Ridley Creek State Park - Pennsylvania

Description

Ridley Creek State Park encompasses over 2,606 acres of Delaware County woodlands and meadows. The gently rolling terrain of the park, bisected by Ridley Creek, is only 16 miles from center city Philadelphia.

Recreation

Picnicking:

There are hundreds of picnic tables in 14 picnic areas. Each area is equipped with restrooms and charcoal grills. Several of the areas have large fields suited to sports activities. Areas #3, #8, #11 and #17 have playground equipment and picnic pavilions. The pavilions can be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved picnic pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis.

Fishing:

Ridley Creek is stocked with trout and provides excellent angling. The portion of the creek from Sycamore Mills Dam to the mouth of Dismal Run is a catch and release, fly fishing only area. A wheelchair accessible fishing platform is on the paved, Multi-use Trail along Sycamore Mills Road. Vehicle permits must be acquired at the park office. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply.

Hiking: 12 miles of trails

The trails pass through a variety of habitats throughout the central portion of the park.

Biking/Jogging: 5 miles of trails

The five-mile, paved Multi-use Trail along Sycamore Mills and Forge roads is designated for bicycles, joggers, walkers and cross-country skiers. Park in lots #7, #11, #15 and # 17.

Bikes are not permitted on unpaved hiking trails.

Horseback Riding: 4.7 miles of trails

A 4.7-mile trail begins in Picnic Area #8. A parking lot for trailers is at the trailhead.

Hidden Valley Farms operates a stable within the park that provides trail rides, horse boarding, riding lessons, pony rides, and an assortment of horse related services.

Formal Gardens and Landscaping:

The gardens by the park office are a popular attraction and wedding site. The mansion ballroom is available for weddings and events. Call the park office for information.

Stay the Night

Organized Group Tenting:

Qualified organized groups can camp in the primitive group tenting area from April to October. The area has a restroom with flush toilets and can accommodate up to 120 individuals. Shower facilities are not available. Reservations are required.

Winter Activities

Explore the Winter Report for the current snow and ice depths.

Cross-country Skiing:

Cross-country skiers may use the hiking and multi-use trails when snow cover permits.

Sledding:

A large grassy slope by the park office is popular for sledding.

Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation

The Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation provides visitors with an accurate picture of life on a Delaware County farm prior to the American Revolution.

The Plantation has been a working farm for over 300 years. It is restored to a late 18th century appearance complete with animals typical of the period and authentically clothed historical interpreters. On weekends from April to November, visitors can observe the farm family cooking over the open hearth, preserving foods, processing textiles, tending field crops and performing other chores necessary to survival in the 18th century world.

Environmental Education and Interpretation

Ridley Creek no longer offers environmental education and interpretive programming due to significant reductions in the budget of the Bureau of State Parks.

History

Within the park boundaries was a small 18th century village, which grew up around the site of a mill. Now known as Sycamore Mills, the area had been previously named Bishop’s Mill and Providence Mill. The miller’s house, the office and library, and several small mill workers’ dwellings are currently used as private residences. The park area has been designated as the “Ridley Creek State Park Historic District” on the National Register of Historic Places.

Park property was purchased in the 1960s with Project 70 funds, and developed with Land and Water Conservation Fund moneys. Park facilities were dedicated to public use in August of 1972.

The park office is in the “Hunting Hill” mansion, built by the Jeffords family in 1914. The mansion was built around a 1789 Pennsylvania stone farmhouse that forms the core of the building and serves as the reception center.

Contact

1023 Sycamore Mills Rd., Media, PA 19063-4398

More Info

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