Philadelphia Park Alliance Tours

The Parks Alliance’s ParkTours program features hikes and walks to magical and often unseen places in Philadelphia’s parks and surrounding countryside.  These evening, half-day and full-day adventures convey the history, power and value of our open space and the need to preserve and protect it. Parks Alliance founder and Board President Bob Thomas and local arborist Ken LeRoy have been designing and leading intriguing ParkTours for many years. Let us know if you would like to lead a park tour or if you are interested in having a tour visit your park.


Tuesday, August 7th, 2018, 5:00pm to 7:30pm / Raindate: Wednesday, August 8th

Finding the Frankford Creek Greenway

Through the efforts of the City of Philadelphia and the Tookany-Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, once derelict Frankford Creek is becoming a greenway linking Tacony Creek Park with the Delaware River and the East Coast Greenway.  Join Bob Thomas for an exploratory tour of new and proposed park and greenway development along once-neglected Frankford Creek as well as several local parks and a walk on the East Coast Greenway down to Port Richmond, including a stellar view of the Delaware River.  We conclude with an option dinner at an interesting local restaurant discussing the importance of The Circuit Trails in the revitalization and appreciation of the history of this industrial waterfront.

Information and reservations: online at or 215-879-8159. Meeting place: Benches at the north end of Womrath Park at Frankford and Kensington Avenues, a block south on Frankford Avenue from the Frankford Elevated’s Church Street Station  Terrain and Difficulty: Walkways and park paths — rated easy. Wear good walking shoes, dress comfortably, and bring snacks to eat along the way. Trip fee does not include the cost of the optional dinner. Total limit: 30 participants – Sign-up deadline August 6th, 5pm


Wednesday, September 5th, 2018, 5:00pm to 7:30pm / Raindate: Thursday, September 6th

Historic Callowhill and the Reading Viaduct

Drawing on its remarkable industrial and transportation history, the Callowhill neighborhood is seeing a significant resurgence, along with the development of the abandoned Reading Railroad Viaduct as an elevated linear park. Join Bob Thomas for a history walk through Calllowhill, and spend time visiting the newly opened portion of what is now known as the first section of The Rail Park.  Following the tour, we’ll conclude with an optional dinner nearby, discussing the history of the Reading Viaduct, and plans for future improvements. Over dinner we’ll also have a chance to see some historic photographs of the areas we will have just visited.

Information and reservations: online , or 215-879-8159. Meeting place: Beginning of the Rail Park at the northeast corner of Broad and Noble Streets, is short walk down Broad Street from the subway’s Spring Garden Street Station.  Terrain and Difficulty: Walkways and park paths — rated easy. Wear good walking shoes, dress comfortably, and bring snacks to eat along the way. Trip fee does not include the cost of the optional dinner. Total limit 30 participants – Sign-up deadline September 4 at 5 PM.


Saturday, October 13th, 2018, 8am to 6pm (All Day Tour) / Raindate: Spring 2019

Fall in Lancaster County

Mid-October is a superb time to enjoy the harvest in Lancaster County and the beginning of the fall leaf season. After a hearty hikers’ breakfast,  join Bob Thomas for an exhilarating walk through this picturesque countryside of farms, one-room schoolhouses, and old mills, visiting many areas not often seen, and sampling some of the local foods.  We’ll conclude this beautiful day in the Amish countryside with an optional dinner at a local eatery, and a discussion of farm life in this landscape just an hour or so from Philadelphia.

Meeting place: at Bob Thomas’ for a hikers’ breakfast: Please confirm address when registering.—Terrain and Difficulty: little-used country roads with few hills.  Rated moderate. Wear good walking shoes, and bring water, snacks, and a picnic lunch to eat along the way. Pre-registration required. Limit of the first 12 participants for the breakfast. Transportation will be by car pools – all are expected to share the cost of driving from Philadelphia.  Sign-up deadline October 8th, 2018.