What I didn’t mention in that post is that Crum Creek is one of three large creeks that run through the heart of Delaware County, and all converge within just a few miles of each other into the Delaware River; The aforementioned Crum Creek, Ridley Creek, and Chester Creek.
And each of these three creeks has its own unique characteristics, history, and recreational opportunities.
Chester Creek originates in East Whiteland Township, Chester County, and flows 24 miles to its confluence with the Delaware River in Chester City, Pennsylvania, near the park named for William Penn’s first landing. In addition to be a drinking water source for parts of Chester and Delaware counties, the creek is a well utilized trout stocking fishery and home to a number of hiking trails and nature preserves. The lower portion of the creek near Chester City has been referred to as Chester River, and historically has been home to a number of mills that were vital to the early colonial development of the region.
Crum Creek, meaning “Crooked Creek” in Dutch, flows 24 miles from the Schuylkill/Delaware drainage ridgeline that follows Monument and King Roads in Malvern and Route 30 in Paoli, through Chester and Delaware Counties to its confluence with the Delaware River in Eddystone at the Boeing plant. In addition to supplying drinking water to 200,000 Delco residents, Crum Creek also provides numerous recreational opportunities. Unlike Chester and Ridley Creeks, there is no stocking of trout in Crum Creek, however it is host to the largest native trout population of the three creeks. Recreational opportunities include biking and hiking trails in Smedley Park straddling between Springfield and Nether Providence Townships, and the Swarthmore College Scott Arboretum. Like Chester and Ridley Creeks, Crum Creek also was host to a number of mills and manufacturing plants during the colonial and industrial era
As a long-time resident and native of Delaware County, I grew up playing in these creeks from an early age, and they still hold a special place in my heart. To me, they are the central arteries of Delaware County.
However, like many waterways throughout the country, they are threatened by pollution, development, sediment, stormwater runoff, erosion, and a number of other threats.
Fortunately there is a group is working hard to preserve these creeks and maintain their livelihood. The Chester - Ridley - Crum Watersheds Association (CRC) is a nonprofit organization devoted to the protection of water resources and the natural environment of the Chester, Ridley, and Crum Creek Valleys, and the health, recreational, and quality of life benefits they afford the residents of this region. For more information about these creeks, check out their website at www.crcwatersheds.org.
** The above map and some of the information above is courtesy of the Chester Ridley Crum Watersheds Association