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CREDIT: R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Dilworth Park

CREDIT: Visit Philadelphia

CREDIT: R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

CREDIT: M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

CREDIT: Photo courtesy of the Friends of the Wissahickon

CREDIT: Photo courtesy Matt Stanley for DRWC

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The 25 Best Parks in Philadelphia

Explore Philly’s incredible outdoor spaces

Since the city's founding, Philadelphia has enjoyed and promoted its incredible parks and green spaces.

William Penn was so inspired by the eastern hardwood forest that greeted him in the New World that he named his colony Penn’s Woods, or Pennsylvania. Another Penn gem, Philadelphia’s five main squares date back to the original city — all part of the founder’s plan for a “greene countrie town.”

Today, the Philadelphia region is blooming with lively urban parks, re-imagined recreational landscapes and spirited pop-up gardens. From the massive trail systems of Fairmount Park and Wissahickon Valley Park to the delightful riverside enclaves of the seasonal Spruce Street Harbor Park and Race Street Pier, residents and visitors enjoy relaxing, picnicking and playing in these public spaces that honor Penn’s vision.

Read on for our picks for the top 25 parks and open spaces in Philadelphia.

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John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

Pennsylvania’s largest remaining freshwater tidal marsh

With 1,000 acres, 10 miles of trails and many native wildlife and plants, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum protects the largest fresh water tidal marsh in Pennsylvania. The marsh, a key stop in the Atlantic flyway, is well-known among birdwatchers — 80 species nest here and 300 have been recorded. As for recreation, the network of low-lying trails attracts joggers as well as walkers, and there's a canoe ramp for canoes and kayaks.
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Pennypack Park

A beautiful cousin to The Wissahickon in Philadelphia

Named after the Lenni Lenape Indian word for slow-moving water, Pennypack Park stretches nine miles, following Pennypack Creek southeast as it runs from Montgomery County to the Delaware River. The landscape of this rambling city park — clocking in at a massive 1,300 acres — covers rolling hills, open meadow and many miles of paved and unpaved trails that are great for hiking, biking, running and horseback riding. You’ll also find numerous historic buildings, including a working farm.
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Benjamin Rush State Park

Miles and miles of hiking and biking in Northeast Philadelphia

Located in northeast Philadelphia, Benjamin Rush State Park takes the title of the only official state park within the city’s borders. Here, find 3.5 miles of biking and hiking trails along with one of the largest community gardens in the region. The park is also home to a space devoted to flying radio-controlled model airplanes, bringing a distinctive touch of sky-high entertainment to the greenery-filled grounds.
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'Gram-Worthy Parks? We Got You.

Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter of GRAMMY-winning hip-hop band The Roots hosts “We Got You: Philly by Tarik,” our new travel series. In this episode, Tarik and TV star and entrepreneur Vanessa Simmons visit an outdoor oasis behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The duo also heads to the city’s only urban beach, where Vanessa gets a surprise visit from her uncle, Danny Simmons, an abstract artist and philanthropist who lives in Philly.

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