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Social Distancing Spotlight: John Heinz NWR

The John Heinz NWR Visitor Center parking lot and gate at 86th St are both closed, but you don’t need a car to visit this incredible urban wildlife refuge.

Now is a great time to plan a walking or bike trip from your home to miles of trails through forests, meadows, and tidal marshland. The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge (JHNWR) is positioned along the migratory bird flight path known as the Atlantic Flyway. The park is the perfect place to see amazing migratory birds like great egrets visiting here for the summer from the southern US, or native birds, including bald eagles and great blue herons. 

The Refuge may feel like it’s nowhere near the inner city, but you probably live closer to it than you think. Download the GoPhillyGo Android app, or save the GoPhillyGo mobile site to your homescreen to get easy walking and biking directions to JHNWR and other parks and trails.

Once you set your starting location in the GoPhillyGo trip planner, use the GoPhillyGo walkshed and bikeshed feature to see a map of how far you can travel from that location within intervals of 15 mins up to 1 hour. For instance, most of Southwest Philadelphia is within a 30 minute bike ride from the main entrance and a 60 minute bike ride stretches to Chester in Delaware County. Click here to view the bike shed and walk shed for JHNWR.

Cover your face with a mask and maintain as much space as you can while passing people in the Refuge. This also applies to cyclists riding in the Refuge. Be respectful of other trail users, maintain safe social distancing when passing people on the trails, and always follow the most up to date CDC guidelines every time you visit a park. 


Click here for directions to John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge