Taylor Memorial Arboretum
GOOD FOR: Ages 5-8

Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:10 Ridley Drive, Nether Providence, PA
Hours:9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday
Fee: Free

taylorarboretum.org, 610-876-2649

Bathrooms: In visitor center
Water/Snacks: Water fountain in visitor center

Take quiet walks in a small, little-known naturalistic arboretum along the Ridley Creek in Delaware County.

Taylor Memorial Arboretum
Photo by: Susan Charkes

Is Taylor Arboretum the best-kept secret in Delaware County? Often confused with the much bigger (and fee-based) Tyler Arboretum, this free, peaceful, pretty preserve is focused on maintaining a beautiful contemplative landscape suitable for all ages. Kids, especially younger ones, will enjoy the paths that meander to the Ridley Creek, where fishing is permitted. A wide variety of flowering shrubs and trees, as well as exotic evergreens, create a naturalistic woodland landscape that is always beautiful in a different way, no matter the season.

The unpaved paths are easy to follow and easy to navigate. The preserve is owned by a private trust that seeks to perpetuate the founder’s wife’s Quaker principles of quiet simplicity.

From the small visitor center, follow the trail that goes through the azalea garden (follow signs). It leads gently downhill to a meadow, where in summer a maze is mowed through the tall wildflowers. Continue downhill to get to the creek, where kids can wander along and wade in the water. The arboretum ends at the creek, but the other side is tree-shaded too; it’s part of Chester Park.

You can follow the creekside trail upstream, where there are other access points to the creek. The paths lead uphill back to the visitor center, but you can wander the trails in the middle to explore groves of different species of trees. A kids’ favorite photo op is the giant, twisty-armed musclewood tree with its skin-smooth bark.

Remember: Dogs must be leashed.

Plan B:

Farther upstream, Ridley Creek State Park provides trails for hiking and biking.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Continue west on Chestnut Parkway to the commercial area at PA 352.


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