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John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum Review

Part of the appeal of this refuge is its truly strange location for a nature preserve: it's between the airport and an oil refinery, and visitors seem to really enjoy the oddity of it. More than 280 species of hawks, swallows, herons, egrets, geese, gallinules, eagles, orioles, ducks, and other birds have been spotted at this 1,200-acre preserve, the largest remaining freshwater tidal marsh in Pennsylvania. There are 10 mi of foot trails, an observation deck, and boardwalks through the wet areas. The refuge is also home to fox, deer, muskrat, turtles, and frogs, and you'll likely see large carp and catfish flopping about the lilies. An environmental education center has some explanatory exhibits on wetlands and regional wildlife. There are many guided tours, including some popular nighttime ones. Bird-watchers can prepare for their visit by calling for recent sightings. You can even kayak and mountain bike, but there are no rentals here. The refuge is convenient to I–95, which you can pick up from Penn's Landing. Call for directions.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 86th St. and Lindbergh Blvd., Southwest Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19153 | Map It
  • Phone: 215/365–3118; 215/567–2473 bird-watching information
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: Refuge, daily dawn–dusk; visitor center, daily 8:30–4
  • Website:
  • Location: Queen Village and South Philadelphia
Updated: 05-19-2011

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