You can read about its rich history at their website, northwesternstables.com. We just missed the Wissahicken Day Parade on April 29. If only I have known.


These successful fisherman told me they were not having a banner day this time but the day before was good for white suckers. Is that a fish? I wouldn't know.



When I spot an older building, I try to capture it from all sides and look for possibly a date. I missed the date and the horseshoe about the door.

 














As luck would have it,Friends of Wissahicken Trail Ambassadors Mike and Bruce just happened along at that moment and they told us, this building was part of the WPA project and also pointed out the lucky symbol above the door.




We told them our tale, that we were there to join a hike bit could not find the people. As ambassadors, they told us of the services their all volunteer group offers and said we could do a good hike on our own and recommended taking the trail at the covered bridge.



What? There is a covered bridge? Yes, down by the waterfall. 


Thomas Mill Covered Bridge built in 1855 is the last covered bridge in Philadelphia nd the only covered bridge in a major city. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.






This is a trail?


Yup, people, hike it, bike it and run it. As an apprentice, hiking was fun. As professionals the bikers and runners all had smiles on their faces too and were really friendly with directions. It gets a little tricky up there.






You do not have to bike, jog or climb this trail, you can stay grounded on the lower path and follow along the Wissahickon Creek, but if you want to get up close and personal to this guy and see what he sees, you are going to have to climb. It is special, so go for it.




He is majestic!  




The Indian Statue and how, Tedyuscung got its name.


Looking West, you may not see the forest for the trees in full bloom in the spring, but trust me, he's up there and he sees you. Be respectful.
 

The Valley Green Hotel was built 1850-1851.



I actually already had an idea of what this looked like before I got there. The National Park Service used a model to base their handouts during the Philadelphia Flower Show.






 
Check out the Valley Green Inn menu. I'd like to try a Sunday Brunch there.


Wissahickon Valley was designated at National Natural Landmark in 1964.

May 12 is the beginning of Love Your Park Week. FOW, Friends of the Wissahickon will be paticipating. Check it out, I bet you will love this park too.



I need to get back there since I hardly scratched the surface. The Ambassadors said it offers something unique and inviting each season.

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