I went hiking in the Wissahickon in late January, between busy thesis periods. It was the first time I’d been there and the first time I’d hiked in snow. I don’t know which was more exciting. The W. is a grand park that winds up along the Wissahickon Creek and through North Philadelphia.

It basically covers Wissahickon Valley, which was home to a slew of 19th-century mills, taverns, and roadhouses before Fairmount Park bought it in 1868 to protect the city’s water supply. Now, the 1,800-acre park holds miles and miles of hiking, biking, and horse trails, as well as historic buildings like the Rittenhouse Homestead (1690) and some excellent bridges. Man, I like infrastructure.

[Rittenhouse Homestead]

[Nice bridges!]

[The trees here are really different from street trees in the rest of Philly, and definitely from the trees I’m used to in California and Texas]


[And an odd cave – click thumbnail for larger photo of sign]

Learn more about the Wissahickon here and here.