Scarcely a mile from the Philadelphia airport, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is an important preserve for reptiles and amphibians, a fine bird sanctuary (a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area), and an excellent spot to study wildflowers and other plants. These 1,200 acres include a large freshwater tidal marsh, ponds, streams, and woodlands. There are wildlife blinds, a boardwalk, and a two-tiered observation platform. The 3-mile-long Impoundment Trail gets visitors close to King Rails, Marsh Wrens, and seasonally abundant waterfowl and shorebirds. Northern Diamondback Terrapins wander into tidal waters here, and Eastern Red-bellied Turtles and Red-eared Sliders may be glimpsed in the impounded areas. Marsh Marigolds (Cowslips) brighten the wetlands in spring, while Marsh Mallows add their color in late summer.
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