FAQ

Can I swim in the creek?
No, swimming is not permitted in Philadelphia creeks. After storms, bacteria levels in the water can be higher because of the City’s Combined Sewer System. Rainwater hitting the surrounding streets and paved surfaces makes its way into the creek, carrying with it whatever chemicals and trash it picked up along the way. During storms the creek can be especially dangerous and is prone to flooding very quickly.


Can I fish in the creek?
Yes, fishing is permitted with a Pennsylvania Fishing License. Eating the fish is not recommended, since the creek is prone to higher pollution and bacteria loads, especially after a storm.


Are ATVs allowed in the park?
People riding all types of ATVs in Tacony Creek Park has been a problem for many years. Use of any motorized vehicles in the park is illegal. These drivers put park users in danger as the trail itself is narrow and curved, and walkers, runners, and cyclists cannot get out of the way fast enough. In March 2021, an adult on a dirt bike hit a child, breaking two of her fingers and causing her distress.

Safety and the protection of the park's natural system are our biggest concerns. We ask park users to be alert when using the trail. We are frustrated that it is necessary to warn people using a public park to watch out for the dangerous actions of other community members. Please know that we understand that ATV use is a recreational activity enjoyed by many, that is not only illegal in the park but on the streets of Philadelphia. ATV use damages the park's fragile natural system, scaring away wildlife, destroying trees, and causing erosion.

We ask ATV users to not endanger your neighbors and children, and stop riding ATVS of any kind on and off the Tacony Creek Park trail. Help us to protect this small green space that means so much, and has so many benefits to your community, especially in these difficult times.

If you would like to talk with us about this issue, please contact us. We would welcome a conversation with community members about this concern.

To report ATVs in the park, contact Monica Hicks, Supervisor, Park Rangers, 215-685-0144


How do I report poor or unsafe trail conditions (fallen trees/graffiti/ illegally dumped trash)?
Dial 311 or download the Philly311 app. This allows you to file a report which gets directly entered into the system. To help us keep track of and address issues or concerns in the park as quickly as possible, please follow up with a call to TTF Watershed, 215-744-1853.

In case of an emergency, call 911. Tell the operator which gateway you are nearest or the nearest intersection. Emergency Locator Signs are installed at gateways and along the trail throughout the park. These signs provide numbers identifying locations to enable emergency responders to locate park users calling for assistance. Please note the numbers of the locator signs at the gateway you enter and nearest to you along the trail to ensure your safety when visiting.


What is the number one cause of pollution in the creek?
Stormwater runoff
is the major source of water pollution. When it rains, motor oil, antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid from cars, and salt and sand from road treatment wash into storm drains that lead to streams and rivers, damaging our waterways. Polluted water from our streets floods our creeks, eroding stream banks, washing away natural stream habitats.


How can I help take care of Tacony Creek Park?
There are many ways that you can protect the creek from your own home:

  • Pick up litter so it doesn’t wash into drains and end up in our streams.
  • Make sure garbage and recycling bins are secure on trash day
  • Put dog waste in the trash, don’t leave it on the ground; don’t toss it down a stormdrain!
  • Bag or compost leaves or other yard waste
  • Minimize the use of road salt in the winter, and lawn fertilizer in the spring or summer
  • Use less single-use plastic products, instead bring your own reusable bags and water bottles

Become a Tacony Creek Park Keeper! Join us for volunteer cleanup days and other fun community events, and help spread the word about caring for this incredible neighborhood resource.