Rolling Hill Park
GOOD FOR: Ages 5-8

Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:1301 Rose Glen Road, Gladwyne, PA
Hours:Sunrise to sunset daily
Fee: Free
Bathrooms: None
Water/Snacks: None

A map is posted in the parking lot

Walk in the woods through a hideaway park with historical ruins and a sparkling creek at the bottom of the hill.

Rolling Hill Park
Photo by: Susan Charkes

The 103 wooded acres of Rolling Hill Park are mostly hidden behind meadows until you start exploring the eponymous hill. The park, owned by Lower Merion Township and also the headquarters of the nonprofit Lower Merion Conservancy, spills down a steep forested ravine, at the bottom of which is Mill Creek. The trails are of varying difficulty. The blue-blazed trail is recommended for kids due to its more-gradual slopes. It connects to the white trail, which begins near the off-leash dog area at the top of the hill.

Mill Creek is wide, shallow, and rocky—a nice place to splash, look for tadpoles, or try a bit of fishing. Along the creek are ruins of old mill buildings and some informational signage about the history of this creek: It’s a bucolic waterway now, but its name reveals its past glory as a thriving industrial center during the water-powered era.

Around the conservancy’s headquarters building—a nineteenth-century cottage at the end of a driveway off the parking lot—is a natural playscape.

The park was once the estate of Walter C. Pew (of the prominent Philadelphia Pew family, founders of Sun Oil). Much of the estate was destroyed by fire in 1958, but remnants of the mansion, the pool, and associated stone structures  grace the top of the hill; terrace walls serve well as picnic benches. Here you will also find a lovely wildflower butterfly garden full of colorful flowers that attract just as colorful—but more elusive—butterflies for kids to watch during summer.

The park’s trails connect to an extensive trail system in the township that is owned and maintained by the private Bridlewild Trails Association (which also maintains Rolling Hill’s trails); a map is available to members.

Remember: Dogs must be leashed if not in the off-leash area.

Plan B:

Riverbend Environmental Education Center is nearby; its trails are suitable for children of various ages.

Where to Eat Nearby:

The closest commercial area is on Conshohocken State Road in Gladwyne.


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