UPDATED: Which Delaware Valley parks and trails are open?

A list of which national, state, and county parks remain open in the Delaware Valley.

An inviting trail at Palmyra Cove Nature Park in Burlington County, New Jersey in May 2019. The cove is closed to the public, as are all New Jersey state and county parks, as of Gov. Phil Murphy’s April 7 order. [Photo: Kyle Bagenstose]

By Kyle Bagenstose

(Note: This article last updated 5/22/20. Readers should verify a park or trail’s status before visiting.)

With the novel coronavirus threatening residents of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, officials initially had to close or restrict many public spaces to protect public health. However, through the month of May, many re-opened. Below is a list of what is currently open to the public, and which restrictions remain in place.

If conditions don’t match what’s in this article, or if there are specifics to know, please feel free to email me at Kyle@delvaloutdoors.com.

Continue reading “UPDATED: Which Delaware Valley parks and trails are open?”

15 within 15: Running River to River in Philly

The author takes a 10 mile run across Philly, laying eyes on the Delaware and Schuylkill, and reflecting on city life.

The Benjamin Franklin Bridge as seen from Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown, Philadelphia, on May 15, 2020. [Photo: Kyle Bagenstose]

By Kyle Bagenstose

15 minutes.

That’s the driving distance limit still being championed for outdoor recreation under the novel coronavirus, by entities such as the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The idea is to stay near home and limit the spread of the disease by decreasing community-to-community infection. But it’s a tough pill to swallow. Those not blessed to be immediately adjacent to their favorite recreational spots might not have much recreational opportunity within a quarter of an hour. I know it’s put my plans on hold: a guys’ trip to the Poconos in early May was cancelled, planned visits to new state parks in northwest and southwest Pennsylvania are delayed, and a goal to visit Acadia National Park by the end of the year is up in the air.

Nevermind my usual trips from Philly to campgrounds like French Creek and trail networks like Hawk Mountain.

But, I’ve decided to give it a go. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to do 15 outdoor activities within 15 minutes (maybe a few extra depending on the red lights!) to see how it feels. I’m trying to approach this with what some call “beginner’s mind.” Looking carefully for nature and taking it slow in places I may have only sped through before. But I also plan to turn it up a notch from time to time: Can I get my vigorous exercise and strenuous accomplishment kicks within 15 minutes of home?

We’ll see.

Activity 5: Running river to river through Philly

I used to hate running. Like, only a little over a year ago.

Wrestling was my sport through school, and when I dabbled in others it was usually something more dynamic and head-to-head. Running was always a chore, something coaches would force you to do at practice as a part of getting in better shape for the real competition.

Believe it or not, that all changed with a wristwatch. I received one with GPS-functionality as a birthday gift, with the idea I’d use it for hiking and backpacking, to keep track of my mileage and my location. Then one day I used it for one of the rare, short runs I’d do just for the hell of it. I was curious about how quickly I could do a mile or two.

Continue reading “15 within 15: Running River to River in Philly”

15 WITHIN 15: Trail running the Wissahickon

Running the trails of the Wissahickon Valley brought new discoveries: a hidden creek and historic ruins.

A downed tree creates a welcoming tunnel to the trails of Wissahickon Valley Park in northwest Philadelphia, on a beautiful early May day. [Photo: Kyle Bagenstose]

By Kyle Bagenstose

15 minutes.

That’s the driving distance limit still being championed for outdoor recreation under the novel coronavirus, by entities such as the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The idea is to stay near home and limit the spread of the disease by decreasing community-to-community infection. But it’s a tough pill to swallow. Those not blessed to be immediately adjacent to their favorite recreational spots might not have much recreational opportunity within a quarter of an hour. I know it’s put my plans on hold: a guys’ trip to the Poconos in early May was cancelled, planned visits to new state parks in northwest and southwest Pennsylvania are delayed, and a goal to visit Acadia National Park by the end of the year is up in the air.

Nevermind my usual trips from Philly to campgrounds like French Creek and trail networks like Hawk Mountain.

But, I’ve decided to give it a go. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to do 15 outdoor activities within 15 minutes (maybe a few extra depending on the red lights!) to see how it feels. I’m trying to approach this with what some call “beginner’s mind.” Looking carefully for nature and taking it slow in places I may have only sped through before. But I also plan to turn it up a notch from time to time: Can I get my vigorous exercise and strenuous accomplishment kicks within 15 minutes of home?

We’ll see.

Activity 4: Trail running at Wissahickon Valley

Just two “outings ago,” I went to Wissahickon Valley Park in northwest Philadelphia to fish. I wrote in that post that the Wissahickon has easily become my favorite spot for outdoor recreation in the city over the past 10 years, and that’s obviously evident by my returning so soon.

Continue reading “15 WITHIN 15: Trail running the Wissahickon”

15 WITHIN 15: Kayaking the Schuylkill Off Kelly drive

On a mission to do 15 recreational outings within 15 minutes of home, I headed to Kelly Drive for an hour-long kayak session on the Schuylkill.

Looking south down the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, at the approaching Strawberry Mansion Bridge. [Photo: Kyle Bagenstose]

By Kyle Bagenstose

15 minutes.

That’s the driving distance limit being championed for outdoor recreation under the novel coronavirus, by entities such as the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The idea is to stay near home and limit the spread of the disease by decreasing community-to-community infection. But it’s a tough pill to swallow. Those not blessed to be immediately adjacent to their favorite recreational spots might not have much recreational opportunity within a quarter of an hour. I know it’s put my plans on hold: a guys’ trip to the Poconos in early May was cancelled, planned visits to new state parks in northwest and southwest Pennsylvania are delayed, and a goal to visit Acadia National Park by the end of the year is up in the air.

Nevermind my usual trips from Philly to campgrounds like French Creek and trail networks like Hawk Mountain.

But, I’ve decided to give it a go. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to do 15 outdoor activities within 15 minutes (maybe a few extra depending on the red lights!) to see how it feels. I’m trying to approach this with what some call “beginner’s mind.” Looking carefully for nature and taking it slow in places I may have only sped through before. But I also plan to turn it up a notch from time to time: Can I get my vigorous exercise and strenuous accomplishment kicks within 15 minutes of home?

We’ll see.

Activity 3: Kayaking the Schuylkill River

Since purchasing my first kayak a few years back, the free boat launches along Kelly Drive in Philadelphia have been my go-to spot. I’m still very green when it comes to kayaking, putting in at perhaps only about a dozen or so bodies of water. I’ve been a few prettier places, but the Schuylkill River between Conshohocken and the Art Museum is actually a very beautiful and fun place to kayak, particularly when the weather has been dry and the river is running calm and clear.

Continue reading “15 WITHIN 15: Kayaking the Schuylkill Off Kelly drive”