Carpenter's Woods is a natural sanctuary in the northwest Philadelphia neighborhood of West Mount Airy. Over two miles of trails cut through the dense forest and provide an excellent place to walk your dogs when you're looking to connect with your wild side. The thick canopy shelters ferns and other leafy plants in the understory and provides ample shade for walkers in warmer months. Street parking is available on border or side roads all around the protected 40-acre park.
Carpenter's Woods was Philadelphia's first bird sanctuary and remains one of its best. Dozens of bird species live here year-round and even more pass through during spring and fall migrations. Birds who live in the woods all year include Northern Flickers, Carolina Chickadees, Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wrens, Cooper's and Sharp-Shinned Hawks, and several species of woodpeckers. Spring visitors include Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds, Red-Eyed Vireos, and American Goldfinches. In the fall, many different species of thrushes and warblers fill the woods with their songs. Non-avian wildlife you might spot include butterflies in the spring and summer, toads, and small mammals like squirrels and chipmunks that are sure to please every four-legged critter chaser.
When it comes to chasing, however, limit it to on the leash. It's important that visitors to this wildlife sanctuary respect its intended purpose. Local sources report that more people have been letting their dogs off-leash in Carpenter's Woods, making this a less-than-peaceful sanctuary for other human explorers and wildlife. However, pups need to be on a six feet or shorter leash at all times. Be sure to bring your own water and waste bags, and clean up after your dog, and you will enjoy nature's hospitality here.
Happy, busy birds will shower you with songs from all directions and the beauty you encounter at every turn will send you and your pup home refreshed and happy.