Residents and visitors to Delaware County, whether experienced hikers, lovers of nature, or casual walkers, will find unique and exciting places to explore, walk, bike, hike and even canoe and kayak.  We've chosen 4 interesting places to investigate in the heart of winter...


With 1000 acres of land, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge is nestled amid a spider's web of major super-highways, the Philadelphia International airport and the Delaware River.  

It preserves and protects the environment in this fragile portion of the county, and contains the largest remaining freshwater tidal wetland in the entire state.

10 miles of Trails 
The refuge provides many areas for visitors to explore including forests, wetlands, decks built over the water and more. Environmental education, interpretation, wildlife observation, photography, and fishing are all provided via access throughout the refuge’s extensive trail system. Kiosks and signs provide interpretive materials for trail users.
Refuge photo from US Fish & Wildlife Service
(FWS) resides on their website.
It is an agency of the Federal Government within the
Department of the Interior - dedicated to the
management of fish, wildlife and natural habitats.

Within the trail, there is a 3.8 mile loop that features a lake and is accessible for hikers of all skill levels. 
Trails are open year round from sunrise to sunset and leashed dogs are welcome. You'll find both paved and gravel surfaces, making it ideal for walking, jogging or cycling.

The Heinz Refuge Trail is also part of the Circuit Trails network.

LOCATION: John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge
8601 Lindbergh Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19153
215-365-3118 office
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at FWS Website


Ridley Creek State Park boasts 2,600+ acres and is located about 5 miles north of the county seat town of Media. It features recreational activities such as hiking, biking, fishing and picnicking - as well as 13 miles of trails that pass through a variety of habitats throughout the central portion of the park.  

Ridley Creek Photo from Stateparks.com
Five miles of the trail is designated for multi-use and is open to jogging, biking and walking. There is a wheelchair accessible fishing platform on a multi-use trail. Highlights include a 5-mile paved multi-use trail, a formal garden designed by the Olmsted Brothers, and the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, which recreates daily life on a pre-Revolutionary farm.

The Park is pet-friendly and its creek is stocked with trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. It is open 7am to dusk daily.

LOCATION: Ridley Creek State Park
1023 Sycamore Mills Rd., Media, PA 19063
(610) 892-3900


The Historic Newlin Grist Mill features 8.5 miles of trails that blend natural beauty, environmental diversity, and cultural history. The trails pass through an array of diverse habitats from upland grasslands to river bottom wetlands, each offering its own varieties of plants and animals.

Photo from NewlinGristMill.com
There are 7 trails, each offering different views and experiences.  Here are just two trails to explore:

Industrial Trail – 1.6 miles, easy
Offers a walk through NGN’s forgotten industrial past.  Following the Octorara Railroad, it passes the Markham Station (Visitor Center), railroad bridges, site of a cannery and creamery.  Today it is home to a variety of plants and birds.

The Osage Trail – 0.8 miles, moderate
Named for the distinctive 100-year-old trees along it’s edges, it is a living connection with prehistoric mega-fauna like mastodons and giant sloths which used them as a food source.  These trees form a natural tunnel along its edges.

The Mill is open seven days a week and the grounds are free and open to the public from 9am to dusk.
Wintry reflections on a snowy pond at Newlin Grist Mill.

More information:
  • The Visitor Center and Gift Shop are open year-round from 9am to 4pm every day.
  • Guided tours of the 1704 Grist Mill are offered daily:
  • Monday to Friday: 11 am and 2 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, and 2 pm
  • Tour Admission: $6.00 per person. Children under 3 years old are admitted free.
  • Tours last approximately one hour.

LOCATION: Newlin Grist Mill, 219 Cheyney Rd., Glen Mills, PA 19342-1333
610-459-2359
Read more about the Newlin Grist Mill

Longwood Gardens in Winter is a serenely beautiful and peaceful setting, so February the perfect time to connect with nature — both indoors and out. 

Explore their famous indoor Orchid Extravaganza 

Longwood Gardens is an American botanical garden with over 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows in the Brandywine Creek Valley. It is one of the premier horticultural display gardens in the United States and is open to visitors year-round to enjoy exotic plants and horticulture, events and performances, seasonal and themed attractions, as well as educational lectures, courses, and workshops.

Whether you’re enjoying the breathtaking beauty of Longwood's 4-acre Conservatory which is currently the centerpiece of their Annual Orchid Festival, or you're strolling through their woodlands, Meadow Garden and other outdoor areas, there is always something in bloom.

Garden Hours: Now through March 1st -- 9 am to 5 pm

LOCATION: Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348
(610) 388-1000
Longwood Gardens Website