August 22, 2012
The park offers plentiful options for the outdoorsy types from hiking, biking and fishing. For a more relaxed and leisurely daycation, pack a picnic, take a stroll on the paved trails and admire the greenery.
Check out our guide to spending a day in Ridley Creek State Park, below.
What to Expect
Explore Ridley Creek State Park’s 2,600 acres of woods and meadows. Whether on horseback, bike or by foot, you can explore the park’s numerous wooded trails and rolling hills. Always well-stocked with trout, Ridley Creek is also the perfect place to try your hand at fly fishing.
Sightseers and history buffs won’t want to miss the restored colonial plantation, an architectural landmark located right in the park. Ridley Creek also offers hands-on environmental education and interpretive programming.
The park is open for your enjoyment until sunset. Bonus: it’s only 16 miles from Center City.
Note: Ridley Creek is a State Park and prohibits alcohol.
The park, including a small 18th-century village known as Sycamore Hills, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark.
• Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation: Visit the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, a 300-year-old farming mainstay restored using nothing but 18th-century tools. Watch interpreters in period clothes bake bread, mend fences and card wool to recreate the lives of the historical Pratt family.
• Hunting Hill Mansion: The park offices now occupy the former 1914 Jefford estate at Hunting Hill Mansion.
• Sycamore Hills: While the miller’s house, the office and library, and several small mill workers’ dwellings are currently used as private residences, you can admire the architecture of these historical buildings during your visit.
Keep reading below for more on Ridley Creek State Park.
Relaxation and Recreation
• Fishing: Ridley Creek provides excellent angling and is always stocked with trout. The portion of the creek from Sycamore Mills Dam to the mouth of Dismal Run is a catch and release, fly fishing-only area.
• Hiking: Enjoy 12 miles of trails that pass through a variety of habitats throughout the central portion of the park. You’ll probably spot some local wildlife. The Friends of Ridley Creek State Park are currently offering a 40 Mile Challenge. Hike at least 40 miles before October 21 (the park’s 40th anniversary!) and you could win prizes. More details can be found online.
• Biking: Look for the five-mile long paved Multi-use Trail along Sycamore Mills and Forge Roads for your biking needs. This trail is also open to joggers and walkers.
• Horseback Riding: Ridley Creek offers a 4.7 mile trail just off of Picnic Area 8 for horseback riding. Hidden Valley Farms operates a stable within the park that provides trail rides, horse boarding, riding lessons, pony rides and more.
• Picnic: As always, we encourage you to bring a picnic. Take your pick from hundreds of picnic tables in 14 different areas, each equipped with restrooms and charcoal grills. Several of the areas also have large fields for sports, playgrounds for the kids and picnic pavilions for reservation.
How to Get There
It only takes a little over a half hour to drive to Ridley Creek. Looking for some travel options? We’ve got you covered.
• Carpool: Taking a daycation is the perfect way to spend some time with family and friends. Bring everyone along and make the trip together. Perfect for trading off drivers after an action-packed day.
Ridley Creek State Park
1023 Sycamore Mills Rd. in Media, Delaware County