Phase 1 of Philly’s new Rail Park is finally here

The new park has 0.25 miles of beautiful paths and greenery built on an unused rail line.  | Provided

Plan on heading to Callowhill this week to be among the first Philadelphians to see the new Rail Park, and celebrate at neighboring restaurants.

Philly’s newest, beautiful park officially opens at a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. on Thursday June 14, and it’s just the beginning of a much anticipated expansion project that has been more than five years in the making. Phase one, part of the Viaduct section of the park, will have 0.25 miles of gorgeous landscaped paths, large swinging porch chairs, and beautiful views of the city. By the end, the three mile elevated park will be double the size of New York City’s famous High Line. But beauty and grandeur aren’t the only goals.

“The railroad was such an important part of the city’s history,” says Friends of the Rail Park Executive Director Kevin Dow. “We want to protect the built and natural environment, while reclaiming a historical piece of land.”

The first section of the park will be open 24/7, and the surrounding Callowhill neighborhood is ready to celebrate.

Cheers to the park

Stop by Prohibition Taproom (501 N. 13th St.) to toast the park before or after its opening with a $10 drink special running all week. The Rusty Spike is a cool sip to savor with rum, gin, drambuie, strawberries, and grapefruit. Drink proceeds will be donated to Friends of the Rail Park.

Cocktails and pet adoptions

Go go and whiskey bar The Trestle Inn (339 N. 11th St.), located just down the street from the park entrance, are hosting an especially adorable opening party from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday evening. Meet adoptable dogs from the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, Saved Me, and the Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia. Quench your thirst with half off drafts, or the $6 Rye’d the Rails cocktail made with Jack Daniels Tennessee Rye, Aperol and dry Vermouth.

Not just a picnic sandwich

Fun requires fuel. The Rail Pork Panino is available from brunch and lunch restaurant Cafe Lift (428 N. 13th St.) all this week. Try the special with slow roasted pork, sautéed greens, smoked mozzarella, sundried tomato pesto and a fried egg for $13. Profits will be donated to the park organization.

There’s always time for pizza

Bufad (1240 Spring Garden St.) pulls out all the stops with the $16 special Spring Garden Pizza, and contributing donations to the park this week. The summery white pizza has almond pesto, fava beans, peas, pickled shallot, pea and fava tendrils, and pecorino Romano.​

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