Chestnut Hill couple completes Friends of the Wissahickon All Trails Challenge to raise funds for park

Tamala Edwards Image
Friday, November 13, 2020
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The fall is a great time to enjoy nature around the region and a Chestnut Hill couple has found a way to make their walks through the Wissahickon fundraisers.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Paul and Mary Henry often walk the trails of the Wissahickon Valley Park in their Chestnut Hill neighborhood together, listening to the wind and looking at the trees.

"I really enjoy nature and discovering what's around the corner," says Mary.

They decided to participate in the 5th annual Friends of the Wissahickon All Trails Challenge, which runs through December 1.

"We ask our park users to hike, bike, ride their horse, walk their dog...all 50 miles of trail, log those miles, and then using their social media networks, fundraise for FOW stewardship of the park," explains Ruffian Tittmann, Executive Director of the Friends of the Wissahickon.

The park was primarily established to protect Philadelphia's drinking water, but it boasts 50 miles of scenic trails and unique sites.

"It's a great way to discover all the trails in the park," says Mary.

The Henrys completed the challenge over the course of a month.

"We did about five miles on each session," explains Paul.

Paul was the navigator and planned their trail routes.

"The trails are very, very well marked," says Paul. "It's just beautifully arranged for amateur hikers."

And there's a map app to help.

When planning their walks, Mary says, "We really focused on things that we really wanted to see."

The Henrys used the Chestnut Hill Avenue trailhead to access many sites.

"We really enjoyed walking down to the covered bridge," says Mary. "And I also like the Rex Avenue steps."

The Valley Green Inn, along Forbidden Drive, is also a popular destination.

"Forbidden Drive is a wide, paved, fairly flat trail that takes you along the creek," explains Tittmann.

"There was interesting history along the way...paper mills all up and down the creek," says Paul. Rittenhouse Town was one of those historic sites.

The Henrys say they enjoyed participating in the challenge because it gave them a chance to do what they love and raise funds for the park.

"Looking at beautiful nature puts things in perspective, and you feel very good when you finish," says Mary.

"And it's very rewarding," adds Paul.


Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW) All Trails Challenge:

Friends of the Wissahickon: