Top Trails

A review of the top hiking trails in the area.

The pandemic has stretched through an entire year, and it appears that all possible activities have run out. However, there are many trails and hiking paths that leave room for exploration and adventure inside LM Township borders. The Bala Cynwyd Trail and Manayunk Bridge are getting old, while the township has many other local opportunities that offer great experiences. Mill Creek Valley Park and Haverford Reserve Park are a quick six-or-seven-minute drive away from LM. Another route that branches off the beaten path is Wissahickon Valley Park. While the 26 minute drive might seem out of the way and inconvenient, the visit is worth the car ride. As the weather climbs to the mid to high sixties, the outdoors seem more and more appealing. Mayo Clinic also states that exercise eases symptoms of depression and anxiety. This is especially important as schoolwork intensifies and we return to a more normal school schedule. These parks also allow for students to socialize with their friends safely while enjoying the beauty of nature.

Mill Creek Valley Park, located in Penn Valley, features 88.6 acres of open space. The tranquil water, calm woods, and various trails provide an authentic experience in nature. Leashed dogs are welcome on all of the park’s trails as well, but there is a closed-off area to bring dogs where they can roam off leash. There are historical stops along the park such as Barker’s Mill, the last mill standing in the community, which was constructed in 1814. There are also parts of homes standing from where mill workers used to reside.  The history embedded in the park adds to its charm. Their trails are perfect for a peaceful hike or run. One side of Mill Creek Park is known as rolling hill park and is more frequented by people. The other side is less populated but still has some scenic views. 

Miles away rests the Haverford Reserve. With around sixteen trails, the reserve is a promising place to have a great time. One of the most featured aspects of this location is the community park. This is Haverford Township’s newest and largest open-space recreation area where there are over five miles of walking trails for use from dawn to dusk. These trails are predominantly in wooded areas where surfaces are mostly natural. There is also a spacious fenced-in dog park that accommodates many needs. There are water bowls placed throughout the park and a small sectioned-off area reserved for smaller dogs. One of the most popular trails at the reserve is the Haverford Blue Route. The trail is a 2.6 mile loop which features a river. The path is mainly used for walking, hiking, and running. All trails in the reserve are marked with easy-to-read signs identifying each trail. Overall, the Haverford Reserve offers a beautiful location to spend quality time outdoors.

The massive Wissahickon Valley Park provides a remarkable setting that is very difficult to come by. Around fifty miles of the 2,042 acres of parkland are dedicated to hiking and mountain biking trails. These paths navigate the park’s dense forests, open meadows, and dim creeks. The park, welcoming to fishers, stocks their banks with trout every spring. Birdwatchers migrate to the meadows in hopes of sighting the arrival of dozens of bird species. Wissahickon’s forests create an atmosphere that feels nothing like the city. Trees stretch up into the air and leaves blanket the ground. One of the park’s most fascinating features is their horseback trails. If a hiker, runner, biker, or walker is lucky enough, they might be able to spot some riders. While Wissahickon offers an amazing space and environment for outdoor exercise, it is also an ideal place to relax. Their table areas and pavilions make a perfect setting for picnics out in nature. Wissahickon receives a high amount of visitors, but there is always enough room to avoid large crowds and traffic.

These three sites are alternatives to local parks that seem to be getting redundant. They offer great experiences and opportunities that require little travel and no money. Let the stress from the new schedule adjustment begin to resolve at one of these locations! Going with friends, family, or solo leads to improvements in mood and attitude. The weather, peaking all the way into the seventies and eighties some days, allows for more time outside. 

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