Ridley Creek State Park

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Ridley Creek State Park
Ridley Creek at Ridley Creek State Park.jpg
Ridley Creek as seen on an autumn day
Map showing the location of Ridley Creek State Park
Map showing the location of Ridley Creek State Park
Location of Ridley Creek State Park in Pennsylvania
LocationDelaware, Pennsylvania, United States
Coordinates39°57′21″N 75°26′59″W / 39.95583°N 75.44972°W / 39.95583; -75.44972Coordinates: 39°57′21″N 75°26′59″W / 39.95583°N 75.44972°W / 39.95583; -75.44972
Area2,606 acres (10.55 km2)[1]
Elevation315 ft (96 m)[2]
EstablishedAugust 1972
Governing bodyPennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
WebsiteRidley Creek State Park

Ridley Creek State Park is a 2,606-acre (1,055 ha) Pennsylvania state park in Edgmont, Middletown,[3] and Upper Providence Townships, Delaware County, Pennsylvania in the United States. The park, about 5 miles (8 km) north of the county seat of Media, offers many recreational activities, such as hiking, biking, fishing, and picnicking. Ridley Creek passes through the park. Highlights include a 5-mile (8 km) paved multi-use trail, a formal garden designed by the Olmsted Brothers, and Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, which recreates daily life on a pre-Revolutionary farm. The park is adjacent to the John J. Tyler Arboretum. Ridley Creek State Park is just over 16 miles (26 km) from downtown, Philadelphia between Pennsylvania Route 352 and Pennsylvania Route 252 on Gradyville Road.


The bulk of the property was acquired in the late 1960s from the estate of well known horse breeder Walter M. Jeffords, Sr. and his wife Sarah, a niece of Samuel D. Riddle. The Jeffords had acquired the land starting about 1912 in small parcels, until they had over 2,000 acres (8.1 km2), which was the largest private undeveloped property in the Philadelphia area by the 1960s. By 1918 they had built a large mansion, now the park office, around a stone colonial farmhouse. Twenty-four other historic properties were located on the grounds, many farmsteads that had retained family ownership since the seventeenth century. In 1976 these properties were registered on the National Register of Historic Places as a national historic district.[4][5]

The area was originally settled by English Quakers and remained agrarian into the twentieth century. The oldest property is the 1683 Worrel House. In 1718 a water mill, then known as Providence Mill, began to grind corn. In the late 18th century a plaster mill was established next to the grist mill. A rolling and slitting mill replaced the plaster mill by 1812, and became known as Bishop's Mills. Workers cottages, a dam, and several outbuildings complete the mill complex, now known as Sycamore Mills.[6] The mills operated until 1901, when they were damaged by fire.[7]

Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation[edit]

The Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation is a living museum on the 112-acre (0.45 km2) farm where the Pratt family lived from 1720 to 1820. Admission is charged and it is open to the general public on weekends from April through November.[8][9]


The creek in November, 2013
Dam on Ridley Creek at Sycamore Mills

The location of Ridley Creek State Park, just 16 miles (26 km) from downtown Philadelphia, has led to its popularity. Ridley Creek is very popular with fishermen. It is stocked with trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. A portion of the creek is a designated catch and release area for fly fishing only. There is a wheelchair accessible fishing platform on a multi-use trail. The 12 miles (19 km) of hiking trails at Ridley Creek State Park are popular with dog owners.[10] These trails pass through a variety of habitats. A 5-mile (8 km) multi use trail is open to jogging, bicycling and walking. The park also features a 4.7-mile (7.6 km) equestrian trail.[1][11]

Nearby state parks[edit]

The following state parks are within 30 miles (48 km) of Ridley Creek State Park:[12][13][14]

Park office, located in the Jeffords Mansion


  1. ^ a b "Ridley Creek State Park". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2007-01-31.
  2. ^ "Ridley Creek State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. August 30, 1990. Retrieved 2007-12-18.
  3. ^ "Zoning Map" (PDF). Middletown Township. Retrieved 2020-04-23. - The map indicates portions of the park.
  4. ^ Barr 1993
  5. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  6. ^ 39°56′46″N 75°25′19″W / 39.946°N 75.422°W / 39.946; -75.422 (Sycamore Mills)
  7. ^ "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System. Note: This includes Ernest Palmer, Jr. & William K. Watson (July 1976). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Ridley Creek State Park" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-01-06.
  8. ^ "About Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation". Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation. Archived from the original on August 28, 2009. Retrieved October 8, 2009.
  9. ^ 39°57′54″N 75°27′04″W / 39.965°N 75.451°W / 39.965; -75.451 (Colonial Plantation)
  10. ^ Gelbert, Doug (2001). A Bark in the Park: A Guide for Walking Your Dog in Delaware County. Cruden Bay Books. p. 26. ISBN 096444271X, 9780964442719.
  11. ^ "Friends of Ridley Creek State Park". Friends of Ridley Creek State Park Organization, Pa. Parks & Forests Foundation. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
  12. ^ "Find a Park by Region (interactive map)". Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
  13. ^ 2007 General Highway Map Delaware County Pennsylvania (PDF) (Map). 1:65,000. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Planning and Research, Geographic Information Division. Retrieved 2007-07-27.[permanent dead link] Note: shows Ridley Creek State Park
  14. ^ Michels, Chris (1997). "Latitude/Longitude Distance Calculation". Northern Arizona University. Retrieved 2008-04-23.


External links[edit]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX