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5 Ways to Get Out on the Water in Philly This Summer

Posted on August 13, 2019

Original article by Melissa Romero & Anna Merriman via Curbed Philly

There are plenty of spraygrounds and public pools that can help you beat the heat in Philly. But we have something else that’s really special, too: two major rivers that sandwich the city, each with their own great kayaking, canoeing and boating spots.

It’s the perfect time to get out on the water. Whether you’re looking to just dip your toes, or take a kayak out, here are some of Philly’s best offerings.

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

The nation’s first urban National Wildlife Refuge has a docking area where kayakers and canoers can ship off and explore the marshes of this 4.5-mile stretch of Darby Creek. Just time your ride wisely: The river is only accessible two hours before or after high tide. For more information on the high tides, hit up the refuge’s website.

Spruce Street Harbor Park

When the views of the Delaware River from the pop-up park’s hanging hammocks aren’t enough, (carefully) hop on a standup paddleboard. Aqua Vida hosts yoga, meditation, and cardio classes multiple days of the week. And yes that’s all on standup paddleboards.

Independence Seaport Museum

Independence Seaport Museum has tons of options for getting out on the water, from kayaking excursions (for the adventurous, according to their website) to paddle tours, to history lessons on the banks, there’s plenty to do.

Bartram’s Garden

Every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through October 19 you can take free kayak and rowboat rides along the Schuylkill River over at Bartram’s Garden, a 45-acre National Historic Landmark. Or, you can bring your own boat and take off from here.

Wissahickon Valley Park

There are plenty of spots along the Wissahickon where you can dip your toes in or let your pups splash around. You’ll find impromptu beaches along Forbidden Drive, or you can hike the trail to the infamous Devil’s Pool (which, despite its popularity, is not legal to jump or swim in. But you can wade through it!).

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