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Social Distancing Activity: Explore Fairmount Park with New Self-Guided Features

Go on a scavenger hunt, win prizes, and more!

The pandemic has forced us into our homes, but it has also pushed us to explore the great outdoors in more ways than we may otherwise have. We have found ways to do business and connect socially in outdoor settings, and we have gained an even deeper appreciation for our public greenspaces. In Philly, we are blessed with the over-2000-acre Fairmount Park, giving us trails, gardens, historic sites, family-favorite attractions like Smith Playground and the Philadelphia Zoo (both of which have reopened!), public art, and more. With that much space, it’s easy to social distance, but it can be hard to know where to begin!


So this summer, Fairmount Park Conservancy has some new features and resources to help you enjoy the park even more. “We’ve seen over the past few months just how essential parks are for our physical and mental well being,” said Maura McCarthy, Ph.D., Executive Director of Fairmount Park Conservancy. “This summer and fall Fairmount Park Conservancy wants to highlight many of the trails, history, and natural areas that Fairmount Park offers and provide new ways of experiencing this treasure.”



First off, the Conservancy has created a new digital guide, highlighting trails, historic landmarks, and natural areas in Fairmount Park. This resource highlights four trails to explore on a map, with information like length, level of difficulty, and more.


And while you are exploring, keep an eye out for six new “Park Hubs” with signs that serve as helpful jumping-off points for exploring the park. You can find them at Lemon Hill Mansion, Mount Pleasant Mansion, Woodford Mansion, Concourse Lake, Centennial District, and Chamounix Drive. Each shows where you are on the map, and tells you of nearby features to explore (and how many minutes it will take to walk there!) like gardens and trails.



Take your visit to the next level with the new Fairmount Park Summer Scavenger Hunt, launching Monday, July 27 and running until September 7. Downloading the free GooseChase app to your smartphone and complete each mission at your own pace—new missions will be released each week! While competing for prizes, you will also be learning facts and stories behind the historic houses, natural areas, and public art of Fairmount Park. Prizes include gift cards to local, minority-owned businesses and Fairmount Park Conservancy merchandise.


Bonus: While you’re running around Fairmount Park, drop into the Parks on Tap beer garden at the Horticultural Center for socially distant and family-friendly sips and bites!


When visiting the park, they ask that you maintain social distancing of six feet, wear a facemask, bring hand sanitizer, and of course, stay home if you are not feeling well. The park hopes to resume some limited in-person activities later in the summer, such as guided hikes and yoga. Stay tuned for more info as those events develop!


Photographs courtesy of Fairmount Park Conservancy.

Contributing Writer