Friday, July 5, 2013

Fairmount Park: Valley Green

Mom and Dad offered to watch Sierra, and so Noelle and I had an opportunity to do something by ourselves. This was something we haven't done in a while and it was good to get out out and spend some time alone, though it felt strange to be without Sierra. We decided that, despite the heat and humidity, we would go for a hike. Originally I thought Evansburg State Park would be a good destination, but I decided that I didn't want to drive that far and we headed to Valley Green instead after getting a water ice at Rita's.

We parked near the Valley Green Inn where we ate our water ice on a bench and watched all the really tame birds being fed bread. There were lots of Canada geese
Canada Goose
and mallards,
and among all these familiar birds was some sort of duck we could not identify.
Unknown Duck
After finishing our cool treats we hit the trail. We walked along Forbidden Drive.
Forbidden Drive
There were surprisingly few people out on the path, probably due to the heat. We found a set of stairs leading off the drive and decided to figure out where they led.
Springhouse Steps
It turns out that they led to an old springhouse.
Old Springhouse

From the springhouse we continued to follow Forbidden Drive towards Lincoln Drive. Every now and then we passed an old mileage marker
Eight Miles to Fairmount
and a few bridges.
Stone Bridge Over the Wissahickon
Finally we decided to use a footbridge to cross the Wissahickon.
Wissahickon Creek
Once on the other side of the creek we followed a well-worn footpath that closely paralleled the creek.
Noelle on the Trail
We soon found ourselves at some interesting sites. The first was a monument to the first baptism of the Church of the Bretheren in America.
First Baptism Monument
From the monument we crossed the Fingerspan, a functional piece of art that is also a bridge.
Noelle on the Fingerspan Bridge
Shortly after crossing the Fingerspan we could hear lots of people and big splashes. We were at the infamous Devil's Pool.
Devil's Pool

I remember being younger and spending a lot of time hiking the Valley Green trails. There was a legend that the Devil's Pool was bottomless. It obviously isn't, but it is still deep enough to allow people to (illegally) jump into the small creek. We watched as people of all ages and races jumped into the water.
Jumping Into Devil's Pool

Some even dove in which made me cringe a bit. Luckily we did not see anyone get injured during the time we watched.

After about 15 minutes of watching we started our hike again. Shortly after leaving the Devil's Pool we could see the Valley Green Inn and then we were back to the car. We then drove into Chestnut Hill where we walked around a bit and bought some books at the public library book sale. Then we headed into Mt. Airy where we ate dinner at the excellent Earth Bread + Brewery. We got two delicious flatbread pizzas and a s'mores flatbread fro dessert. The beer was excellent as well. If you ever find yourself in Northwest Philly, I would highly recommend Earth Bread + Brewery.             


Anonymous said...

Nature is always the best way to chilax and unwind! Nice blog!

System of Greatness

Rachele said...