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Future Trails: Tinicum to Valley Forge via Cobbs Creek, Part I

quick-n-dirty edit here; the 1st paragraph below is the most recent info. The hike "officially" ends after we arrive at the Checkers restaurant at Elmwoood Avenue & Island Aenue, sometime after 2pm.

We will be meeting (at 11:15am) at the south end of Penrose Plaza on Island Road (farthest from Lindbergh Avenue, nearer to KMart/Dollar Tree). Penrose Plaza is just up Island Avenue from I-95, and in addition to serving as the terminus of the #36, is also serviced by SEPTA's #108 bus (from 69th St Terminal) at the north end (on Lindbergh Avenue). Between 11:45 and noon, we will reach Eastwick train station (SEPTA's "Airport" Regional Rail Line) where we will meet those not able to join us earlier. The first half of the walk will include a lost section of Philadelphia, the route of the old Chester trolley, possible remains of Minquas Creek, and extensive meadows of a disputed land development subdivision overlooking the Heinz-Tinicum National Wildlife Refuge. Between 12:30 and 1pm we will take a break at the award winning Cusano Environmental Center (in the Refuge) and review plans, before hiking around the Clearview Landfill "mountain" on Redevelopment Authority-owned residential commons (that will eventually become part of a new linear park and riparian buffer as part of the Cobbs Creek Park Trail Extension of the East Coast Greenway, linking the Refuge with Cobbs Creek Parkway and Historic Blue Bell Inn via the north end of Island Road). The official hike/tour will end on north Island Road around 2:45pm, although there is a possibility that Scott will continue giving his tour on the #11 trolley into Darby on the way to his next engagement.

Please note that this is a "One-Way" hike: by the official end time of our hike (2:45pm), we will have reached Island Avenue just north of Elmwood Road, convenient to the #36 trolley back to our starting point. There is a sit-down "Checkers" restaurant at that point where we can use the restrooms and otherwise regroup before taking a closer look at historic Blue Bell Inn on the southern end of Cobb's Creek Parkway. A possible "bonus" (non-hiking) tour will end at Darby Transportation Center, Terminus for the #13 & #11 "Green Line" Trolleys. Return to the starting point then can be made via the #11 and #36 trolleys (2 tokens).

There is plenty of parking near our starting point in the Pennrose Plaza (trolleys arrive at 11:11 & 11:33am), and we will be checking out sculpture(s) of historical interest on site there, before proceeding behind the Plaza, paralleling Mario Lanza Boulevard along an old right-of-way, and arriving at the Eastwick train station (SEPTAs Airport Regional Rail Line), in time to meet anyone on the 11:44am train. (If you do come on the train, make sure to wait for the group to arrive: we may be as late as noon.) We will explore "roads past and future" along the border of the city of Philadelphia with the Heinz-Tinicum National Wildlife Refuge, and spend 15 minutes or so regrouping (restrooms, etc.) at the Cusano Environmental Center between 12:30 and 1pm. Thereafter we will cross 84th Street to follow the green space and current walking trails along the east bank of the Darby-Cobbs Creek as far as the Blue Bell Inn (where Island Road turns into Cobbs Creek Parkway, and Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia turns into Main Street, Darby). "Checkers" (see above) is a good point to regroup, and we will arrive there by 2:45pm. Folks can choose to return at that point, after looking at Blue Bell Inn, or after continuing on up Main Street (paralleling the #11 trolley line for about a block), checking out the historical features present in Colwyn/Darby and a bit of the west side of the creek before ending our hike at the Darby Transportation Center. (eta 4:30)

This is the first in a series exploring a planned "through trail" (connecting with the East Coast Greenway) between the Tinicum National Wildlife Refuge and Valley Forge via Cobbs Creek and the Radnor Trail. Scott Maits will be lead organizer for this series, sharing his knowledge of plans being considered as well as older and more recent history.

We will likely continue updating the specific descriptions as each event gets closer.

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  • Aileen

    Thank you to Scott for the very informative hike and to Jed for putting it together. Looking forward to future hikes.

    March 3, 2013

  • Norman

    Very informative hike.

    March 3, 2013

  • T L.

    Yeah im definitely not going to make it. Next time around.

    March 3, 2013

  • T L.

    May i bring one other person?

    March 2, 2013

  • Susan H

    Birthday party to attend that overlaps with the time. So Sorry.

    1 · March 1, 2013

  • Susan H

    forgot I have a b'day party for a 2 yr. old at 3pm

    March 1, 2013

  • Janet

    Approximately how many miles is this hike? Thanks...

    February 26, 2013

    • Jed M.

      at a guess, 6 or 7 miles (stopping at Checkers &/or the Blue Bell Inn cuts it back to around 4 or 5)

      February 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    do you hike in the rain?

    February 23, 2013

    • Jed M.

      light drizzle ok: 50% chance of rain usually cancels

      February 26, 2013

  • Stan

    If you can use two tokens, using one token and a transfer would be better. Transfers are $1, cannot be bought ahead of time, and must be paid with exact change. No pennies for SEPTA.

    February 14, 2013

    • Jed M.

      due in part to the free interchanges at 30th, 15th, and 13th Street stations, paper transfers are not honored between different parts of the Green (trolley), Blue (EL), and Orange (Broad Street Subway) Lines, although you might get a driver who was more flexible on that point. The #36 trolley only takes you the last mile down Island Road, so you may even opt to walk the extra mile and a half back to the starting point from the blue Bell Inn.

      February 17, 2013

  • Theresa

    My women's hiking group has Feb. 17, Mar. 3, Mar. 17 and Mar. 30 already scheduled

    February 9, 2013

    • Jed M.

      just changed one of our dates to the 10th.

      February 17, 2013

  • Cindy G.

    Can't make the new date :(

    February 15, 2013

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