Saturday, May 4, 2019 – 8am

WALK LEADER: Sandy Sorlien, Fairmount Water Works
MEETING PLACE: behind and south of the Fairmount Water Works in the South Garden, near the fountain at 8am.
The FWW address is 640 Water Works Drive, south of all the parking lots next to Lloyd Hall. *If you’re late, look for us below that level, on the Esplanade next to the river.* Look for Sandy – a medium-sized female person and with a walking stick and binoculars.
Free. Rain or shine. All *adults* are welcome. (18+)

This is an early morning walk to reach the remains of the Fairmount Canal at low tide, the only time the 200-year-old timbers are exposed. Here we can see how the West River Drive was moved to make way for the Schuylkill Expressway and buried the canal and locks in 1956. From other unusual vantage points such as the Esplanade and the Rustic Pavilion, we’ll also view the Fairmount Water Works and Dam, where the first municipal water system and the Schuylkill Navigation slackwater canal system launched the growth of numerous Southeastern PA towns and cities. After the walk, you can visit the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center (free) and a special canal exhibition.

The walk ends at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center entrance, 640 Water Works Drive. Inside you can see historic infrastructure like the original turbine, and ecology exhibits like the mussel hatchery, and a new canal exhibition.

Accessibility considerations + walk notes:

  • Expect mud and poor drainage, uneven terrain, steep slopes, stairs, non-accessible curb cuts, or other barriers.
  • Adults 18 and over are welcome on this walk – sorry, no kids
  • Hiking boots and walking sticks are recommended to get down to the ruins site. It is a short steep slope and the rocks at the bottom are slippery. You could wait at the top and not do that part, but you’d miss the ruins.

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