Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Wissahickon Valley Park
Welcome to Wissahickon Valley Park!
Designated a National Natural Landmark in 1964, the Wissahickon Creek gorge is one of the most unique places in the City of Philadelphia. Carved through the distinctive Wissahickon Schist bedrock, the gorge features steep wooded hillsides where the region's rich history is represented in the park's many beautiful sculptures and historic structures, including Philadelphia's only remaining covered bridge.
The Wissahickon trail system features over 50 miles of premier biking, hiking and equestrian trails and is designated a National Recreational Trail.
Nearby Park Attractions
Originally built in 1737, this is the only remaining covered bridge in Philadelphia. This bridge was restored in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and again in 1999 with city funds from the the Fairmount Park Commission (now Philadelphia Parks & Recreation).
This kneeling warrior was commissioned by Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Henry and carved in 1902 by John Massey Rhind (1860-1936).
Many legends surround Devil's Pool, a deep pool at the confluence of Cresheim and Wissahickon creeks. Shakespeare Rock, with a carved quotation from "Two Gentlemen of Verona" (II, viii), overlooks the pool.
This historic house (ca. 1700), also called Glen Fern, was purchased by Thomas Livezey in 1747. He operated his adjacent gristmill as one of the largest mills along the Wissahickon Creek and within the Colonies. The adjacent dam (ca. 1700) was reconstructed during the Depression by federally funded Works Progress Administration (WPA) stonemasons.
The Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association of Public Art) commissioned the sculpture "Fingerspan" in 1987 by the internationally renowned artist Jody Pinto. The sculpture was fabricated from an old ship's staircase and functions as a pedestrian bridge. The finger-shaped sculpture was fabricated in sections and installed by helicopter.
More stories around every bend…
Look for these interpretive signs throughout the park to learn more about the natural and cultural history of this unique place.
Restoration of the Valley Green Inn
The Valley Green Inn, built in 1850, is the last remaining of the many that once lined Forbidden Drive. The Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) have made many cosmetic and structural improvements to the inn over the years. In 2002, FOW constructed a snack bar, outdoor pavilion, and bar. Major interior renovations completed in 2014 involved upgrades to the inn's plumbing and surrounding stormwater systems to better manage flood events associated with Wissahickon Creek. Each improvement was designed to preserve the historic integrity of the Victorian-era inn while offering amenities to serve the contemporary park visitor.
Erected by Friends of the Wissahickon; Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Bridges & Viaducts • Charity & Public Work • Parks & Recreational Areas. In addition, it is included in the Covered Bridges 🌉, the National Natural Landmarks, and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1964.
Location. 40° 3.281′ N, 75° 13.093′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker is on Forbidden Drive just south of Valley Green Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Philadelphia PA 19118, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Park Information (within shouting distance of this marker); Valley Green Inn (within shouting distance of this marker); Wissahickon Valley (within shouting distance of this marker); Violet Oakley (approx. ¾ mile away); Wissahickon Inn (approx. 0.8 miles away); 21st Ward World War Memorial (approx. 1.3 miles away); Sadie T.M. Alexander (approx. 1.4 miles away); Chestnut Hill and Mount Airy World War Memorial (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philadelphia.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 20, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 44 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 20, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.