(Last Updated On: October 20, 2022)

Sycamore Mills Dam at Ridley Creek State Park

With a rugged landscape that features scenic meadows, huge grasslands, dense woodland and picturesque meadows, Ridley Creek State Park is one of Pennsylvania’s most attractive state parks.

Although just under 25 miles from Philadelphia, it is a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life, providing residents with a tranquil space in which to immerse themselves in nature.

Spread across 2,606 acres, the park derives its name from Ridley Creek, which is a tributary of the Delaware River that flows through it.

Home to a fascinating range of flora and fauna, the park provides visitors with a great place to fish, hike, bike, picnic, hunt and just generally relax.

Unfortunately there are no RV or tent campsites available at the park, so many people come here on a day trip.

However, those who want to take their time to explore it, will find plenty of overnight accommodation in Philadelphia and at campgrounds in the surrounding area.


A big draw of this Pennsylvania state park is that it provides visitors with many opportunities to enjoy a range of outdoor recreational activities.

Here is a selection of some of the many things you can see and do during your time there.

Fishing at Ridley Creek State Park

Stunning Ridley Creek is a popular spot for angling on account of it being stocked full of trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Whose rules and regulations apply when fishing there.

If you intend to cast a line, you’ll find an ADA-accessible fishing platform located on the paved path that runs along Sycamore Mills Road Trail.

Please note, part of the creek has been designated as a catch and release area only for fly fishing.

Hiking at Ridley Creek State Park

With over 13 miles of trails meandering through it, the park is an excellent spot for hiking.

Color-coded and well-marked, these trails take you through the heart of the park, showcasing its scintillating landscape along the way.

Here are some of the trails at Ridley Creek State Park:

  • trail 1 – Mansion Gardens Trail. Length: 1 mile Degree of Difficulty: easy
  • trail 2 – Sycamore Mills Road Trail. Length: 4.3 miles Degree of Difficulty: moderate
  • trail 3 – Yellow Trail. Length: 3.7 miles Degree of Difficulty: challenging

Picnicking at Ridley Creek State Park

Picnicking is a much loved activity at the park with many families and couples enjoying an al fresco dining experience during their time here.

Throughout the park there are hundreds of tables located across 14 different picnic areas. Each one has charcoal grills and is situated not far from modern restrooms, and large fields, where sporting and recreational activities can take place.

If you are planning an event, there are six pavilions onsite available to be reserved up to 11 months in advance. Two of these have been set up to enable accessibility for people with disabilities.

Birding at Ridley Creek State Park

The park is a haven for those who enjoy birding, with several different species residing within it.

While certain breeds are only there in specific months, some of the birds you will be able to spot all year round include the Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Dark-eyed Junco, White-breasted Nuthatch and the Pileated Woodpecker.

Nature & Wildlife

The park’s diverse 2,600-acres landscape provides an important habitat for a wide range of flora and fauna.

Containing a mix of fields and meadows, old and new growth forests, wetlands and creeks, the park is home to many different types of trees, including beech, walnut, oak, sycamore, hickory, maple and tulip. Some of which date all the way back to colonial times.

Some of the animals that can be spotted in the park include the white-tailed deer, fox, raccoon, rabbit, and squirrel.

Hunting at Ridley Creek State Park

During the established seasons, some 1,200 acres of the park are specifically designated for archery deer hunting.

If you intend to hunt during your time in the park, please be mindful that strict DCNR and Pennsylvania Game Commission laws and regulations apply.

Also be aware that hunting groundhogs is not permitted.

Winter Activities at Ridley Creek State Park

During the winter when the snow hits, the park becomes a popular destination for sledding and cross country skiing.

Sledding takes place on a large grassy slope which is located near the park’s main office. While cross country skiing can be done on several of the park’s trails.

Pets at Ridley Creek State Park

Dogs are welcome in the park, although they must remain on a leash at all times and be cleaned up afterwards.

Some restrictions do apply however, so to ascertain what they are you might want to contact the park’s main office.

Camping at Ridley Creek State Park

While there is an option for organized group tenting at the park – in the form of a 120-person area – there are no facilities for RV or tent camping available onsite.

Notwithstanding, there are plenty of campgrounds within close proximity of it, which you can choose to stay at.

One of the most popular is the Philadelphia/West Chester KOA Holiday site, which enjoys a lovely location upon the banks of the Delaware River. Situated less than 20 miles from Ridley Creek, it features campsites with full hookups, toilets, showers, laundry facilities, a dump station and a camp store.

Another KOA campground is located at Philadelphia South/Clarksboro, while the Brandywine Creek Campground in Downingtown, just over 22 miles away is another excellent option.

Like the KOA sites, this one also offers full hookups, restrooms, and showers.

Park Location

Ridley Creek State Park
1023 Sycamore Mills Rd
Media, PA 19063,




Here is a YouTube video giving a virtual tour of Ridley Creek State Park: