Monday, January 16, 2012

A Walk in the Wissahickon

M and I did a little hometown exploring this weekend. We joined a hike in Wissahickon Valley Park led by a volunteer Trail Ambassador from the Friends of the Wissahickon, a non profit that works to improve the park. We learned about the history of usage in the park - the mills that used to line the creek, the geology and quarrying, and the amazing structures that were built by the WPA during the Depression.

The Wissahickon is one of five watershed parks in Philly, and we've spent some time exploring it in the past. This time we drove to the far northwestern edge to walk along Forbidden Drive, so named because at the turn of the century they decided not to allow cars on it.

The Wissahickon is home to some incredible features, including this covered bridge, the only one left in a major American city.

There are also two statues set into the hillsides along the creek - this is the "Indian" statue, sculpted out of marble in 1902 and meant to depict a member of the Native American tribe the Lenape, looking westward at the departing members of his tribe as they are pushed out of the area by the colonists. He has a feather "war bonnet" on, which is historically inaccurate for the Lenape.

After being locked up in my office in front of the computer for the winter, it's nice to actually be out in the park exploring and learning about it!

1 comment:

Nicole said...

what a great little tour!