Goats in the Hood - Atlas Obscura

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Goats in the Hood

Go beyond the locked gates of Northwest Philly's oldest cemetery with the grazing goats of the Philly Goat Project.

Explore one of the city’s most interesting historic places, the Lower Hood Cemetery, accompanied by the Philly Goat Project's delightfully hard-working goats.

Originally dedicated in 1692 as “the Lower Burial Ground,” Lower Hood Cemetery was Philadelphia's first non-sectarian cemetery. Now, it is a 2-acre oasis that is rarely open to the public, but Atlas Obscura is teaming up with the Philly Goat Project to gain special access to the site. Once inside, we'll meet goats Ivy, Anthony, Oliver, Oonagh, Bebito, Annie, Teddy and Ray as they graze on the invasive plant species that are now pervasive throughout the grounds.

The cemetery was renamed after William Hood, a Germantown resident, who donated the funds to build the elaborate entryway and walls of the cemetery in exchange for the privilege of selecting his own burial spot near the opening gates. Hood died in Paris in 1850 and arranged for his body to be shipped to the cemetery in a barrel of whiskey, where his remains - as well as the barrel - are now laid to rest.

Hear more about this story, and others, in a guided tour through the cemetery, led by Nina Coffin and Allyson Scott of Historic Germantown. Tours will start at 12pm, and will be offered at the top of the hour at 1pm and 2pm.  

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Philly Goat Project: the country's first urban multi-service goat program specializing in grazing overgrown vegetation, animal assisted therapy, environmental education, workforce development and community wellness and outreach.  The Philly Goats are trained to be walked on leashes by humans of all ages, sizes and abilities, and they provide many free services in the community throughout the year. 


  • Guided tours begin at the top of the hour and last for approx. 30-40 minutes.
  • Come early or stay late, before or after your ticketed tour time, to explore the cemetery and visit with the grazing goats! The gates will be open from 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.
  • This is a family-friendly event, but we ask that all children are ticketed and supervised by at least one adult. Please be mindful that this is a historic site.
  • Street parking is available.
  • This event will take place rain or shine.


Email John Pettit at john.pettit@atlasobscura.com.

Stay connected! Subscribe to the Atlas Obscura Society Philadelphia newsletter and join our Facebook group for a first glimpse at upcoming events.

Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.