East Falls Local

East Falls for All's!

Category: Outdoors (Page 1 of 3)

Run for the Dead

It’s a race, it’s a party, it’s a costume contest – it’s a DOG costume contest – and it all benefits our spooktacular cemetery next door. **$5 donation = FREE BEER FOR SPECTATORS!**

Laurel Hill’s Rest in Peace Run isn’t your average 5k. For starters, the hilly course zig-zags among jumbles of old gravestones, mausoleums, and memorials.

The Victorian sculpture here is ornate and more than a little creepy: angels with hands lopped off, for instance, symbolizing a life cut short. Skulls to remind us of our mortality. Statues of men, women, children with their faces melted off from decades of acid rain.

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THEY’RE BACK: Weekend Wissahickon Walks

Wherever you live in East Falls, you’re within walking this spectacular natural resource. Explore our neck of the Wissahickon with dog & kid-friendly hikes from local trailheads. Free every month thru September with EFL.

Back by popular demand: guided walks through the prettiest — and largest — green space in Philadelphia, right in our own backyard. Wisshickon Valley Park is 2,000+ acres featuring 70 wooded trails that can seem a little daunting at first.

No worries! We’ve broken our area down into 3 interlocking loops from nearby trailheads that you can follow yourself with our maps and info. Even better: come out with your neighbors for a different Wissahickon hike every month, and discover new sides to East Falls.

Mark your calendars…

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Let’s Roll!

Update March 30, 2017: Spring is back and MLK Drive will be closed weekends to car traffic all season long! 

Open Streets on MLK every weekend, now through October. Fun, easy trips for Fallsers. 

When I first heard that the city closes this whole drive from East Falls all the way downtown, I thought it must be a rumor, or a quaint memory from a time before traffic & parking issues trumped public recreational needs.

But no:  it’s true!

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A Legendary Local Hike

Discover Lover’s Leap this winter when the trees are bare, and views are extra-wide and spectacular.

Just over Henry Avenue’s bridge, a path into the Wissahickon leads to stunning views from a rocky outcropping known as  “Lover’s Leap, ” that juts high over the creek & Lincoln drive. Long ago (the legend goes) a young Native American couple sprung to their death over tribal disputes thwarting their marriage.

Not the most pleasant of endings, sure, but at least they had a nice walk first — on arguably the most breathtaking trail in the Wissahickon. Right in our own backyard, yet. Strap on your hikers, let’s check this out.

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Fly, Eagles, Fly: Birds of Prey Return to Schuylkill Riverbanks

Bald Eagles in the Falls? Thanks to Federal regulations in the 1970’s, this national symbol has bounced back from the brink of extinction to hunt along our Wissahickon once again. 

Funny, we heard the eagle before we saw him — or, at least, heard some sort of screeching commotion above our heads as we walked down Hundred Steps Roxborough to the Wissahickon Bike Path.

Neither of us saw anything at the time, but about a quarter mile up the creek (across from Wissahickon Hall), there he was waaaay high up in a tree. Kinda looked like he might’ve been eating something, but then as we watched it was clear he was just preening.

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Ringstetten: The Recap

If you missed out on East Falls’ Oktoberfest, no worries — Caity MacLeod’s candid, personal pics bring this party to life! The first Castle on Tap slid us back in time, showcased a future brewery, & brought us a big step closer public river access in East Falls.


Congratulations, East Falls! Castle on Tap far exceeded EFDC’s fundraising projections, pulling in $3,000 towards a boat launch. “That’ll pay for engineer studies needed for the next stage of the design,” Gina Snyder explained, and help keep the ball moving on this project.

Financially, Castle on Tap was a huge success. As a party — we had a blast but can’t wait to tweak the plan for next year!

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Fox in the Graveyard! (And around East Falls)

Autumn Wildlife Update! Local fox activity increases this month as Spring’s kits enter adolescence, aka “the October Crazies.” Look out for dramatic behavior changes in our furry neighborhood friends.


Neighbors have been reporting an uptick in fox sightings, as well as a change in nighttime vocalizations. Instead of the screaming/calling they were doing during mating season, now folks have been hearing… barking. Howling. Fighting, even. What is going on?

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Spooky East Falls: A Wissahickon Witness

Happy Halloween, Fallsers!  And beware dark paths where perhaps the ghosts of long-gone inhabitants remain, ever-watchful. One jogger’s tale of an eerie encounter before sunrise. 


As told to EFL….

As an off-road runner, part of the fun is feeling off-grid — the less traveled the trail, the better. Once I find a loop I like, I’ll return again and again, enjoying my own private familiarity with an untouched corner of the Wissahickon.

I won’t say where my trail is, only that it’s near Rittenhouse Town with an excellent view of Lincoln Drive. As a seasoned city girl, I never run without my wristband that fires police-grade mace like Spiderman — and I always, always, always keep my eyes out for other humans or animals. I take being alert to danger very seriously, as I run alone in the wee hours of morning.

In my 2+ years of running this path, I’d imagined many “What would I do if..?” scenarios but never thought to add “ghostly encounter” to the list.

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Gently Down the Stream

Earlier this summer, Gina Snyder and her family scored a second-hand canoe they couldn’t wait to try out.  Rowing was a dream — but portage hammered home how much we need public river access. 


For over ten years, the EFDC has been working to bring East Falls back to our river. Before my children were born, I took a kayak ride to tour the new river landing site and to better understand the river.

Last week, my husband Dave and I took our two sons out on our “new to us” canoe.  One son wanted to fish, the other was just thrilled to be on an adventure. Dave wanted to give his new toy a whirl, and I wanted our children to experience the river, and how close-by we live.

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Morte D’Arbor: McMichael Loses a Champion

Say your goodbyes now to our State Champion Paulownia tree — aka the “Princess” tree. How old was she? How did her trunk split? Why can’t she be saved? Some answers in our time of loss. 


Her giant trunk split overnight September 12th, and by morning a Parks & Rec arborist determined she would not survive. We’ll truly miss this beauty, a favorite photo subject thru the seasons.

McMichael’s was a “champion” Paulownia in Pennsylvania, which means it was the largest specimen in the state.  At any size, though, Paulownia trees are fascinating.

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