15 WITHIN 15: Fishing the Wissahickon

On my quest to do 15 outdoor activities within 15 minutes of home, fishing in the Wissahickon Creek was a no-brainer.

The Wissahickon Creek as seen before the start of a fishing session on April 19, 2020. [Photo: Kyle Bagenstose]

By Kyle Bagenstose

15 minutes.

That’s the driving distance limit being championed by an increasing number of groups, including the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, for outdoor recreation under the novel coronavirus.

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 is off, planned visits to new state parks in northwest and southwest Pennsylvania 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 2: Fishing the Wissahickon in northwest Philly

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