Wissahickon Environmental Center
An environmental education center at the northern tip of Fairmount Park
Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day exploring the forest, wandering through the meadows or hiking the trails encircling the Wissahickon Environmental Center. Even if you’re not up to the challenge of the steep trails, many paths are flat, so you can enjoy an afternoon of easy walking or hiking.
This is a favorite spot among birders. To keep track of sitings, you can download the Birds of the Wissahickon chart from their website. And on weekends when the Center is open, you can participate in maple sugaring, moon walks, birding hikes, bug walks and other activities.
During the week, school groups rule here and public admission is hit or miss. But on days when the schools aren’t on-site, you can bring the little ones to the children’s room and read storybooks from the library, peek at the turtles and other live animals that live there and press your nose up against the 200-gallon aquarium that contains more than 40 fish that reside in the Wissahickon Creek.
Call ahead to confirm availability before visiting. You should bring your own water bottle. The outdoor porta-potties are usually stocked, but it’s a good idea to bring toilet paper and hand sanitizer too.
Full Moon Hikes in winter, Maple Sugar Day in the fall, and the Summer Solstice Bat Search in spring.
The Wissahickon Environmental Center is also called the “Tree House” because, up until the early 1990s, a giant tree grew through its front porch.
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