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The River Town Program is based on a cooperative, collaborative approach that builds closer connections to a navigable Schuylkill River as a significant asset with the potential to attract visitors, attract business and spur economic revival.

Hills of the Wissahickon

Join local “Rocks Burrow” resident and Fairmount Water Works environmental educator Sandy Sorlien as we tromp the wooded valley of the Wissahickon and Monoshone Creeks. We’ll learn the history, engineering, and ecology of several special sites. First we’ll walk downhill through the forest overlooking Forbidden Drive along the “Wiss”. Your guide will put all these sites into a context of the larger Schuylkill River watershed, the urban water use cycle, the historic role of dams and mill races, and the ecology of our local streams.

This tour is free, but registration is required. Click on the tour date below to register.


Register for a tour today on our Events page!

Milling Around
(This is a hard hat tour, so please wear sturdy shoes.)

Eye-level with the Schuylkill, you’ll walk the same underground paths as a royal family and Olympic swimmers during a behind-the-scenes look at Philadelphia’s first tourist destination and hear about the future expansion of the landmark that pioneered engineering, tourism, and environmental awareness in Philadelphia.

A Walk in the Park-way 
Put on your walking shoes and discover the magnificent buildings along Philadelphia’s own Champs-Élysées, and what lies beneath them.

An ideal tour for history buffs, cultural connoisseurs and architectural enthusiasts, it explores the cultural, educational and architectural development of the nation’s original capital.

Fairmount Water Works – Inside and Out
Learn about the Water Works’ architecture, and then head inside for a guided orientation to the “Water in our World” exhibit.  Watch a 15-minute film about the building’s important role in Philadelphia’s history.

SEASONAL TOURS (April – September)

River Reimagined
A land and water tour: Learn about The Water Works, Philadelphia’s first tourist attraction, and cruise the Schuylkill for a new perspective on sites along this historic river.

After passing through The Water Works’ beautifully landscaped South Garden, stroll along the ‘Schuylkill Banks’ and head to the Walnut Street dock to board a boat for a 1-hour narrated cruise. Your tour continues back to The Water Works.

Fairmount Dam Fishway Tour

Enjoy a special free tour of the Fairmount Dam Fishway to learn more about the history, science, and engineering behind this unique structure. This program is intended for visitors over the age of nine. The tour is approximately 1.5 miles, flat and mostly paved, but please wear appropriate shoes. The tour will happen rain or shine, but is subject to cancellation in case of severe weather.

Fairmount Dam and Water Works, Schuylkill Banks, Philadelphia.
Visit fascinating Schuylkill River natural and historic sites, including the Black Rock Dam and Fairmount Dam. Explore the dam and the areas around it, both natural and historic.