Welcome to Wissahickon Valley Park! Here are some useful tips on how to have the most enjoyable visit. See a full list of rules and regulations for Philadelphia parks here.
Let’s be friends! Become a member, support FOW’s conservation mission, or volunteer to help take care of the Wissahickon.
You should make sure that you know the following numbers to call for assistance within the park.
- To report park damages, downed trees and littering: Text WISS to FOW at (267) 966-2207.
- To report non-emergency situations, including parking, swimming, and noise complaints: Call the Park Rangers at (215) 685-2172 OR call 311 to report to the city.
- To report a wildlife incident: Call the PA Game Commission at (610) 926-3136.
- If you need help right away because of a medical emergency or an immediate danger: Call 911 and describe your emergency.
- Did you plan your trip? It’s easy to do on our maps page or FOW’s new map app. Remember that the Wissahickon is a natural area and bathroom facilities are limited in most of the park.
- Do you have your mask? Wearing a mask keeps others safer from COVID-19. More info below.
- Is your pet on a leash? Make sure that your dog is on a leash of six feet or less to protect local wildlife and other park users.
- Please remember to respect other users and follow trail guidelines. FOW’s Trail Conditions page has more information and is updated weekly.
- Follow Leave No Trace principles and carry out everything you carry into the park!
- Park visitors are expected to follow all rules and regulations set forth by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, including heeding to all trail user designations, being courteous to all park users, and being sensitive to the environment. Please read the park rules at the link above before you visit!
Wissahickon Valley Park is an 1800-acre public park in a big city. You should remember the following when in the park:
- Swimming in Philadelphia’s rivers and streams is not permitted due to risks of drowning and injury from submerged objects, as well as the need to protect the water quality.
- When parking your car, lock the doors, carry your keys with you, and do not leave valuables in plain sight in the car.
- Visit with a buddy if possible. If visiting alone, avoid using the park during off-peak times and let people know where you are going.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Go headphone free.
- Trust your instincts. If you sense trouble because of a person or a place, leave.
- See all the Wissahickon has to offer and vary your routine.
Devil’s Pool is one of the most popular spots in the Wissahickon, but it’s not the most accessible of locations to visit. Please remember the following information if you’re visiting the Devil’s Pool area to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable visit:
- Devil’s Pool is difficult for emergency services to access because it is over half a mile from the nearest trailheads, and has limited cell phone service as well.
- Please do not park or get dropped off on Livezey Lane as it’s the only access point for emergency vehicles and personnel. Alternative parking locations include the Mt. Airy Avenue trailhead and Henry Avenue between the Summit and Wigard trailheads (check them out on our map app!).
- Swimming in the Wissahickon Creek isn’t safe due to submerged objects and dangerous currents. If you’re looking to stay cool, Houston playground has an accessible sprayground (map here)!
The natural beauty of Devil’s Pool. Help take care of this park treasure!
- Please do not leave trash at Devil’s Pool. If you brought it into the park, it’s your job to bring it out again. More info here.
- Devil’s Pool isn’t the best picnic spot. There are designated picnic spots at Pachella Field, Bluebell Field, and Harper’s Meadow (map here).
- There are no bathroom facilities in the immediate area.
- Please treat everyone using the park with respect and courtesy.
With the relaxation of the City of Philadelphia’s Safer at Home COVID-19 restrictions on June 2, vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear a mask in outdoor spaces. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to continue to mask when outdoors. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to wear a mask indoors and in congregate settings.
FOW has therefore updated our COVID-19 guidance for public events:
For our outdoor volunteer and educational events, we ask that all vaccinated attendees bring a mask and mask up if a distance of six feet cannot be maintained during the activity. Unvaccinated attendees are asked to wear a mask during the duration of the event. We also will continue requiring pre-registration for all in-person events.
These guidelines may be revised pending new public health developments and restrictions.
More information on park closures and guidelines is at our COVID-19 page, here.
Leave No Trace
The Wissahickon feels very wild, but with more than a million annual visitors, it’s a constant challenge to keep it that way. We depend on your help to make sure that the park continues to be a pleasant place for recreation and a sustainable habitat for migratory birds and local wildlife.
- If you brought it in, bring it out. Please avoid littering or dumping in the park. You can even pay it forward by picking up trash on your visit!
- Minimize your impact on the park by staying on established trails, and only building fires in designated barbecues or fire pits.
- Protect wildlife by leashing any pets and giving habitat boxes space.
More information on Leave No Trace principles can be found here.