Ridley Creek State Park

2,606 acres — 18.0 miles of trails

What’s to love

Just 16 miles from Center City, Ridley Creek State Park is the perfect quick trip for local hikers and trail runners. The park itself is fairly large and boasts 13 miles of hiking trails over a landscape of rolling hills, plus an additional 5 miles of paved multi-use trail along Ridley Creek.

The park was once the largest private undeveloped property in the area and included several farmsteads and mills within its bounds; a collection of these historic buildings still exist today, in various states of ruin and active use. Ridley Creek State Park is also home to a proper mansion with a formal garden, a horse stable, and plenty of picnicking, fishing, camping, and recreational facilities.

Tips and quirks

  • Hike up to the park’s highest point, Hunting Hill, for a peek at the Russell Cemetery, where several members of a local family were laid to rest in the early to mid-19th century.
  • On weekends between April and November, you can visit the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation—a working replica of a late 18th-century farmstead.
  • My favorite hike here is the yellow trail at the park’s southeast side. Along the way you’ll pass several historic ruins, climb some hills capped by large boulders and wind through a few evergreen groves.
  • Tyler Arboretum connects to the park’s southwest side. There’s a fee for admittance here.

Last updated: March 1, 2019