John Heinz at Tinicum National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

John Heinz at Tinicum National Wildlife Refuge


(215) 365-3118

Map Directions

Things To Do


The John Heinz National Wildlife Range at Tinicum is located in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties, Pennsylvania about 1 mile from Philadelphia International Airport. The refuge was established by an act of Congress in 1972 to protect the largest remaining freshwater tidal marsh in Pennsylvania; approximately 200 acres. When acquisition is complete, it will consist of 1200 acres of varied habitats. Over the years, the refuge has become a resting and feeding area for more than 300 species of birds, 85 of which nest here. Fox, deer, muskrat, turtles, fish, frogs and a wide variety of wildflowers and plants are among the species that call the refuge "home".

The Congressional mandate set forth for the refuge was to protect, preserve and enhance habitat; provide compatible outdoor recreation opportunities for the public; and to promote environmental education. Whether you want to go bird or animal watching, this is the place to go for outdoor lovers of each and every age! Make the John Heinz National Wildlife Range your next destination today!

Map of John Heinz at Tinicum NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 39.903086, -75.243387



  • Boating

    Canoeing Darby Creek: The 4.5 mile segment of Darby Creek that flows through the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is unique and scenic. It winds through the largest freshwater marsh in Pennsylvania, which allows canoeists to see a variety of plants and animals. The refuge waters are tidal and navigable only within 2 hours before and after high tide. To access monthly tide charts call the Visitor Contact Station (215-365-3118) for more information. Canoeists must bring there own canoe.

  • Bird Watching

    The Refuge is home to a variety of wildlife despite its urban location. Birdwatchers have recorded over 300 species of birds in and around the Refuge. Migratory birds like warblers, egrets, sandpipers, and a large variety of ducks, within the Atlantic Flyway, use the refuge as a resting/feeding spot during spring and fall flights. In addition, deer, opossums, fox, raccoons, muskrats and many other small animals take refuge here. The marsh is one of the few places in Pennsylvania where the state-endangered red-bellied turtle and coastal leopard frog can be found.

  • Fishing

    All fishermen must comply with Pennsylvania Fishing and Crabbing Regulations, and if 16 years of age or older have a current and valid PA Fishing License. For limits and seasons, refer to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commmissions's Summary of Fishing Regulations and Laws for ponds and non-tidal waters: section called "Commonwealth Inland Waters," for Darby Creek: section entitled "Delaware River and Estuary".

    On East Impoundment Area: Fishing is permitted along the main dike trail and the connecting Trolley Bed trail. This area provides fishing in both the 145-acre impoundment and Darby Creek. Fishing in this area must be from the bank - structures such as the canoe ramp and the boardwalk are closed to fishing. However, physically disabled individuals may fish from the lower deck of the observation platform. Look for carp, catfish, large-mouth bass and smaller pan fish in this area.

    On Route 420 Lagoons: Fishing is allowed from the bank of the Lagoons on the west side of Route 420. There is a paved parking area at this point just north of the southbound entrance to I-95. . A gravel parking lot is located on the east side of Route 420 and provides access to Darby Creek. Look for striped bass, carp, catfish, panfish, and tiger musky.

  • Hiking

    There is approximately 10 miles of trails at the refuge. Bicycling is allowed on the main trails but prohibited on some of the woodland foot trails and on the boardwalk on the north end of the impoundment.


Snows during winter. Optimal visiting time runs from April to October.



From North: From I-95 South, take exit 14, Bartram Avenue; At the 5th traffic light turn right onto 84th Street; At 2nd light turn left onto Lindbergh Blvd. Follow one block to refuge entrance on right.

From South: From I-95 North, take exit 10 (Airport); turn left at 1st light (Bartram Ave); turn left at 3rd light (84th St.); turn left at 2nd light (Lindbergh Blvd.) 1 block to refuge entrance on right.

From West: From I-76 take I-476 South to I-95 North and follow as listed above (from South, to I-95 North exit 10)

From East (New Jersey): Use either North or South directions.

Public Transportation

SEPTA's Route 37 and 108 buses both stop at 84th St. and Lindbergh Blvd. SEPTA's Regional Rail Line has a stop at the Eastwick Station. This is several blocks southeast of the Refuge's Main Entrance at 86th St. and Lindbergh Blvd.

Phone Numbers


(215) 365-3118