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The roads to the Equestrian Center are open. There are many road closures around Center City which is 5 miles away. If you drive through the city, stay on the Expressway. Nearby Martin Luther King Drive is regularly closed on summer weekends. This is a plus for walkers.
The path for The Historic River Ridge Hike follows ridges above the Schuylkill above Kelly & Martin Luther King Drives. Each hike is a little different but we pass dozens of historic mansions and other neat places. We start at the Equestrian Center which is near the hidden Chamounix Mansion, now a hostel and what I call the Belmont Plateau Maze that was designed by aliens. Once you head into the Maze, if you can find it, you don't know where or when you will come out! We do a dedicated Maze hike in the fall, so we'll probably stay away today.
Eventually we'll reach Belmont Plateau the site of many athletic fields, an incredible view of center city, and Belmont Mansion now the site of the Underground Railroad Museum. We bop across Montgomery Ave to the Horticultural Center, an arboretum, and Shofuso, an authentic 17th century Japanese House & Gardens. After exploring this area we head to one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, Memorial Hall, built for the country's centennial celebration. After 81 million dollars of renovations within the last 5 years, it's the home of the Please Touch Museum. Down the road is the italianesque (you won't find anything nicer in Rome) in stature PA Civil War Memorial. We pass a few other historic houses including Sweet Briar, Cedar Grove, one hidden one, and the Philadelphia Zoo (oldest in the country) before crossing the Girard Ave Bridge to the other side of the Schuylkill.
We pass up and coming neighborhoods, a driving range, a disc golf course before taking the Boxer Trail right along the Schuylkill. The trail was so named because boxers like Joe Frasier once ran in this area. We pass many historic mansions including Smith Memorial Playground, Mt Pleasant Mansion (once owned by a pirate), Ormiston, Laurel Hill, Woodford, & Strawberry Mansion before crossing Strawberry Mansion Bridge, a neat bridge with a boardwalk as wide as the one in Atlantic City.
Most of these historic mansions offer guided tours.
We'll explore the area for 3.5-4.5 hours going 8-10 miles. Bring water and some food.
Caution: You should be able to walk 4 hours without much of a break. You should have recently hiked 8 miles in conditions detailed above. Hills, some steep but short. At least half the hike is fairly flat.
To carpool from Hill House meet at 11 am. Each carpooler chips in $3 at the start. Email me 3-4 days in advance and receive a reply.