John Heinz Wildlife Refuge

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At John Heinz, you can run through marshland, but still see the skyline of Philadelphia.

Written by

Josh Sutterfield


8.2 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

10.3 miles


2 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

3 hours

2-4 hours


All Seasons

Dog Friendly


Fees Permits




John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is America's first urban refuge. It has about 8 miles of trails that are well kept throughout the grounds. There are tons of animals and birds that make their home here. You will feel as if you are in the wetlands of Florida yet you can see the skyline of Philadelphia. The trails are main gravel which is perfect for running and are well kept. This area is home to many native animals and plants of the Delaware Estuary. This trail is different from most because of the animals, plants and terrain.

What Makes It Great

The best part about the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge is that is a refuge. It allows you to see all sorts of animals, fish, birds and plants that grow in the wetlands. The best part is you are only 10 miles from downtown. The main trail is an 8.2 mile loop. It is a gravel trail that is well kept and flat, so you do not have to worry about hills, rocks or exposed roots. This means that technically this is considered a trail run but it is not necessary for you to have trail running shoes or gear.

The trails are also used by bikers and people walk their dogs along the trail. It is a beautiful place during the spring when all of the flowers are blooming and birds are present. It makes for a peaceful and relaxing run, and you won't even realize that you are close to the city. The trail is perfect for LSD, Long Slow Distance, because of the views it will take your mind off of the miles that you are putting on your legs.

Who is Going to Love It

The people that are going to love running at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge are people that enjoy running in nature. With all of the animals, birds and plants there it makes for a great run in nature. Another awesome feature of the trail is that it is relatively flat which makes for an easy running surface. The trails are very well kept by volunteers of the refuge. While running on the trail you are likely to run into people walking their dog or people on bikes. The trail will trick your mind into thinking you are somewhere else but really you are just 10 miles from downtown Philadelphia.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

To get to John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum you will need to get onto us I-95 southbound. Once on I-95 S look for exit 14 for Bartram Ave towards Essington Ave. Take this exit and continue onto Bartram Ave. Next turn right onto S 84th street. Next is a left onto Lindbergh Blvd. Once on Lindbergh you will make a right in 0.2 miles followed by another quick right. After that right you will be in the park and find parking. Then you will be able to find a trail head.

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John Heinz Wildlife Refuge

8601 Lindbergh Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA, 19153
39.891587, -75.257105

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