John Bartram's Garden is a 45-acre city park that was originally the home of America's first botanist and his family, who lived there in the 1700s. It sits on the west bank of the Schuylkill River and is a destination growing in popularity with local Philadelphians, as well as visitors to the city. Approachable by boat, car, bicycle or on foot, its winding paths provide scenic, peaceful pleasure among its restored buildings, plants, trees and riverfront.
The park's trails meander through the formal gardens with their exotic Asian flowers mixed with dahlias and camellias, planted by Bartram's granddaughter Ann in front of the house. More paths criss-cross through and around the historic garden and arboretum planted by Bartram himself, a woodsy and grassy tract with beautiful flowers and flowering trees growing along the edges and under the trees. And "Bartram's Mile," a section of the Schuylkill River Trail which features a band shell on the banks of the river, is the newest addition, with wide, paved. street lamp-lit sidewalks that extend through the orchards and row gardens. A small treed island across a narrow bridge over Lindbergh Boulevard houses the public restrooms and administrative offices, with an ample parking area nearby.
The Meadow, a flat lawn with trees, grasses and sedge features looping, paved trails and wide grass walkways that lead to a small lily pond and down steps to the river, across which the Philadelphia skyline is majestically arranged. At the wetlands along the river on the east side of the park are boardwalks that make it possible to stroll this verdant area without getting soaked, and to visit the old stone cider press on the banks. An enormous gazebo shelter perches on top of a wooded rise on the spot where a family named Eastwick had built a villa named Bartram Hall after purchasing the gardens from John Bartram's granddaughter and saving them from destruction and industrial development.
There is so much to see and enjoy on this park's trails, a natural sanctuary in the middle of the urban bustle of Philadelphia. Flowers and shrubs, birds and butterflies provide charm and beauty to this urban farm.
Dogs are allowed on the property, but are not permitted in any buildings.