Let’s start with a quick clarification: this is the Pennypack Preserve—supported by the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust and located in Montgomery County—and not Pennypack Park, which is a well-known city park in Northeast Philadelphia.
The names can get confusing. In fact, when my boyfriend gifted me a trail map of Pennypack Preserve, I spent half an hour trying to figure out why none of the trails seemed to line up with the Pennypack I had on the map. “There was a historic train wreck in Pennypack Park…?” Well no, there wasn’t, but there was one at Pennypack Preserve! The area was also home to 18th century farmhouses, springhouses, bridges, and several paper mills and their dams—the ruins of which you can still see today.
The modern Pennypack Preserve got its start in 1970, when a group came together with the goal of improving local water quality by protecting the watershed around Pennypack Creek. Over the years they’ve expanded their conservation efforts to 812 acres of former sheep farms, grassy meadows, old growth forests, and forest floodplains. They’ve also planted nearly 11,000 native trees and many acres of wildflowers and grasses. Seriously, there are wildflowers everywhere.
Between the variety of environments, the historical sites, the wild turkeys, and the beautiful views of the creek, there’s enough to enjoy in the Preserve that my phone battery died in my attempt to document it all. And I have charging case. So be prepared: this is a 2+ phone battery hike!
Last updated: April 10 2016