Tour with me the Forbidden Drive of the Wissahickon Valley Park / Fairmount Park

I asked a good friend (a female) where I could take my girlfriend around Philly for an afternoon hike and without any hesitation she blurted out: Forbidden Drive!! She’ll love it!! This was not a “calmly suggested” but rather “blurted out”… Hmm… This must me a nice place, then, right? This Forbidden Drive is part of the massive Wissahickon Valley Park, as you can see from the map.

Parking was easy to find and my GPS didn’t have problems with locating the place. Keep in mind, there is absolutely no reception there so you might want to install a signal-free app on your phone, like Maps.ME (I used it to find my way back out of the park and to find my car, for example).

In summary, this is an absolutely amazing park and I am astonished at my ignorance to its existence. I am very happy to have discovered it and we’ll definitely be returning here plenty of times in the nearest future!

Here’s the video from this wonderful afternoon.

The stunning foresty experience starts right as you park there. Think about it… what you’re about to see is just 10 miles away from a major metropolitan city.

Lots of bikers here, joggers, etc.

I was told to “follow the orange route” and we somehow found it!  Yay to the orange! :)  This is fantastic.

Trust me, you’ll figure out these signs eventually.  Took us just two wrong turns and we got this down.  It is, apparently, very easy (once you’ve failed twice).

I see these rocked-off holes everywhere… and then it dawns on me: it’s most likely the water management… for the rain runoff.

Poor tree…!

On the map, this is the “Covered Bridge”.  Good location to remember, for various reasons. Mostly, if you cross it, to the right are the fire pits. More on that later.

Some broken benches here, too.

I was eating a bunch of sunflower seeds and it just felt right to throw the peels on the ground.  It’s natural, right? I hope so…

Now, what’s this moss-looking stuff?

No idea! But it looks non-man-made and all over the place here.

Trees here have strange root structure: many of the trees are kind of above-the-ground?!

See what I mean?

Regular construction here. This is excellent! “They” are keeping the path up to the code.

All the rocks are multi-layered shale-like things. I suppose this is why PA is ripe for fracking, right?

This nice couple shared their quadcopter launching with us…

See the quadcopter in the leaves there?! Just look for a minute… you’ll see it!

Who the fuck!?? This is just 10 meters from the nearest trash can… Am I against beer? Fuck no! But please don’t be a dickhead, please!

Caption reads that this used to be a water fountain until the water got too much contaminated… :)

Poor baby squirrel!

So nice! Found fire pits, right by that Covered Bridge.  Would need to come back with firewood and meat.

Absolutely lovely trip and definitely worth a come-back. We’ll plan on it really soon.

Go on and get outside, it’s fun there!


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