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John Heinz: West Loop

Easy
 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Loop through the western half of JHNWR with close access from Folcroft, Norwood, Prospect Park, and Ridley Park boroughs


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Map Key

3.8

Miles

6.2

KM

100%

Runnable

14' 4 m

High

8' 2 m

Low

34' 10 m

Up

33' 10 m

Down

0%

Avg Grade (0°)

2%

Max Grade (1°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Open sunrise to sunset, gates close automatically at posted times.

Overview

A complete loop run from the parking area off Rte 420/Wanamaker Ave to access the western half of the refuge. With flat, wide paths and viewing platforms along the way, this route provides visitors of all ages and abilities with a natural escape from the surrounding city. There are a few additional spur trails to lengthen your run or vary return trips.

This run differs from the John Heinz: East Loop by exploring the tidal marsh along Darby Creek, while the eastern loop encircles the emergent wetland. An emergent wetland typically has plants growing through it year-round, while a tidal marsh has more inlets and waterways that fill and drain with the tides.

Need to Know

PA fishing license required for fishing within designated areas at the refuge.

Description

Within a 20-minute drive from downtown Philly, this refuge has remained a quiet, natural oasis for visitors and wildlife alike. As such, it has been named an Important Birding Area by the National Audubon Society as a sanctuary for migrating birds and their nests.

For this run, find the east-side parking area off Rte 420 and follow signage for the Tinicum Trail. This run heads in the counterclockwise direction so stay right at the first few intersections following the Tinicum Trail until just before the two-mile mark at the second, easternmost intersection with the Darby Creek Trail.

Turn left (north) here onto the Darby Creek Trail as it follows the creek boundary past winding inlets of the tidal marsh. These can be explored by boat during low tide; head to the Visitor Center off Lindbergh Ave for more information. Continue west along the creek looking back over your shoulder for a view of the downtown skyline just above the trees.

Cross over the first, westernmost bridge and continue straight (west) onto a segment of the Woodland Trail to return to the parking area.

Flora & Fauna

Deer, red-bellied turtles, songbirds, bald eagles, osprey, egrets, herons, owls, etc.

History & Background

Established in 1972 and renamed after the local U.S. House member, John Heinz, died in 1991.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#3656

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#85

in Pennsylvania

#3,656

Overall
45 Views Last Month
191 Since Feb 5, 2020
Easy

100%
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Photos

Fall Colors III
Feb 5, 2020 near Folcroft, PA
Hello Deer!
Feb 5, 2020 near Folcroft, PA
Pedestrian Bridge
Feb 5, 2020 near Norwood, PA
IMG_7886_7_8_tonemapped
Feb 5, 2020 near Norwood, PA
Sunset JHNWR
Feb 5, 2020 near Norwood, PA

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