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UpRooted: A Walking Tour of Enslavement and Abolition in East Fairmount Park

Join us for a walking tour telling the complex history of human bondage and the fight for freedom at the historic houses of Fairmount Park.


Saturday, June 24, 2023


10:00am - 1:00pm


Mount Pleasant Mansion
3800 Mt Pleasant Dr
Philadelphia, 19121

Nearly every acre of Philadelphia contains evidence of the lives of early Black residents, and the historic mansions in Fairmount are no exception. Alongside the stories of the wealthy white men and women who owned these estates, we can find the stories of Africans and African-Americans, raising families, fighting for freedom, working in a great variety of jobs, and building communities. Recent research has revealed many fascinating details that humanize their lives and struggles, and gives us insight into the tragic institution of slavery in “freedom’s capitol” and the fight against it.

This tour and hike will visit the sites of Mount Pleasant, Woodford, and Strawberry Mansion, connected by the Boxers Trail, a ridge line tracing the path of the Schuylkill River. Walking on this well traveled trail under the cover of nature will evoke the experience of the freedom seeking enslaved person, making a harrowing journey on foot. Together the houses detail people held in bondage and seeking their freedom while advocating for the legal changes to guarantee it. Meet some of the people who have worked to research and preserve these stories as well as those who work to ensure Black homeownership today.

The tour will conclude with a picnic lunch reception at Strawberry Mansion’s beautiful back patio. Lunch boxes (sandwich, chips, cookie, and a drink) provided by Joshua’s Catering are available for purchase.

This tour is organized in conjunction with the Historical Society of PennsylvaniaWeWalk PHLGirlTrekBlack Docents CollectiveWoodford Mansion, and Historic Strawberry Mansion.

TICKET PRICES: Free without boxed lunch (donations appreciated). $15 with boxed lunch.

PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT a loop hike! It’s a one way hike beginning at Mount Pleasant Mansion and ending at Historic Strawberry Mansion. Vehicles can be left at Mount Pleasant parking area and it’s an easy 10 minute walk back from Strawberry Mansion along Reservoir Drive. However, we strongly recommend arriving with Uber, Lyft, Indego Bike Share, or public transportation, such as taking SEPTA’s Route 32. Also, at 33rd St & Oxford St there’s an Indego dock and bus stop. From there, it’s a 10 minute walk into the park along Reservoir Drive.


  • Please dress according to weather conditions.
  • Please wear sturdy shoes suitable for hiking.
  • Bring water and a snack (no drinking fountains in the park).
  • Bring bug spray and sunscreen.
  • There are nearby bathrooms (port-a-potties).

There is plenty of free parking in the park. As always, NEVER leave valuables in your car!

Enjoy our programs? Become a Supporter of Fairmount Park Conservancy to help ensure that Philadelphia’s parks are enhanced for generations to come! Supporters enjoy special benefits like early registration access for events and our Park Perk Pass, which offers discounts and benefits throughout Philadelphia.

Hike will take place in light rain. In case of severe storms or other inclement weather, event will be cancelled and attendees are eligible for a full refund.