Friday, November 14, 2008

leiper-smedley trail

John and I have been taking bike rides and walks around our new neighborhood trying to get to know our little community better. One of our trips resulted in the discovery of the Leiper-Smedley trail. It is a walking/biking path that starts at the old Thomas Leiper house (I have no idea who he is!) and winds throught the neighborhood and then runs alongside I-476 behind the cement barriers on the hill.

It is actually a beautiful trail and provided me with ample opportunity to take pictures of the fall foilage. It amazes me that even though we were right next to a very busy highway, we felt like we were in the middle of the forest - minus the paved trail of course. =)

And although the trail is beautiful, the coolest part was the surprise we found not 10 feet off the trail. We followed a little mud path off the trail and hit a wall... literally. The map marked it as the Italian Water Garden Ruins. It looks like it was a beautiful garden at one point because even the ruins are impressive. I would love to see this restored one day. In fact, I had a dream about it the other night that we had a garden party there.


International Tease said...

Thomas Leiper was apparently a Scot-turned-American who fought in the Revolutionary War, milled tobacco, started a quarry, and built Thomas Jefferson's city home in Philadelphia (back when Philly was the capitol of the U.S.):

Who knew!

Phee said...

What a find! Chrissa and I, when we were living in Juneau, Alaska, used to ride our bikes over to Douglass Island and explore an area called Sandy Beach.

Sandy Beach used to be a mining town until WWII, when all the men joined the military: then the town decomposed. All that's left are some pier posts on the beach and some crumbling buildings in the woods--all covered in moss and lichen. It's neat.

You can still find tiles washing up on the beach from the bathrooms that washed away.

Heather said...

way cool!

WhiteEyebrows said...

hmm... good to know that in parts of this country there is still something called autumn. everywhere I live there only seems to be 2 seasons... burny burny and frickin' cold.

Camille said...

Hi yamsey,

I am a student gardener at the Scott Arboretum working on creating a map of the Crum Woods. I found your image of your family (an adult's back with a stroller and small child to the left) walking up the Leiper-Smedley Trail and thought it was terrific! I was wondering if you would consider letting us use it (credited, of course) as one of the images in the brochure we publish. If this is a possibility, please contact me at, as I would love to discuss this project at greater length with you and see if we can work something out. Thanks so much.

Regardless, it's fun to see colorful photos of the woods and people enjoying them on your blog!


Camille Robertson '13
Swarthmore College