John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

CYCLE PHILADELPHIA, SIGHTSEEING & KIDS RIDE, JOHN HEINZ NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE The bike path is mostly packed gravel, winding through a couple of tree covered turns. The foliage is lush in the summer, with lots of animals and birds hiding in the leaves. The boardwalk near the entrance offers a nice spot to watch for fish and turtles. At mile 3.1 there is a little bridge that leads to the nature path. If you are a beginner rider, lock your bikes to the bridge and try taking a romp through the woods for a change of pace. More expert riders will enjoy the singletrack (which has some tree root and foxholes). The path is quite narrow. You have to watch out for poison ivy and stinging nettle along the way, but this trail is really the place that makes you forget you are in the middle of the city. It hooks up with the packed gravel trail and eventually loops around. There are few places in Philadelphia where one can be surrounded by nature long enough to dismiss the stresses of the city. The John Heinz Refuge, which circles Tinicum Marsh, offers visitors this opportunity. Nature enthusiasts and birders will love the refuge – over 280 species have been recorded here. You may want to bring a pair of more rugged tires for this outing; the gravel trails referee an epic game of hide and seek between old tree roots and big rocks. You’ll see an unexpected array of wildlife in the refuge, including turtles, frogs, butterflies, deer, rabbits and gophers. But the big draw to John Heinz is the variety of bird species in the area, including the Bald Eagle and the Great Blue Heron. The refuge posts an updated list of specie sightings and relative abundance to their website fairly regularly. FOOD AND DRINK There isn’t much in the way of food and drink here, so best to bring extra fluids and a picnic lunch. There are water fountains at the trail head. ACCESS You’ll find parking at the 86th Street and Lindberg Boulevard entrance. The 37 and 108 buses will drop you off at 84th and Lindberg Avenue. You can also take regional rail to Eastwick station – this stop is a couple of blocks south east of the refuge entrance.
Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Kid friendly
Rail Trail
Difficulty: Beginner (Green)
Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
Fitness Level: All
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Estimated Distance (Kms): 10.6
First Aid
Bike hire facilities
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle / uber
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