Wissahickon Valley Park, PA

DSC00701Wissahickon Valley Park is located in Pennsylvania, in the Fairmount Park area of Philadelphia.  The park consists of 1,800 acres and consists of 50 miles of trails, used by hikers, runners, equestrians, and cyclists.  The Wissahickon Creek, which runs through the park, is stocked each year with trout, which draws many fisherman as well.

I picked this hike for us to do on my birthday, as I have had this hike on my All Trails “wish-list” for quite some time.

It just so happened that my birthday also fell on Wissahickon Day, ¬†where each year on the last Sunday in April people gather at the park to celebrate the fact that Forbidden Drive ( a gravel road that runs along the Wissahickon Creek) was successfully closed to cars in 1921. ¬†Around that time, a turnpike was proposed to run the length of this gravel road. ¬†However, equestrian park users protested with a parade of carriages and horses. ¬†Hundreds of horses turned out for the parade in protest of the turnpike, and the proposal was defeated. ¬†Each year on Wissahickon Day, horses and carriages return to celebrate…festivities include a horse show, parade of carriages and horses, and added this year was a Fancy Hat Competition.

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We chose to skip the horse-related activities, as Cello has become “spooked” by horses lately (something we are trying to work on with her). We did see lots of horses and carriages coming and going from their activities though!

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We did about a 3.37 hike that led us on the trails, as well as onto Forbidden Drive. ¬†The hike took longer than usual because of all the stops we made to take pictures, and also because Cello has suddenly begun to lunge at all bikes, as well as all horses, and random bigger dogs. ¬†She was a bit on-edge at the park with all the ¬†horses, so we didn’t want to push-it with her. We have contacted a well-recommended local trainer and hope to counter-condition these behaviors.

Here is the hike that we did, recorded on MapMyFitness:

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 Our hike began on Forbidden Drive at the Valley Green Inn, a historic Inn along Forbidden Drive.

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About a half-mile into our hike we came to Magarge Dam that once powered the Margarge Mill wheel, the last active mill in the Wissahickon Valley, which closed in 1883.

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At about 1.15 miles, we came across this neat stone bridge, archway, and stairs.

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We stopped for a minute so that Cello could go in the Wissahickon Creek

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Then at about 1.55 miles we reached Thomas Mill Covered Bridge, the only covered bridge still standing within the city limits of Philadelphia, and the only covered bridge in a U.S. City.  The bridge spans across the Wissahickon Creek.  As of 1980, the bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Thomas Mill Covered Bridge was originally built in 1855.  It was renovated by the Works Progress Administration in 1938, and by the city of Philadelphia in 2000.  The bridge is open to pedestrian traffic only.

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Our first time walking through a covered bridge!  

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At this point, we decided to head back to Valley Green Inn, where we parked. We took Forbidden Drive all the way back to our starting point.

Forbidden Drive:

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Cello and Brian on Forbidden Drive:DSC00792

Overall, this is is a great hike with decent trails, historical significance, and beautiful sights along the way!

2013 Easton Waterfowl Festival, Easton, MD, Hosted by Delmarva Dock Dogs

November 8-10, 2013

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VERY exciting news…Cello won her first First Place Ribbon ever! She won a total of 1 Senior Division medal, and 2 in the Masters Division! She qualified for finals and won FIRST PLACE in the Masters Division Finals!!!!!! We were FLOORED! ¬†She won a big First Place ribbon, and gift basket, $50, and a $25 gift certificate to Cabela’s! WOOO HOOOOOOO!

We were very excited for this event! ¬†We were told at the last event (Decoy Show) that this is event has a big turn-out. ¬†We camped at Holiday Park Campground in Greensboro, MD. What a fun weekend we had! ¬†Although we did not get to see the “heart” of the Waterfowl festival, we got to visit St. Michael’s… and stopped at St. Michael’s Crab House for a celebratory beverage. ¬†Cello bellied-up to the bar and earned a free “drink” (water) from the bartender after giving lots of kisses! We also discovered a wonderful dog-friendly place called ¬†Ava’s Pizzeria and Wine Bar (also in St. Michael’s)… where they had a special menu just for dogs! (Hammy’s Dog Menu!) ¬†We were able to sit outside in the heated patio area with Cello, where we enjoyed a fresh Pizza, and Cello delighted in her Beef Stew.

We learned several lessons at the last 2 events: These events are long – bring a chair! …and Cello has such a thin coat, that she was cold in between jumps. ¬†We met another GSP dock diving contestant at the Decoy show (Bailey)…and Bailey’s “mom,” Annie, introduced me to an awesome dog coat that Bailey wears. ¬†(By the way – Annie’s blog (the little GSP) also inspired me to start this blog for Cell0… thanks, Annie!!) We bought a whole “set-up” to camp out at by the dive pool, and purchased Cello a coat like Bailey’s from Trover Coats overseas! ¬†We were prepared for this event!

Brian is happy with our new set-up for dock diving events…and Cello is nice and toasty in her new “Bone Dry” coat made by Trover Coats! ¬†…much better than standing around all day!

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This event had the long dock set up, and Cello jumped in 4 waves. ¬†Here are Cello’s results:

  • 20’6″
  • 18’7″
  • Third Place Masters Division Medal
  • 19’10’
  • 19’4″
  • First Place Senior Division Medal
  • 20’6″
  • 21’3″
  • First Place Masters Division Medal
  • 22’3″
  • 22’6″
  • First Place Masters Division Medal

FINALS RESULTS:

  • 22’4″
  • 20’1″
  • First Place Masters Division Finals! ribbon, gift basket, $50, and $25 Cabela’s gift certificate!

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Photo courtesy of Brandi

Cello’s Grandparents, Jan and Jim, and Friends, Brandi, Stan, and Payton all were there to cheer Cello to victory…thanks, guys!