Philadelphia has some pretty expansive parks and green spaces that break up the concrete jungle and we have only just begun to explore them. Pennypack Park is north east of the city, and less than 15 minutes from the Insectarium so we visited them on the same day. Because the park is so large, we could only see a tiny fraction of it during the time we had so we headed to the Pennypack Environmental Center as our starting point. The center is in a very nice area of town… quite a bit different than the Insectarium.
First things first, we appreciated the public restrooms inside, as many only offer port-a-potties. The center consists of one large display room filled with taxidermy and some live animal exhibits. There are also some cool artifacts on display that were found on the historic site. The touch table was a great idea and included things like fungus, bones, turtle shells and plant parts. D loved seeing the live turtles and toad and even got to be face to face with the box turtle who was ridiculously cute. The only complaint was that I tend to be a bit sensitive to smells and there was a pretty powerful mothball odor in the nature center that definitely sped up our visit inside.
Luckily it was a mild Winter day and there were several trails that start from the environmental center. I had planned to do a loop, but D had other plans so I followed his lead. We headed downhill to the creek and the sound of rushing water. We discovered a dam and “beach” along the water. This is not a stroller or handicap friendly hike as the trail is narrow and slippery. We kept it very short, less than half a mile one way but still had a ton of fun exploring. There is so much potential for more great hiking here and throughout the rest of Pennypack Park!