Today's adventure was the Schuykill River Trail
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.
Originally conceived of by the Fairmount Park Commission, the
trail route grew to include many municipalities. Montgomery County
constructed the trail from the Philadelphia City line to Valley
Forge National Historical Park. The Chester County Department
of Parks and Recreation is currently planning the section between
Phoenixville and Pottstown. The Schuylkill River Greenway Association
is working on the sections from the Montgomery County line to
Birdsboro and from Gibraltar into Reading. And finally, the Schuylkill
River Development Corporation is managing the trail construction
from the Water Works in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park and along
the tidal section of the Schuylkill River, known as Schuylkill
Banks. The Schuylkill River Greenway Association has detailed
maps of each section along with construction up-dates on their
The river was once a major transportation resource that played
a key role in the region's development. Evidence of several centuries
of industrial use remain where river and canal navigation, quarrying
of limestone and iron ore, and production of iron and steel have
succeeded each other as mainstays of the region's economy.
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 trailscaution, 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. There, the trail also connects with
the spectacular Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk that travels over the
water, 50 feet from the shoreline.
At Betzwood, just outside Valley Forge National Park, the trail
provides a direct link to the 19.5-mile Perkiomen Trail and will
eventually access the Cross County Trail in Conshohocken and the
Chester Valley Trail in Norristown. Future development of the
Schuylkill River Trail will extend it along the entire length
of the Schuylkill River, more than 140 miles, from its confluence
with the Delaware River to its headwaters in Schuylkill County.
Post: (1) Today's starting point #LowerPerkiomenValleyPark
to the #schuylkillrivertrail #MindOverBody #Biking #WhereTheresAWillTheresAWay
#FightForIt #FitDontQuit (2) I made it #PhadelphiaMuseumOfArt
#Rocky #Biking #schuylkillrivertrail #FightForIt #FitDontQuit
#WhereTheresAWillTheresAWay #MindOverBody Long ride home now!
30 more miles to go (3) My #Biking adventure today took me many
places today. This place is special to #Hooters fans everywhere.
So I'm dedicating to @ericbazilian @daviduosikkinen & all
the band members past & present & to all those fans that
immediately burst into song when they see #SouthFerryRoad #FairmountPark
(4) Took a lot of pictures. Need to edit a few, but today's #Biking
adventure consisted of 3 trails (mostly #schuylkillrivertrail
) & a total of 57 miles. I'm exhausted. My bike wasn't built
for this kind of riding. I feel great. Wonderful accomplishment
today. #FightForIt #FitDontQuit #MindOverBody #WhereTheresAWillTheresAWay
(5) Another picture opportunity from today's #Biking adventure
#Train (6) @oriley07 biked past this gem of a place today #manayunk
I'm thinking places like this need to be a requirement on #Biking
Adventures (7) #ValleyForge a lot of history (literally) happened
in these parts #Biking (8) Oh yeah, this almost derailed my #Biking
adventure before it started, but it all worked out. #NotWhatYouWannaSee
The Ride: Whenever I set out on a new adventure, I often
research it out first. This is mostly because I go out on my own
and really want to make sure of my surroundings. The path that
this trail is on is an area I've been around all my life. That
said, I have learned enough from local trails to know that they
are off the beaten path and having a familiarity with an area
just isn't enough.
I started this day at the Lower Perkiomen Valley Park. The reason
is that I was unsure of the parking situation in Center City and
I knew where the Perkiomen Trail intersects with the Schuylkill
The first part of the ride runs parallel to RT 422 as it enters
Valley Forge National Park. A nice ride, plenty of scenery. The
historical aspects of ths area is off the path but there is still
plenty to see thriough this stretch of the trail.
As you exit Valley Forge you come upon Betzwood. I stopped at
a plaque honoring an old Motion Picture Studio that once stood
there. At this point the trail follows the Septa Rail Line through
numerous towns including Norristown, Conshohocken, Spring Mill,
Plymouth and Topath. The large picture to the right with the train
was near Topath. The thing I learned about this section of the
trail (prior to Topath) is that is a long straight flat area.
There is nothing around so being alone out there was a bit unnerving
at times. Biking through the trailheads was a welcomed sign as
civilization. That said, there was plenty of other bikers and
people using the trail.
Once in Topath, the majestic scenery of the Schuylkill River
led to some breath taking views. The terrain changes from paved
to gravel to boardwalk. An interesting note here is the speed
limit sign of 7 mph. This cracked me up. Where did they come up
Now we come up to Manayunk. There is no trail here. You actually
need to bike through Main Street. The highlight here is there
is a bike shop should you need anything. I also found the Manayunk
Brewing Company interesting. I'll have to stop by sometime.
As you enter Fairmount Park, it is alive with people and scenery.
For me however, my personal favorite moment was ariving at South
Ferry Road. Read the Instagram post above for the connection to
the band The Hooters. It was a great moment. Near the end of the
park is Boat House Row. Its a historic landmark on the Schuylkill
River which looks majestic from the Schuylkill Expressway especially
around the Christmas Holiday Season and durring the 4th of July
celebration. Its the home of the local college and prep schools
crew teams. Hard to capture in a picture from this side of the
Finally I arrived at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Okay it
was a tourist moment to take a picture at the Rocky statue I'll
admit, but its a great picture for my blog and it went over well
Since I was down this far, I went over to the Schuylkill Banks
Boardwalk. You can read about this below. On the way home I took
the Audubon Loop back to my starting point. Again, you can view
this below. It was a long day. 57 miles in all. Very happy and
proud of this accomplishment. Its the longest I rode on my bike.
I'd do it again.