In honor of my 100th post (yes, it’s my 100th post!) I’m going to feature one of my very favorite hiking spots ever: Ridley Creek State Park. “Ridley Creek,” as we call it, is a 2,600 acre park located in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, approximately 15 miles west of Philadelphia. It also happens to be about 2 miles from our house which makes it a very convenient place to enjoy nature while getting some exercise!
Matt and I both grew up in this area so we’ve been coming to Ridley Creek State Park with our families since long before we met one another in college. Come to think of it, we both spent SO much time here as kids that it’s actually pretty likely that we unknowingly passed each other on the bike trail or splashed around in the creek together at some point in our childhoods.
Ridley Creek features miles of secluded hiking trails, multiple family-friendly picnic areas, and a 4.5 mile paved trail. The paved trail is popular with walkers, runners, and bikers. The trail has mile-markers every tenth of a mile and the scenery along the way includes thick woods, cornfields, deserted 19th century stone houses, and, of course, Ridley Creek itself. Matt, Bailey, and I walk this trail fairly often. Most recently we went on Day 14 of my mile-a-day “Streak” and the next day I was definitely feeling the combined effects of the hilly 4.5 mile walk and my morning mile!
In addition to the paved trail, Matt and I also enjoy hiking in the much more secluded northern section of the park. This area is usually utilized by horseback riders but we started to frequent it after discovering an off-road hunter’s parking lot (1) near our house last February. The 4.25 mile trail can be a bit difficult to follow if you don’t know where you’re going but I love how sections of it makes you feel like you’re 100 miles away from civilization or, better yet, like you’ve gone back in time. In fact, if you follow the gas pipeline right-of-way up the (very steep) hill you’ll actually come across a forgotten cemetery that hails back to the 1800s. Cool!
If you’re ever in Delaware County looking for a good place to take a hike I’d definitely recommend stopping by Ridley Creek State Park. If you have been to Ridley Creek before please let me know what your favorite trail is in the comments section below!