Snowshoeing in Philadelphia

Snowshoeing in Philadelphia, who would have thought?

I had been thinking about snowshoeing for about a year and really got into the idea of doing it.  Reading websites like Snowshoe Magazine and watching videos online made me want to move way up North so that I could snowshoe all winter long.

Of course, I couldn’t just pick up and move just to do some snowshoeing, so I figured I’d just wait for the snow to eventually come to me.  I started looking for snowshoes online and eventually found an unused pair selling on Craigslist for a real bargain.

It was September and blazing hot outside and I was probably the only person to contact the seller about them, so he sold them for almost nothing.

Buying items when they are completely out of season is always a great way to save money.

I figured in a couple of months it would snow and I’d be able to do some snowshoeing in Philadelphia by December.

Of course, I was completely wrong and we didn’t get any real snow the entire year.  I’d almost given up hope and then on March 14th, Winter Storm Stella hit the area.

I had to work that day, but since we had already “Sprung Forward”, I had an extra hour of daylight to work with.  Leaving work around 3:30 gave me about 3 hours to try out my new snowshoes.

I quickly put on more layers than anyone ever needs to wear, threw on my backpack, grabbed my snowshoes and jogged the mile it takes me to get to the Valley Green entrance to Fairmount Park and the Wissahickon Trail.

Snowshoeing in Philadelphia – The Wissahickon Trail

Once on the trail, I strapped my snowshoes on and began my journey.

Because most people in the area probably aren’t thinking of snowshoeing in Philadelphia, I was pretty much the only person on the trails.  In fact, many of the areas I hiked through had clearly not been walked on since the snow hit.

If you’ve never been hiking in this area you’ll know that the Wissahickon is usually filled with people and you never really get to go on a quiet and peaceful hike like you might get to do in a more remote area of the country.

However, on this day, I only saw 3 people on the trails the entire time and this was from afar.  I never actually had to walk near or around a single person throughout my entire Philadelphia snowshoeing experience.

Since I live so close to these trails I have a lot of experience hiking them so I had a pretty good idea of where I wanted to go and about how long it would take.  I decided I’d take a trail right off of the entryway and then follow that down and around to the “Indian Statue”.

It’s now five days later and late enough in the year that I probably won’t get to do anymore snowshoeing in Philadelphia again this year, but I’m glad I had the experience.

Christopher Schopf

Loves camping, hiking, canoeing, and basically anything that gets him outdoors.

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