Ridley Creek State Park encompasses more than 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 and is an oasis of open space in a growing urban area.
Hiking at Ridley Creek State Park
13 miles of trails
The trails pass through a variety of habitats throughout the central portion of the park.
Picnicking at Ridley Creek State Park
This activity or structure is ADA accessible.
There are hundreds of picnic tables in 14 picnic areas. Each area is equipped with modern 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.
Six 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.
Two pavilions are accessible for people with disabilities.
Wildlife Watching at Ridley Creek State Park
The park’s 2,600-acres provide important habitat and open space in the urban sprawl of southeastern Pennsylvania. Habitats within the park include:
Old growth and new growth forests
Fields and meadows
The state mammal, the white-tailed deer, is common, along with fox, raccoon, rabbit, and squirrel. Great blue herons frequent Ridley Creek. Many species of songbirds can be seen and heard in the park.
The park is home to many large, old trees, some dating back to colonial times. Oak, beech, walnut, maple, sycamore, hickory, and tulip poplar dominate the tree canopy. Dogwood, spicebush, and witch hazel trees make a colorful forest understory.
Many non-native trees and plants in the park were planted for landscaping many years ago.
The most rare and unique tree in the park is the large Franklin tree (Franklinia alatamaha) by the Hunting Hill Mansion. This short tree has large, shiny leaves that turn orange and red in the fall. The large, white flowers bloom during early autumn.
During 1765, noted botanists John and William Bartram discovered the species growing in one spot in Georgia. A decade later, William collected seeds and planted them in Philadelphia. By 1803, the last Franklinia was extinct in the wild. All Franklin trees today are descendants of the first trees propagated by the Bartrams, and named for their friend Ben Franklin.
Fishing at Ridley Creek State Park
Ridley Creek is stocked with trout and provides excellent angling opportunities. The portion of the creek from Sycamore Mills Dam to the mouth of Dismal Run is a catch and release, fly fishing only area.
This activity or structure is ADA accessible. An ADA accessible fishing platform is on the paved, multi-use trail along Sycamore Mills Road Trail. Vehicle permits must be acquired at the park office.
Hunting at Ridley Creek State Park
During established seasons, about 1,200 acres are open to archery hunting for deer.
Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas.
Biking at Ridley Creek State Park
5 miles of trails
The five-mile, paved, multi-use trail along Sycamore Mills Road and Forge Road trails is designated for:
The trail is accessible via parking lots #7, #11, #15, and #17.
Bikes are prohibited on unpaved hiking trails.
Horseback Riding at Ridley Creek State Park
4.7 miles of trails
The trail begins in Picnic Area #8. A parking lot for trailers is at the trailhead.
Sledding at Ridley Creek State Park
A large grassy slope by the park office is popular for sledding.
Cross-country Skiing at Ridley Creek State Park
Cross-country skiers may use hiking trails and multi-use trail when snow cover permits.