iB) 2008 Jamie Stewart
Explore the Watershed


Staff members share some of their favorite ways to spend time in the Wissahickon watershed to help you plan your next adventure. 

Jamie Stewarti

Crossways Connection Hike

This is one of my favorite hikes to do with friends on a Saturday and perfect for anyone who wants to begin the weekend by spending a few hours outside. Starting and ending in Ambler on a Saturday during farmer’s market season means you’ll have the chance to hit up the market after your hike (at about 8 miles, you’ll have earned yourself some coffee and baked goods). It’s a moderate hike beside the Wissahickon Creek that will take you through the riparian forests, meadows, early-successional woodlands, and wetlands of the Green Ribbon Trail and Crossways Preserve.

Margaret Rohde, Conservation Manager%

Margaret Rohde, Conservation Manager

Good For:

Hikers of all ages looking to do a little more mileage to earn pastries

Best time to go:

Saturday morning, May-October

  • 1. Make your way to Ambler borough

    Take the Lansdale-Doylestown line to Ambler train station, head west on Butler pike and pick up the Green Ribbon Trail on the right (heading north).

  • 2. Connect with the Crossways Trail

    Take the Crossways Trail where it connects to the Green Ribbon in Penllyn Woods and follow to Crossways Preserve.

  • 3. Arrive at Crossways Preserve

    Follow the main trail down into the meadow and loop around the large fence, which protects a sensitive wetland area from deer. Then, retrace your steps back to Ambler.

  • 4. Stop in at the Ambler Farmer's Market

    The Ambler Farmer’s Market  is a great place to grab local coffee and snacks before the train ride home.


Dog Walk from Four Mills Barn

This one-mile loop is part of my daily break from the strenuous job of CGO at our headquarters. The route is not hilly, the only up and down is when I cross the two bridges. I get to see the seasons change, make a shallow crossing of the creek and see birds, sniff flowers and lots of trees.

Nellie Fleisher, Chief Greeting Officer%

Nellie Fleisher, Chief Greeting Officer

Good For:

Everyone, especially leashed dogs

Best time to go:

Anytime dawn to dusk

  • 1. Start at Wissahickon Trails’ headquarters

    Before we hit the trail at Four Mills Nature Reserve, my ‘Mom’ picks up a poop bag at the base of the first bridge.

  • 2. Walk over the first bridge

    I usually turn left and follow the trail that hugs the creek.  We pass by a vernal pond, a small rocky ‘beach’, and bend to the right where we cross the creek and join the Green Ribbon Trail.  

  • 3. Visit the meadow

    The lovely grove of trees guides us as we stay to the left eventually coming to a meadow where we cut to the right on the Rotary Trail.  The end of the meadow gives way back to the Green Ribbon Trail as we turn right and again hug the creek.

  • 4. Rest on the benches

    There is a spot with curved benches just before we get back to the set of bridges to complete our walk.  Mom likes that there is a waste can for my poop bag – yes, I’ve trained her well!

  • 5. Back to work

    The parking lot is just over the bridges, you can go on to your next adventure, for me it’s back to work!

Todd Hanselli

Exploring Dodsworth Run

Dodsworth is a small but mighty preserve, and my favorite place to be in the fall. This preserve is a magnet for migrating monarch butterflies and is also good for migrating hawks and other birds. Complete the .43 mile trail in a figure eight to maximize your exploration.

Kristy Morley, Senior Naturalist%

Kristy Morley, Senior Naturalist

Good For:

Anyone. Paved path is level and stroller friendly.

Best time to go:

September and October

  • 1. Park at Dodsworth Run Preserve

    From the parking lot, head toward the “chimney” which we installed as a nest site for Chimney Swifts.

  • 2. Climb into the Hawks Nest

    Follow the path to the boardwalk and make a left. Climb up into the Hawk’s Nest for a birds-eye-view. Watch for monarch butterflies feeding on the blooming goldenrod.

  • 3. Watch for Bluebirds

    Connect to the sidewalk and go right following the path around the back of the preserve. Keep an eye out for bluebirds and tree swallows which nest in the boxes on the preserve.

  • 4. Return to the parking lot

    Cut back across the boardwalk, but this time head left back toward the parking lot on the sidewalk.

Laura Tantinoi

Families: Choose your own adventure!

I am a parent to a nature loving and energy filled 6-year-old who is always looking for a good day full of quality time, variety, and fun memories. I know that your plans will inevitably change by the minute based on your mood, your child’s mood, the needs of your stomach (or when nature calls), as well as a number of other unexpected things. This trip allows you to get some fresh air and exercise, watch for birds, look for fish or frogs by the creek, play on the playground, and grab a bite to eat.

Jenn Bilger, Engagement Director%

Jenn Bilger, Engagement Director

Good For:

Families with children of all ages. 2 miles round trip: stroller accessible.

Best time to go:

Year-round, weekdays and weekends, daylight hours

  • 1. Start at Parkside Place parking lot

    Walk toward the Green Ribbon Trailhead kiosk down the paved path pass the Neighborhood Watch sign into the Clover Crest neighborhood continue left down the hill around the circle.

  • 2. Check out the Wissahickon Creek

    Look for a “Green Ribbon Trail” sign and follow the path. Walk across the stepping stones or see what’s swimming or hopping in the creek.

  • 3. Follow the path back - it’s playground time!

    Enjoy some playtime at the Parkside Place playground.

  • 4. Feeling hungry?

    Visit the Tex Mex Connection restaurant in North Wales borrough. Tex Mex Connection is a 3-star certified green restaurant, and is also a supporter of Wissahickon Trails for over 30 years raising over $1 million dollars for open space. 

Margaret Rohdei

Unwind at Willow Lake Farm

I spend most of my days in front of a screen, so for me, spending time in nature is a time to disconnect and practice mindfulness. My favorite place to relax is at Willow Lake Farm. This preserve has 2.4 miles of trails that you can explore, horses to visit, and plenty of wildlife to watch. Parking for this preserve is behind the CVS at the intersection of Butler Pike and E Skippack Pike. I love to bring a camping chair and a book and just wander through the preserve focusing on being present in the moment.

Maddy Neff, Communications Specialist%

Maddy Neff, Communications Specialist

Good For:

Individuals looking to disconnect from tech and connect with nature

Best time to go:

Weekday mornings or early evening

  • 1. Park at Willow Lake Farm

    Bring your camp chair, nature journal, art supplies, or a good book.

  • 2. Stop to say hello to the horses at the east end of the preserve

    Please be mindful they are on private property. Visit the preserve page for more information.

  • 3. If you’ve worked up an appetite, there are many restaurants nearby

    Find the right one for your mood.