Recently, two of our favorite cities made Pots Planter's and More's list of the 25 Best Cities for Green Space! Baltimore comes in at 17, and Philadelphia is 22.
We're hardly surprised that these cities are being recognized for their wonderful recreational areas. In honor of this award, we have compiled this list of Philadelphia's greatest parks.
Philadelphia's 5 Best Parks
- Washington Square: This open-space park is located in the southeast section of Center City Philadelphia. It straddles Philadelphia's Washington Square West and Society Hill neighborhoods. This historic park contains the tomb of an unknown Revolutionary War Soldier and is home to a sycamore moon tree, grown from seeds carried to the moon by astronaut Stuart Roosa on the Apollo 14 mission.
- John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum: Occupying 1000 acres, including 10 miles of trails, this park protects Pennsylvania's largest remaining freshwater tidal marsh. This is also an excellent place for birdwatching--it is home to two bald eagles. A variety of turtles, frogs, and other animals can be spotted in the park, including the endangered red-bellied turtle and southern leopard frogs. Popular activities include fishing, biking, hiking, and canoeing in the Darby Creek. Be careful though! There is only a 2-hour window before and after high-tide when canoeing is possible. The park is located in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties.
- Wissahickon Valley Park: Containing most of the Wissahickon Creek, Wissahickon Valley Park is a much-loved park. It contains Forbidden Drive, where visitors can walk or run, bike, or ride horses, but cars may not drive. Off of Forbidden Drive, which loosely follows Wissahickon Creek, there are offshoots that lead up hills into woodlands throughout the park. Writer Edgar Allan Poe, religious mystic Johannes Kelpius, and artists Currier and Ives are just a few historical figures known to have been inspired by the park.
- Fairmount Park: Fairmount Park is Philadelphia's largest municipal park, and one of the largest urban parks in the world. It's made up of two segments, East and West Park, which are divided by the Schuylkill River. The park occupies more than 9,000 acres and is home to the Please Touch Museum, a Horticultural Center, Boathouse Row, a Japanese Garden, a Playground, and a disc golf course. It also houses miles of trails, woodlands, and wetlands.
- FDR Park: This Philadelphia treasure was once called "League Island Park," and is sometimes referred to as "The Lakes." It borders the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. The park is beautifully landscaped and has paths for walking as well as picnic and recreation areas. Visitors enjoy the ponds and lagoons within the park. The Audobon Society of Pennsylvania recognizes the park as one of Philadelphia's best locations to observe birds.