"The statue was erected in 1883 and was carved by sculptor Herman Kim. It was bought by landowner John Welsh, a former Commissioner of the Fairmount Park. It was said that the Walsh purchased the statue at the 1876 Centennial Exposition. Welsh donated his land to the park prior to his death in 1886."I had tried twice before (and failed) to find the statue. Today I was determined.
Sara and I set off a little after 8 a.m. along the Orange Trail on the east side of the Wissahickon Creek. It was a good day for a hike. Not too cold or too hot. After the last two days of 90 degrees and very high pollen counts we were grateful for the change.
According to the Friends of the Wissahickon the Orange Trail is "5.64 Miles | Average width 3 feet; Max obstacle height 24 inches | Average Grade: 11% Single track, natural surface (dirt and rock) trail that runs along the east side of the park. Terrain is varied, and sections of the trail are rugged"
|Trail Obstacle 5-8-18; A little more than 24 inches high|
The Fingerspan bridge comes just before the Toleration Statue. So I was excited when we found it. The Fingerspan bridge is a site-specific sculpture. And according to this article about it "The interior is half-tunnel, half- terrifying catwalk" In my opinion that is not an exaggeration. Sara can vouch that I did in fact cross it. She event took this photo to prove it.
We continued on toward Toleration. My trail running friends have told me that I likely have hiked right past Toleration and didn't realize it. Turns out they were right. Had we not looked up at just the right time we would have done it again. And there he was hidden high on a rock in the trees.
Toleration is built on a ledge known as Mom Rinker's Rock. According to this article (same one as linked above) Mom Rinker was either a spy or a witch. The spy legend says that she sat on the rock knitting and dropped balls of yarn containing the location of British Troops during the Revolutionary War. Also, according to the article there is a plaque near the rock that tells some of the story. We never saw the plaque which explains why we wondered where Mom RinKer's rock was while we were sitting on it!! 😁 We took a snack break here and then continued on.
We found a path down to Forbidden Drive just short of the end of the Orange Trail and headed back that way. Sara commented that the return trip was not quite as interesting. She's right but I'm really glad we didn't do it the other way.
On this hike we saw lots of chipmunks, lots of geese, some hawks, a turkey vulture, an oriole, three horses with riders and lots of people with dogs and/or children in tow. Oh and a bride and groom.
Next week we'll be on the Delaware Canal towpath between Washington Crossing and New Hope.
Keep smiling and keep moving