Recreation Trails

Local Recreational Trails

 

Pennsylvania offers pedestrians and cyclists some great trails to explore. Step outside of your comfort zone and take the opportunity to get out and enjoy nature, improve your fitness, and even create some fun family memories! You may be familiar with some of the Main Line trails we’ve listed but others are a little ‘outside the box’, and we hope you enjoy exploring them all!

202 Parkway Trail

The 202 Parkway Trail, part of The Circuit (Greater Philadelphia's trail network) connects three towns—Montgomery, Warrington, and Doylestown—on its 9-mile route paralleling the scenic byway. The paved 12-foot-wide pathway is separated from the roadway by split-rail fences and grassy strips, and offers numerous access points and ample parking. Some rolling hills can be expected, as well as views of farmland and wooded areas through Bucks and Montgomery counties.

Parking and Trail Access
Five trailheads offer parking along the 202 Parkway: at Knapp Road, Route 309, Stump Road near the County Line Road intersection, Bristol Road, and New Britain Road.

 

Counties:  Bucks, Montgomery
Length: 8.4 miles
Trail end points: Route 202 and Route 63/Welsh Road (Montgomeryville) to Route 202 and Route 611 interchange (Doylestown)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt

Chester Valley Trail

After years in development, the bulk of the Chester Valley Trail is open for use. When complete, the trail will run from Norristown to Downingtown—connecting to a number of other regional trails in both cities—via a former railroad corridor. The longest open stretch links Tredyffrin Township at the far eastern end of Chester County with the new Exton Park in Exton. The 9.8-mile, uninterrupted paved trail travels through a wooded corridor past open space, neighborhoods and new commercial development.In the west, a short section of trail runs from Iron Lake Boulevard to a point behind commercial properties on Commerce Drive. This segment will be connected to the main stretch of trail at N. Ship Road during Phase III of the trail’s development, set to begin construction in 2014.In Montgomery County in the east, another short trail segment courses next to active rail not far from the famous King of Prussia Mall. This section was built during the reconstruction of US 202 and includes a bridge crossing of Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway). This disconnected segment is planned to be linked to the main trail in 2014.

Parking and Trail Access
Parking for the Chester Valley Trail is available at Exton Park on Church Farm Lane in Exton. Farther east, park at Battle of the Clouds Park on Phoenixville Pike in East Whiteland Township. Additional parking is available at East Whiteland Township’s municipal building on State Route 401/Conestoga Road, south of US 202. Designated parking spaces are located adjacent to the trail (to the left and rear of the building).

 

Counties: Chester, Montgomery
Length: 11 miles
Trail end points: King of Prussia Rd. just east of I-76 (King of Prussia) to between S. Whitford Rd. and Indian Run St. (Exton)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt

Conestoga Greenway Trail

This trail is not officially part of the Lancaster County Park system. It runs next to the Conestoga River at Sunnyside. The one end of the trail is at Lancaster County Central Park. Although there is vehicular traffic in the Park it is great for cycling or hiking.

Parking and Trail Access
There are three access points for this trail. Conestoga Drive at Betz Road behind Conestoga View which is the County Home and Hospital on E. King Street. South Broad Street at the Conestoga River and South Duke Street at Lancaster County Central Park.

 

Counties: Lancaster
Length: 1 miles
Trail end points: Conestoga Drive near Bridgeport to Lancaster County Central Park at S. Duke St.
Trail surfaces: Asphalt

Cross County Trail

The Cross County Trail runs for 3 miles between the Schuylkill River Trail in Conshohocken and the village of Plymouth Meeting. The trail links suburban shopping with neighborhoods and mostly parallels a short section of I-476.
Plans call for extending the trail to a total of 17.5 miles, crossing Montgomery County on a north–south link and connecting with other regional trail systems.

Parking and Trail Access
On evenings and weekends you can park at the SEPTA station parking lots along the trail. You can also park in the lots owned by the big box stores found along the route.

 

Counties: Montgomery
Length: 3 miles
Trail end points: W. Elm at the Schuylkill River Trail (Conshohocken) to Germantown Pike at Chemical Rd. (Plymouth Meeting)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt

Cynwyd Heritage Trail

The Cynwyd Heritage Trail is a 2-mile linear park and rail-to-trail that connects Lower Merion Township to the Manayunk bridge over the Schuylkill River just outside Philadelphia. More than 30,000 hours of volunteer labor have created the trail and restoration plans have been completed on the Manayunk bridge to accommodate pedestrians and bicycles crossing into Manayunk and linking with the Schuylkill River Trail, providing direct trail access to the city.

Parking and Trail Access
Access the trail at Bala Cynwyd Park, which also has restrooms. Parking is available off Levering Mill Road at Belmont Avenue.

 

Counties: Montgomery
Length: 2 miles
Trail end points: Belmont Ave. at Rock Hill Rd. to Rt. 23 at Cynwyd Rail Station
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Crushed Stone

East Branch Brandywine Trail

Less than an hour west of Philadelphia, the East Branch Brandywine Trail begins south of Downingtown and continues south along its namesake river. The paved trail passes through meadows and wooded areas, including the M. John Johnson Nature Center and the Harmony Hill Nature Area. The trail crosses over the river at approximately its mid-point. Branching off from the main trail are a number of unpaved paths for mountain bikes. This trail is part of the Brandywine-Struble Regional Recreation Corridor, which extends north and south through Chester County. It is hoped that this system will someday afford connections between Philadelphia, Norristown, King of Prussia, Downingtown, and West Chester.

Parking and Trail Access
In Downingtown, from the intersection of Lancaster Ave. (PA Route 30) and PA Route 322, head east on 322 for about a mile. Once you pass under the trestle bridge, parking for the trail is on the left. There is also parking on Harmony Hill Rd. just off of PA 322.

 

Counties:  Chester
Length: 2.5 miles
Trail end points: PA Route 322/Downingtown Pike (near Bradford Road Avenue) to PA Route 322/Downingtown Pike (east of the Sugars Bridge Road intersection)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt

Exeter Scenic River Trail

The Exeter Scenic River Trail follows the north shore of the Schuylkill River. The tree-lined route provides views of the river and runs to the Klapperthal Trail at the base of Neversink Mountain.

Parking and Trail Access
Parking is available at the eastern end of the trail.

 

Counties: Berks
Length: 2.3 miles
Trail end points: Gibralter Road and Old Gibralter Road, Robeson, PA to Klapperthal Trailhead near the Forest Hills Cemetery, Reading, PA
Trail surfaces: Cinder, Crushed Stone, Gravel

Lancaster Junction Trail

Originally the Reading & Columbia Railroad, this branch of the Reading Railroad was built to haul anthracite coal to Columbia where it was loaded into barges on the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal for shipment to the port of Baltimore. The Reading Railroad also owned the canal and used it to compete directly with rival Pennsylvania Railroad for Baltimore coal traffic. After the canal ceased operation in 1894, the railroad became just another rural branch line. It was abandoned in 1985 and became a trail in 1987. The Lancaster Junction Trail travels through meadows, past rich Lancaster farmland and along the winding Chickies Creek. This trail is perfect for bicycling, cross-country skiing, or jogging. Horses are welcome.

Parking and Trail Access
The southern trailhead near Landisville is found at the end of Champ Boulevard, just east of Spooky Nook Road and the Salunga exit of I-283. From I- 283 W turn north onto Spooky Nook Rd, turn right onto Champ Road just beyond the bridge crossing for Route 283. Follow Champ Road to the very end where you'll find, parking, restrooms and water.

 

Counties: Lancaster
Length: 2.3 miles
Trail end points: Champ Blvd., Lancaster Junction, PA to Auction Rd., Lancaster Junction, PA
Trail surfaces: Gravel

Manayunk Bridge Trail

At long last, in October 2015, the Manayunk Bridge Trail — a former rail bridge from Montgomery County to Philadelphia, over the Schuylkill River — reopened as a bike/ped-only bridge connecting the Cynwyd Trail to Manayunk and the Schuylkill River Trail. Now open for non-motorized use, the Manayunk Bridge Trail offers sweeping views of the Schuylkill River, Schuylkill Canal and downtown Manayunk. On the Montgomery County side, smile and wave at passing motorists on the Schuylkill Expressway below, which is seemingly perpetually gridlocked in the area. At trail's end in Bala Cynwyd (just beyond the highway), seamlessly pick up the Cynwyd Heritage Trail to reach SEPTA's Cynwyd Station.

Parking and Trail Access:
There are no official parking areas for the Manayunk Bridge Trail. Access is available from the Cynwyd Heritage Trail in Bala Cynwyd and the intersection of Dupont Street and High Street in Philadelphia's Manayunk neighborhood.

 

Counties: Philadelphia/Montgomery
Length:  0.4 miles
Trail surfaces: Concrete

Peace Valley Park Hike & Bike Trail

The Peace Valley Park Hike & Bike Trail offers 4 miles of blacktop along the shores of Lake Galena, just north of Doylestown in eastern Pennsylvania. The scenic trail travels through woodlands and meadows and is generally flat, except for one hill at the northeast corner of the lake. A good place to begin is at the nature center at the eastern end of the lake. Along your journey, you'll find an abundance of recreational opportunities, including playgrounds, fishing, boating, picnicking and nature hikes. Note that some areas of the park are restricted to the public for wildlife preservation. Keep a lookout for birds; more than 250 species have been sighted here, including cardinals, woodpeckers and finches. You also might see deer, groundhogs and muskrats. At the end of the trail, you can continue the circuit around the lake on Creek Road, a lightly trafficked roadway.

Parking and Trail Access
Parking is available adjacent to the Peace Valley Nature Center (170 N. Chapman Road), as well as off New Galena Road and Creek Road.

 

Counties: Bucks
Length: 4.1 miles
Trail end points: N. Champman Road to Creek Road
Trail surfaces: Asphalt

Radnor Trail

This 2.4-mile paved trail provides a quiet, scenic escape northwest of Philadelphia, from Encke Park at Radnor-Chester Road to the shopping center at Sugartown Road and Route 30. The trail travels mostly through wooded areas, passes near local parks and is lined with several benches. Founded in 1902, the Philadelphia and Western Railway Company (P&W) was intended to be part of Jay Gould's proposed intercontinental electric railway. Gould's grand and progressive plan was scaled back, as was the route of the P&W Trains, featuring luxurious, elaborately appointed cars. It once traveled from Philadelphia's 69th Street Station to suburban Strafford. For the first few months, the trains ran every quarter hour, with the full route taking a half hour. The line remained active until 1956, when it was replaced with bus service. In 2005 Radnor Township celebrated the opening of the multi-purpose Radnor Trail. Running through residential areas, the trail provides a popular off-road route to retail centers and schools.

Parking and Trail Access
To reach the trailhead from Interstate 476, take Exit 13 onto Route 30 West. Continue and turn left onto Radnor-Chester Road. Continue and turn right onto Conestoga Road. Proceed on Conestoga Road to trail parking on your left, near the intersection with Brookside Avenue.

 

Counties: Delaware
Length: 2.41 miles
Trail end points: Sugartown Rd. to S. Radnor-Chester Rd.
Trail surfaces: Asphalt

Ridley Creek State Park Trail

Located in Media Borough in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Ridley Creek State Park encompasses over 2,600 acres of woodlands and meadows. The park is only 16 miles from Center City, Philadelphia, but feels remarkably remote. Within the park you'll find a 5-mile paved, multi-use trail along Sycamore Mills and Forge roads that is open to walkers, joggers, cyclists and cross-country skiers.  Traveling along the tranquil, woodsy route, you'll come across numerous picnic areas as well as beautiful waterfalls located in stunning natural settings. In addition, there are over 13 miles of hiking trails, as well as almost 5 miles of horseback riding paths. Be sure to explore the formal gardens, located near the park office, which are a popular attraction and wedding site.

Parking and Trail Access
The main entrance to Ridley Creek State Park is located at the intersection of Gradyville Road and Sandy Flash Drive in Newtown Square. Parking can be found throughout the park.

 

Counties: Delaware
Length: 4.8 miles
Trail surfaces: Asphalt

Schuylkill River Trail - Valley Forge to Philadelphia

The Valley Forge to Philadelphia segment of the Schuylkill River Trail stretches 27 miles along the historic Schuylkill River, from downtown Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Museum of Art out to Montgomery County and Valley Forge National Historic Park. In Philadelphia, the trail uses Fairmount Park trails and the Manayunk Canal towpath. In Montgomery County, the trail follows a former Pennsylvania Railroad line. The trail is the spine of the Schuylkill River Heritage Corridor, a five-county area designated as both a State and National Heritage Area. Today the trail is a busy commuter route during rush hour. This trail's asphalt tread is somewhat narrower than that of many of the new trails—caution, as well as rail-trail etiquette, should be heeded. This section runs parallel to the Schuylkill River, with numerous access points at businesses and public transit. In Norristown the trail connects with the 30th Street train station in downtown Philadelphia

Parking and Trail Access
To reach the trailhead and parking at Valley Forge National Historical Park, take the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 76) to Valley Forge, Exit 326. Take US 422 west to the Audubon/Trooper Exit and turn left off the exit ramp. You'll find parking for the Schuylkill River Trail at the Betzwood Picnic area just ahead.

To reach the Philadelphia trailhead, head west from Center City in Philadelphia on Walnut Street. Turn left on 23rd Street, right on Spruce Street and right on South 25th Street. Before having to turn right on Locust Street, look to the left; there is a pathway to the trailhead reachable by crossing the railroad tracks at an at-grade crossing. There is no dedicated parking for this trailhead.

 


Counties:
Montgomery, Philadelphia
Length: 27 miles
Trail end points: Walnut St. (Philadelphia) to Port Providence Rd., Longford Park (Valley Forge/ Phoenixville)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt

Wyomissing Creek Trail

The Wyomissing Creek Trail offers a pleasant tree-lined route along its namesake waterway in West Reading. At its eastern end, you can connect to an 18-mile segment of the Schuylkill River Trail that travels from Reading to Pottstown. A highlight of the journey is the Reading Public Museum that offers science, art, and cultural exhibits, as well as beautiful gardens and foot bridges across the creek.

Parking and Trail Access
Parking is available on the east end of the trail at the Reading Public Muesum (500 Museum Road).

 

 


Counties:
 Berks
Length: 2.6  miles
Trail surfaces: Asphalt

Source:  TrailLink.com

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