As the days turn colder, Delco’s tree canopy puts on a spectacular display. Here’s a rundown of the best spots for fall-color fans.
The largest battle of the American Revolution was fought here. Head to the Visitor Center to view artifacts taken from the battlefield, tour Washington and Lafayette’s quarters, or just hike through the grounds as you envision the battle taking place around you.
📸: Battle of Brandywine/Twitter
Many of the paintings within the Brandywine River Museum of Art—created by some of our nation’s most renowned artists—were inspired by the landscape that surrounds the building. The Wildflower and Native Plant Gardens extend the art outdoors, while also preserving the artists’ natural muse. Wildflowers, trees, and shrubs are carefully selected to provide a succession of bloom from early spring to frost and are planted in a setting similar to their natural habitat.
📸: VISIT PHILADELPHIA®
This “pleasure garden” is truly a feast for the senses. Explore the native flora of the Delaware Valley under a canopy of bright-yellow leaves, and watch as the arboretum’s renowned collections of crab-apples and hollies burst into fruit. Stroll through terrace gardens, explore a grass labyrinth, and traverse an elevated walkway that runs eight feet above a scenic meadow. *Chanticleer closes for the season on November 5, 2023.*
📸: Chris Fehlhaber/Facebook
Nestled in a steep valley between Media and Upper Providence, Glen Providence Park has two miles of trails that climb and weave through 33 acres. Located on prime real estate at the end of State Street in Media, it’s a picture-perfect location for an outdoor stroll after grabbing a bite to eat at one of the borough’s smart and trendy restaurants.
📸: Stephanie Gaboriault, Friends of Glen Providence Park
Tucked away in a hilly section of Delco is this 55-acre gem of native woodlands, wetlands, meadows and streams. Named for Hilda and Cyril Fox, who donated the property to the Natural Lands Trust, Hildacy has 3.5 miles of unpaved hiking trails that are just waiting to be explored. If you happen to consider yourself a budding or experienced ornithologist (bird watcher), be sure to pick up the preserve’s list of 125 species that have been spotted on the grounds, broken down into seasonal occurrence.
This refuge for both animals and people invites exploration year-round, but never more so than when the leaves change. Bring a kayak or canoe to get a front-row seat to the riot of fall colors as you paddle down Darby Creek.
📸: John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum/Facebook
This 160-acre park offers 8.5 miles of trails that blend natural beauty, environmental diversity, and cultural history. The trails pass through an array of diverse habitats from upland grasslands to river bottom wetlands, each offering its own varieties of plants and animals. In addition to the abundant native species of trees, park founders Elizabeth and Mortimer Newlin planted several specimen trees throughout the park. The habitats support a wide range of wildlife and throughout the year both resident and migratory birds can be found in the park.
📸: Newlin Grist Mill/Facebook
With more than 2,600 acres of meadows and woodlands, there’s plenty of fall landscape to explore. If you don’t feel like hiking, marvel at the leaves while catching trout in Ridley Creek. In winter, Ridley Creek State Park is a great spot for cross-country skiing, and a large grassy slope is popular with sledders.
Situated on 120 acres in Upper Providence Township, this picturesque park features an outdoor amphitheater, Story Walk, grassy rolling hills, mature trees, woodlands, a charming gazebo, picnic areas, and a retired steeplechase. The Park is a popular destination for cross country running, photography, dog walking, hawk watching and more.
The Delaware Valley’s native flora is on stunning display, along with more than 4,000 kinds of ornamental plants. In the fall, crabapples and hollies add pops of vibrant color to the leafy canopy.
Tyler Arboretum’s diverse tree population includes giant sequoias, ginkgo trees, bald cypresses, American linden, sugar maples, white oaks, tulip trees and many more, making for a stunning canopy each fall.
Wawa Preserve is owned by Natural Lands and operated in partnership with Middletown Township. Parts of the property were once used to graze cattle for the Wawa Dairy. Visitors can enjoy trails that traverse a variety of habitats, including dense woodlands along Rocky Run Creek and sunny meadows filled with milkweed, goldenrod, and little bluestem.
📸: Jennifer Mathes
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