Natural Beauty Abounds
Philadelphia John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge
by Warwick Ford, Fun on Foot

The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is a preserved
freshwater tidal marsh area on the boundary of Philadelphia and
Delaware Counties very close to Philadelphia International Airport.  It has
several miles of well maintained pedestrian trails and is quite popular
with local runners and walkers.  You can do an out-and-back trip of up to
nine miles, and can introduce some variation by taking different trail
segments in the two directions.

The best way to get here is by driving.  From Center City Philadelphia,
take Interstate 95 to Exit 14, Bartram Drive.  Then follow Bartram Drive,
turn right on 84th Street, and turn left on Lindbergh Boulevard to the
reserve entrance on the right at 86th Street.  Proceed to the parking
area where there is ample free parking. There is also a visitor center
here with restrooms, water fountains, and maps of the reserve.

You can get here by Regional Rail to Eastwick Station or SEPTA bus 37
or 108, but will need to do some hiking along the road to get to the
reserve.

The trails are mostly well maintained gravel trails, suitable for cycling,
running, and walking.  Dogs are permitted but are required to be on a
leash. There is a pleasant 3.4-mile loop trail around the Impoundment,
starting and finishing at the visitor center.  You can alternatively proceed
the length of the reserve to the second parking area at Route 420 and
beyond a short distance, for a roundtrip of 8.2-to-9.0 miles.  The best
route choices are those away from the highway, which tends to be quite
noisy.  See our route map with distances at
www.funonfoot.com/philadelphia.html.

This is a very pleasant place to train if you live nearby or are seeking a
change of environment.

(C) Copyright, Warwick Ford, 2011
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