Over 9,200 acres comprise Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, making it America's largest urban park system. (For comparison's sake, New
York's Central Park is 843 acres.) Dating back to the American Revolution, when patriot and statesman Robert Morris purchased the
land that is now Lemon Hill, the Park and the Schuylkill River running through its heart have been desirable locations for city
Charles Dickens marveled at the Fairmount Waterworks. Ulysses S Grant helped America celebrate its Centennial at Memorial Hall. The country's first Zoo opened in 1874 and remains still at 34th & Girard. Rocky Balboa brought a world class Art Museum to an audience of sports fans by simply climbing its steps. Tony Hawk even paid homage to a thick Philly tradition of skateboarding by including JFK Plaza (Love Park) in his Pro Skater video game [before Mayor Street spent a million dollars to make it skater unfriendly -- but only after ESPN's X Games generated city revenue from half a million visitors and attendees two consecutive years].
The public art dotting the Park can make a lengthy and thorough visit in and of itself, with pieces from such world renowned artists as Alexander Calder (whose grandfather was the sculptor of the art on City Hall), Frederic Remington, Jacques Lipchitz, Auguste Rodin and tons of others. And then there are the mansions. And the views from Belmont Plateau. And the serenity of the Wissahickon. And the outdoor music performances. And the hiking and the biking and so on.
Yeah, Fairmount Park is allll right. Lace up the boots and let's hit the trail.
PLEASE NOTE: these images will be organized better soon.