It's been awhile since we visited the Heinz-Tinicum National Wildlife Refuge, so it's time to take another walk in this remarkable tidal wetlands before Winter sets in. SEPTA times are approximate.
Roughly translated, "islands of the marsh", Tinicum (shortened from Tennakon Minquas), was the habitat of the Lanape Indians before Europeans settlers began arriving in the mid-1600's. Draining and filling of the marshes to provide farmland, and later to support the growing Philadelphia region, continued until the 1950's, when a group of local citizens lobbied successfully to re-route I-95, saving the last 200 acres of what had once been 6,000 acres of wetlands. The area was declared a National Wildlife Refuge in 1972, was named after Senator John Heinz for his commitment to the refuge in 1991, and today has nearly 1,000 acres of woods, pond, marsh and meadow dedicated to wildlife conservation and the environment.
There are about 11 miles of trails available, including a couple of larger and smaller loops, a number of observation posts, and numerous educational opportunities by way of plaques describing various wildlife. We will be hiking about 6 or 8 miles miles, depending on group consensus. The trails are mostly flat. There is ample parking and an adequate bicycle rack at the Cusano Environmental Education Center, the building where we will be meeting. We will begin the hike around 11:30 or 11:45, after everyone has a chance to get acquainted with each other, and take in the remarkable displays at the Education Center. We will be returning to the Center by 2pm or so, depending on consensus.
The #37 and the #108 buses offer a fairly close public transit option, and the Eastwick stop of the Regional Rail Airport Line (train) is about a 20 minute walk from the entrance to Tinicum. I will plan on meeting any train passengers at 10:45 or so at the Eastwick stop. (The #36 trolley terminus at Pennrose Plaza is about a 40-minute walk: the 10:15 will have you there early, the 10:46 a bit late, but we'll wait for you: Please let me know if you are doing this, and I will try to meet you coming in...)
Driving directions: from I-95 South, take exit 14 (Bartram Avenue); turn right onto 84th street; turn left onto Lindbergh BLvd., refuge entrance is one block on right. From I-95 North, take exit 10 (Rte. 291); turn left onto Bartram Ave, left on 84th, left on Lindbergh, refuge is one block on right. From I-76 East, take I-476 South to I-95 North, follow directions above, or figure out your own directions... If you are meeting to carpool at Mugshots, I recommend meeting at 10:15, leaving no later than 10:45.
The supper afterwards options are less exciting than usual, but there are places to eat at Pennrose & Lindbergh Plazas, 2 or 3 miles away. I strongly recommend that you bring food along (as well as water), unless you are willing to be quite proactive about finding a place to eat out afterwards. As always, participation is at your own risk, and please dress appropriate to the weather. I look forward to seeing you all!