A good day for a hike

On Monday I returned to Valley Green 1, probably for the last time this Fall. I got off to a slightly later start than I’d wanted 2, but I arrived in time to capture the best light in the gorge for this time of year.

On this trip I decided to walk on the more rugged trails on the Chestnut Hill side of the Wissahickon Creek. This gave my workout a more drastic elevation change, and sent me to locations I’d not visited since I was a young child. The trails had fully changed colors for Fall, and provided an endless supply of opportunities for photographs. I was shocked at how busy the trails were, mostly with people who were out walking their dogs on an absolutely splendid day, but the presence of others wasn’t so great as to be intrusive. In fact, in some of the deeper parts of the trail seeing another person or two pass by was actually reassuring. Valley Green is a unique location in the Philadelphia area. You can be less than a third of a mile from some local neighborhoods with high population densities, and feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere.

On Monday my route took me from Bells Mill Road at the base of the gorge, up to the lip of the valley and towards a statue called “The Indian” by locals 3. After I passed the statue I followed a switchback trail back down toward the Wissahickon Creek, which I crossed at a beautiful stone bridge. I turned left on Forbidden Drive 4 and Walked another mile or so to photograph the Valley Green Inn. I’d have liked to go on, but “Dad’s Taxi Service” needed me to take an afternoon shift to cart my progeny to their afternoon activities. So after photographing the Inn I turned around and came back to my car entirely along Forbidden Drive. By this time the one side of the gorge was already deep in shadow, affording me some interesting opportunities to capture some of the beautiful foliage on the other side of the creek. My final totals for the hike were 4.79 miles walked, and an elevation change of 351 over the ups and downs of the trails. Even better, the photos were spectacular. I’ve included my favorite below, the rest can be found on my smugmug page.


Nikon d7000 with 18-105mm lens
ISO 100
ƒ 5.0
1/250 sec


  1. Officially, “The Wissahickon Gorge.” 
  2. Sadly, that’s been a recurring theme this season. 
  3. Pre-PC designation. The statue is actually a tribute to the Lenape, who lived in the area when the English arrived. 
  4. An old toll road, and then parkway, which was closed to traffic in the early 1900’s. 

15 Comments

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  1. Valley Green is awesome! I have an artist drawing of the barn hanging in my office. The picture of the bridge is truly spectacular, awesome contrast!

  2. You’ve a knack with the lens, you do.
    (PS: Lest I forget from the Penny Gnomes story– “The Applied Mathematical Principle of Imaginative Blathering” is officially one of my favorite phrases ever. 🙂

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