Lancaster, PA Cross Country Skiing Trails and Maps

1178 Reviews

Looking for the best Cross Country Skiing trails around Lancaster?

Find the top rated cross country skiing trails in Lancaster, whether you're looking for an easy short cross country skiing trail or a long cross country skiing trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a cross country skiing trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

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Activities
Length
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Type
24 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Bear Hole Trail

5.5 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Capital Area Greenbelt

21.2 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Cinder, Concrete, Crushed Stone

Chickies Rock Overlook Trail

0.5 mi
State: PA
Dirt

Conewago Recreation Trail

5 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Enola Low Grade Trail

28.9 mi
State: PA
Ballast, Crushed Stone

Gravity Trail

4.15 mi
State: PA
Ballast, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel

Hanover Trolley Trail

3.5 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Heritage Rail Trail County Park

25.5 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail

18 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway Trail

2.5 mi
State: MD
Crushed Stone

Lykens Valley Rail Trail

9.2 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Michael Castle Trail

12.4 mi
State: DE
Asphalt

Northwest Lancaster County River Trail

14.1 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt

Perkiomen Trail

20.6 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone

Radnor Trail

2.41 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Ridley Creek State Park Trail

4.8 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Rim Trail

2.2 mi
State: PA
Crushed Stone

Schuylkill River Trail

71.7 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Boardwalk, Concrete, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel

Schuylkill Valley Heritage Trail

7.3 mi
State: PA
Dirt, Gravel

Stony Valley Railroad Grade

19.7 mi
State: PA
Dirt, Gravel
Accordion

Struble Trail

2.6 mi
State: PA
Asphalt

Swatara Rail-Trail

10 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass

Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail

19.5 mi
State: MD
Crushed Stone, Dirt

Warwick Township Linear Park Trail

1.2 mi
State: PA
Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
Swatara Creek runs through the vast woodlands of Swatara State Park in eastern Pennsylvania. Bear Hole Trail traces the eastern side of the waterway, while the Swatara Rail-Trail runs along the other...
PA 5.5 mi Crushed Stone
Every year, tens of thousands of people take to the Capital Area Greenbelt looping around Harrisburg to play, exercise, and commute. The greenway completely encircles Pennsylvania’s capital city as it...
PA 21.2 mi Asphalt, Cinder, Concrete, Crushed Stone
As its name implies, hikers on the Chickies Rock Overlook Trail will be rewarded with a beautiful vista at the end of their excursion. The trail follows an old trolley line route that once took...
PA 0.5 mi Dirt
Farms and pastures surround the Conewago Recreation Trail, but it was the discovery and mining of iron ore that led to the development of the railroad that eventually resulted in this trail. The path...
PA 5 mi Crushed Stone
Caution: On April 12, 2018, a fire severely damaged the Martic Forge Trestle, which runs over Pequea Creek and River Road on the Enola Low Grade Trail. Access to the trail going west from the Route...
PA 28.9 mi Ballast, Crushed Stone
Constructed in 2012, the Gravity Trail is one of the newer additions to the extensive network of trails and greenways that criss-cross the Greater Reading metro area. The trail's unusual name comes...
PA 4.15 mi Ballast, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass, Gravel
The Hanover Trolley Trail is being built along the 16-mile corridor of the York-Hanover Trolley Line that ran between the two cities in the early 1900s. Currently, about a quarter of that distance is...
PA 3.5 mi Crushed Stone
Note: Per the York County website, "A section of the Heritage Rail Trail County Park will be closed starting March 21, 2016. The closure will begin at the Colonial Courthouse in York, south to...
PA 25.5 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
While the Lebanon Valley might be best known for its chocolate and distinctive bologna, iron ore is what put the region on the map in the 1700s. The 18-mile Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail—and the...
PA 18 mi Crushed Stone
Maryland's Susquehanna State Park is recognized for challenging hiking and biking trails, camping facilities, rock outcroppings, boating, a museum and restored historical sites. But none of these...
MD 2.5 mi Crushed Stone
Lykens Valley Rail Trail is nearly half-way complete with 9 miles of trail open out of 20 miles planned. Those 9 miles are available in three disconnected segments. In Millersburg, a 0.4-mile segment...
PA 9.2 mi Crushed Stone
The Michael Castle Trail offers a scenic 12-mile route along the north shore of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal in northern Delaware. The trail is named after the former governor and US...
DE 12.4 mi Asphalt
The Northwest Lancaster County River Trail follows the route of the historic Pennsylvania Main Line Canal, tracing the Susquehanna River northwest from Columbia to Falmouth. While the majority of the...
PA 14.1 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt
The Perkiomen Trail provides so many interesting historical and natural sites along its 20.6-mile length that visitors may have to ignore some of the trailside distractions to reach the other...
PA 20.6 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone
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...
PA 2.41 mi Asphalt
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...
PA 4.8 mi Asphalt
The Rim Trail offers a 2.2-mile route in Hibernia County Park, following a former railroad bed along the West Branch Branywine Creek. This southeastern Pennsylvania excursion is one of a handful of...
PA 2.2 mi Crushed Stone
At one time an important thoroughfare for commerce carried by canal barges and railroad cars in southeastern Pennsylvania, the Schuylkill River corridor now accommodates walkers, bicyclists, and...
PA 71.7 mi Asphalt, Boardwalk, Concrete, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Gravel
The Schuylkill Valley Heritage Trail passes through the rolling green hills of the Schuylkill River Valley, from just outside of Tamaqua to Middleport. The trail runs immediately adjacent to US...
PA 7.3 mi Dirt, Gravel
Note: During hunting season, Pennsylvania Game Lands Regulations require ALL non-hunters present on game lands between November 15 and December 15 (excluding Sundays) to wear a minimum of 250 square...
PA 19.7 mi Dirt, Gravel
Accordion
The Chester County Parks & Recreation Department opened this trail in 1979 on part of a former Pennsylvania Railroad right-of-way. Today the 2.6-mile trail attracts more than 125,000 visitors each...
PA 2.6 mi Asphalt
The Swatara Rail-Trail uses the corridors left behind by a canal and a railroad to snake around an Appalachian mountain in eastern Pennsylvania, passing through the forests of Swatara State Park most...
PA 10 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt, Grass
The Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail is one of the best hiking and biking trails in the Mid-Atlantic region. It allows for nearly 20 miles of flat travel, punctuated by a number of access points and an...
MD 19.5 mi Crushed Stone, Dirt
The Warwick Township Linear Park Trail is a joint project of Warwick Township and Lititz borough. The pathway extends from Market Street north, following the Santo Domingo Creek, to Newport Road....
PA 1.2 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone

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Trails by activity

Bear Hole Trail

PA - 5.5 miles

Swatara Creek runs through the vast woodlands of Swatara State Park in eastern Pennsylvania. Bear Hole Trail traces the eastern side of the waterway, while the Swatara Rail-Trail runs along the other...

Michael Castle Trail

DE - 12.4 miles

The Michael Castle Trail offers a scenic 12-mile route along the north shore of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal in northern Delaware. The trail is named after the former governor and US...

Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway Trail

MD - 2.5 miles

Maryland's Susquehanna State Park is recognized for challenging hiking and biking trails, camping facilities, rock outcroppings, boating, a museum and restored historical sites. But none of these...

Perkiomen Trail

PA - 20.6 miles

The Perkiomen Trail provides so many interesting historical and natural sites along its 20.6-mile length that visitors may have to ignore some of the trailside distractions to reach the other...

Accordion

Enola Low Grade Trail

PA - 28.9 miles

Caution: On April 12, 2018, a fire severely damaged the Martic Forge Trestle, which runs over Pequea Creek and River Road on the Enola Low Grade Trail. Access to the trail going west from the Route...

Gravity Trail

PA - 4.15 miles

Constructed in 2012, the Gravity Trail is one of the newer additions to the extensive network of trails and greenways that criss-cross the Greater Reading metro area. The trail's unusual name comes...

Warwick Township Linear Park Trail

PA - 1.2 miles

The Warwick Township Linear Park Trail is a joint project of Warwick Township and Lititz borough. The pathway extends from Market Street north, following the Santo Domingo Creek, to Newport Road....

Northwest Lancaster County River Trail

PA - 14.1 miles

The Northwest Lancaster County River Trail follows the route of the historic Pennsylvania Main Line Canal, tracing the Susquehanna River northwest from Columbia to Falmouth. While the majority of the...

Heritage Rail Trail County Park

PA - 25.5 miles

Note: Per the York County website, "A section of the Heritage Rail Trail County Park will be closed starting March 21, 2016. The closure will begin at the Colonial Courthouse in York, south to...

Lykens Valley Rail Trail

PA - 9.2 miles

Lykens Valley Rail Trail is nearly half-way complete with 9 miles of trail open out of 20 miles planned. Those 9 miles are available in three disconnected segments. In Millersburg, a 0.4-mile segment...

Radnor Trail

PA - 2.41 miles

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...

Swatara Rail-Trail

PA - 10 miles

The Swatara Rail-Trail uses the corridors left behind by a canal and a railroad to snake around an Appalachian mountain in eastern Pennsylvania, passing through the forests of Swatara State Park most...

Struble Trail

PA - 2.6 miles

The Chester County Parks & Recreation Department opened this trail in 1979 on part of a former Pennsylvania Railroad right-of-way. Today the 2.6-mile trail attracts more than 125,000 visitors each...

Schuylkill River Trail

PA - 71.7 miles

At one time an important thoroughfare for commerce carried by canal barges and railroad cars in southeastern Pennsylvania, the Schuylkill River corridor now accommodates walkers, bicyclists, and...

Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail

MD - 19.5 miles

The Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail is one of the best hiking and biking trails in the Mid-Atlantic region. It allows for nearly 20 miles of flat travel, punctuated by a number of access points and an...

Ridley Creek State Park Trail

PA - 4.8 miles

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...

Heritage Rail Trail County Park

PA - 25.5 miles

Note: Per the York County website, "A section of the Heritage Rail Trail County Park will be closed starting March 21, 2016. The closure will begin at the Colonial Courthouse in York, south to...

Ridley Creek State Park Trail

PA - 4.8 miles

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...

Lykens Valley Rail Trail

PA - 9.2 miles

Lykens Valley Rail Trail is nearly half-way complete with 9 miles of trail open out of 20 miles planned. Those 9 miles are available in three disconnected segments. In Millersburg, a 0.4-mile segment...

Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway Trail

MD - 2.5 miles

Maryland's Susquehanna State Park is recognized for challenging hiking and biking trails, camping facilities, rock outcroppings, boating, a museum and restored historical sites. But none of these...

Accordion

Radnor Trail

PA - 2.41 miles

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...

Perkiomen Trail

PA - 20.6 miles

The Perkiomen Trail provides so many interesting historical and natural sites along its 20.6-mile length that visitors may have to ignore some of the trailside distractions to reach the other...

Enola Low Grade Trail

PA - 28.9 miles

Caution: On April 12, 2018, a fire severely damaged the Martic Forge Trestle, which runs over Pequea Creek and River Road on the Enola Low Grade Trail. Access to the trail going west from the Route...

Bear Hole Trail

PA - 5.5 miles

Swatara Creek runs through the vast woodlands of Swatara State Park in eastern Pennsylvania. Bear Hole Trail traces the eastern side of the waterway, while the Swatara Rail-Trail runs along the other...

Rim Trail

PA - 2.2 miles

The Rim Trail offers a 2.2-mile route in Hibernia County Park, following a former railroad bed along the West Branch Branywine Creek. This southeastern Pennsylvania excursion is one of a handful of...

Schuylkill River Trail

PA - 71.7 miles

At one time an important thoroughfare for commerce carried by canal barges and railroad cars in southeastern Pennsylvania, the Schuylkill River corridor now accommodates walkers, bicyclists, and...

Schuylkill Valley Heritage Trail

PA - 7.3 miles

The Schuylkill Valley Heritage Trail passes through the rolling green hills of the Schuylkill River Valley, from just outside of Tamaqua to Middleport. The trail runs immediately adjacent to US...

Hanover Trolley Trail

PA - 3.5 miles

The Hanover Trolley Trail is being built along the 16-mile corridor of the York-Hanover Trolley Line that ran between the two cities in the early 1900s. Currently, about a quarter of that distance is...

Swatara Rail-Trail

PA - 10 miles

The Swatara Rail-Trail uses the corridors left behind by a canal and a railroad to snake around an Appalachian mountain in eastern Pennsylvania, passing through the forests of Swatara State Park most...

Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail

PA - 18 miles

While the Lebanon Valley might be best known for its chocolate and distinctive bologna, iron ore is what put the region on the map in the 1700s. The 18-mile Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail—and the...

Chickies Rock Overlook Trail

PA - 0.5 miles

As its name implies, hikers on the Chickies Rock Overlook Trail will be rewarded with a beautiful vista at the end of their excursion. The trail follows an old trolley line route that once took...

Gravity Trail

PA - 4.15 miles

Constructed in 2012, the Gravity Trail is one of the newer additions to the extensive network of trails and greenways that criss-cross the Greater Reading metro area. The trail's unusual name comes...

Stony Valley Railroad Grade

PA - 19.7 miles

Note: During hunting season, Pennsylvania Game Lands Regulations require ALL non-hunters present on game lands between November 15 and December 15 (excluding Sundays) to wear a minimum of 250 square...

Northwest Lancaster County River Trail

PA - 14.1 miles

The Northwest Lancaster County River Trail follows the route of the historic Pennsylvania Main Line Canal, tracing the Susquehanna River northwest from Columbia to Falmouth. While the majority of the...

Michael Castle Trail

DE - 12.4 miles

The Michael Castle Trail offers a scenic 12-mile route along the north shore of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal in northern Delaware. The trail is named after the former governor and US...

Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail

MD - 19.5 miles

The Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail is one of the best hiking and biking trails in the Mid-Atlantic region. It allows for nearly 20 miles of flat travel, punctuated by a number of access points and an...

Michael Castle Trail

DE - 12.4 miles

The Michael Castle Trail offers a scenic 12-mile route along the north shore of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal in northern Delaware. The trail is named after the former governor and US...

Schuylkill Valley Heritage Trail

PA - 7.3 miles

The Schuylkill Valley Heritage Trail passes through the rolling green hills of the Schuylkill River Valley, from just outside of Tamaqua to Middleport. The trail runs immediately adjacent to US...

Struble Trail

PA - 2.6 miles

The Chester County Parks & Recreation Department opened this trail in 1979 on part of a former Pennsylvania Railroad right-of-way. Today the 2.6-mile trail attracts more than 125,000 visitors each...

Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail

MD - 19.5 miles

The Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail is one of the best hiking and biking trails in the Mid-Atlantic region. It allows for nearly 20 miles of flat travel, punctuated by a number of access points and an...

Accordion

Lykens Valley Rail Trail

PA - 9.2 miles

Lykens Valley Rail Trail is nearly half-way complete with 9 miles of trail open out of 20 miles planned. Those 9 miles are available in three disconnected segments. In Millersburg, a 0.4-mile segment...

Warwick Township Linear Park Trail

PA - 1.2 miles

The Warwick Township Linear Park Trail is a joint project of Warwick Township and Lititz borough. The pathway extends from Market Street north, following the Santo Domingo Creek, to Newport Road....

Hanover Trolley Trail

PA - 3.5 miles

The Hanover Trolley Trail is being built along the 16-mile corridor of the York-Hanover Trolley Line that ran between the two cities in the early 1900s. Currently, about a quarter of that distance is...

Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail

PA - 18 miles

While the Lebanon Valley might be best known for its chocolate and distinctive bologna, iron ore is what put the region on the map in the 1700s. The 18-mile Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail—and the...

Conewago Recreation Trail

PA - 5 miles

Farms and pastures surround the Conewago Recreation Trail, but it was the discovery and mining of iron ore that led to the development of the railroad that eventually resulted in this trail. The path...

Schuylkill River Trail

PA - 71.7 miles

At one time an important thoroughfare for commerce carried by canal barges and railroad cars in southeastern Pennsylvania, the Schuylkill River corridor now accommodates walkers, bicyclists, and...

Chickies Rock Overlook Trail

PA - 0.5 miles

As its name implies, hikers on the Chickies Rock Overlook Trail will be rewarded with a beautiful vista at the end of their excursion. The trail follows an old trolley line route that once took...

Capital Area Greenbelt

PA - 21.2 miles

Every year, tens of thousands of people take to the Capital Area Greenbelt looping around Harrisburg to play, exercise, and commute. The greenway completely encircles Pennsylvania’s capital city as it...

Heritage Rail Trail County Park

PA - 25.5 miles

Note: Per the York County website, "A section of the Heritage Rail Trail County Park will be closed starting March 21, 2016. The closure will begin at the Colonial Courthouse in York, south to...

Stony Valley Railroad Grade

PA - 19.7 miles

Note: During hunting season, Pennsylvania Game Lands Regulations require ALL non-hunters present on game lands between November 15 and December 15 (excluding Sundays) to wear a minimum of 250 square...

Enola Low Grade Trail

PA - 28.9 miles

Caution: On April 12, 2018, a fire severely damaged the Martic Forge Trestle, which runs over Pequea Creek and River Road on the Enola Low Grade Trail. Access to the trail going west from the Route...

Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway Trail

MD - 2.5 miles

Maryland's Susquehanna State Park is recognized for challenging hiking and biking trails, camping facilities, rock outcroppings, boating, a museum and restored historical sites. But none of these...

Rim Trail

PA - 2.2 miles

The Rim Trail offers a 2.2-mile route in Hibernia County Park, following a former railroad bed along the West Branch Branywine Creek. This southeastern Pennsylvania excursion is one of a handful of...

Northwest Lancaster County River Trail

PA - 14.1 miles

The Northwest Lancaster County River Trail follows the route of the historic Pennsylvania Main Line Canal, tracing the Susquehanna River northwest from Columbia to Falmouth. While the majority of the...

Ridley Creek State Park Trail

PA - 4.8 miles

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...

Bear Hole Trail

PA - 5.5 miles

Swatara Creek runs through the vast woodlands of Swatara State Park in eastern Pennsylvania. Bear Hole Trail traces the eastern side of the waterway, while the Swatara Rail-Trail runs along the other...

Recent Trail Reviews

Heritage Rail Trail County Park

Enjoyable Ride

August, 2019 by cfernscpa

My wife and I have done many plus 20 mile rides and rank this near the top. Plenty of shade Well maintained surface clean bathrooms. Hanover Junction excellent stopping place with bathroom and museum. Loved seeing train pull in. Ride from York has nice ascent and was a good workout. Even better ride back downhill.

Blue Marsh Lake Multi-Use Trail

Blue Marsh Trail

August, 2019 by betty609

This is an amazing trail for mountain biking, hiking, and walking. There are many different places to park. The state hill boat ramp has a bathroom with a paved parking lot. This is a hidden gem in Berks County, PA. Wear orange during hunting season when using the trail.

Jack A. Markell Trail

A Great Ride

August, 2019 by george brubaker

Just finished a two hour ride from my house in Wilmington Manor to the Riverfront in Wilmington and then back to Battery Park in New Castle. This connects along the Delaware River which I followedi to the end marked “private property”. Total time was 2 hours, three minutes; total distance 19.03 miles; total calories burned 592; average speed 9.3 mph; elevation gain 1,070 ft.

Accordion

Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail

Will not do that trail again.

August, 2019 by whattheheck7747

Very rough trail. Even goes down to a little path before you get to new freedom.

Northwest Lancaster County River Trail

Biking at its finest.

August, 2019 by kellis213

I feel so guilty! Someone did some fine planning to make this wonderful trail happen, and it's maintained and beautified! All I did was show up and ride. It was heaven. Thank you to whoever contributed to making one of the best trails I've experienced in the two years I've been biking.

Enola Low Grade Trail

The Section from Fairview Rd to Atglen.

August, 2019 by morriskelly337

Do not Bother. Not worth it! Not really a Rail Trail. It was like someone took a Grader back there "Years Ago" and it has not be touched since. 3 to 4 inches of standing water in some sections and not really much of a trail in other sections so you are basically riding through field like conditions with high grass. Never Again!

Capital Area Greenbelt

Started at the Farm Show. Only went about 2.5 miles North then back. All paved and well marked. the HCC had a fair amount of traffic. one section has a narrow path. need to be careful of the walkers with ear buds in!

August, 2019 by cdenningjr

Started at the Farm Show. Only went about 2.5 miles North then back. All paved and well marked. the HCC had a fair amount of traffic. one section has a narrow path. need to be careful of the walkers with ear buds in!

Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail

New section is open

August, 2019 by joelkring

On Sunday Aug. 4, we started at the root beer barrel (Cornwall parking lot) and rode north on the trail then turned left at Chestnut Street, go about 0.9 miles and turn right on 22nd Street (it may have a different name at this end of the street) go 0.1 mile and cross US 422 at a traffic light onto the parking lot of the Lebanon Valley Mall. Head toward the north-west corner of the parking area then turn right on 25th street. Wait for the green light to go through the RR underpass, the trail will be on your left. Cross the road then turn left along the new parking lot and follow the new trail for about 1.8 miles to Long Lane. Adds about 7 miles, 3 miles on roads that at least on a Sunday morning were not too busy. Great addition to an already good trail.

Stony Valley Railroad Grade

Nice trail, hard to get to

July, 2019 by jacig6

This trail is good for running, hiking, and casual mountain biking but is not as well maintained as some other trails. It was a little difficult to get to the trail as it’s off a gravel road and very isolated. The trail surface, while generally good, can be inconsistent. Watch out for snakes! We saw quite a large rattler, that luckily minded his own business.

Jack A. Markell Trail

Jack A. Markell Trail Review

July, 2019 by hollymalloy_tl

Finding the Newcastle “end point” to the trail was tricky. Once I found it, the scenery was beautiful at times, but also filled with highway imagery. Two trees had also fallen down from a previous storm, so that was difficult to maneuver under. Once I came into the marsh area, there was a nice view of Delaware marsh land that I had only previously seen at a distance from the I-95 on ramp. Overall, I enjoyed it.

Schuylkill River Trail

Coming together

July, 2019 by jmcginnis12@gmail.com

With more gaps being closed every year, the 40-year goal of constructing a continuous, multi-use trail that will run the length of the Schuylkill River from the coal country of the Poconos southeast to the marshes of South Philly is close to being a reality.

As of mid-2019, over 71 miles of trail have been built, enough to classify the system as the unified Schuylkill River Trail, as opposed to a series of stand-alone greenways regarded as separate projects.
Rather than rehash the description above, I'll just note that, like other long-distance greenways, the Schuylkill River Trail has a lot to offer for hikers, cyclists, parents pushing young kids in strollers and roller and inline skating on the paved sections. Most of the trail follows old rail corridors or canal towpaths, ensuring a level trip with few slopes, as well as numerous reminders of the river's history as a major transportation route, a roll that can still be seen today by its close proximity to major highways like Routes 61, 422 and I-76 and active rail lines that freight trains often rumble along. Although most of the mills and other factories that used the coal and lumber shipped down the river for raw materials and sent finished product to the port of Philadelphia are now gone, their legacy also lives on whether as ruined hulks, historical markers or as repurposed apartment houses or office buildings. Some of the many historical sites on or near the trail include the vintage car museum and Yuengling brewery in Pottsville, an old canal tunnel turned rock cut south of Landingville, the railroad museum in Hamburg, Daniel Boone's birthplace near Douglassville, Morlatton Village, a Swedish village that was one of the firstthe Phoenix Iron Works museum in the old foundry in Phoenixville, a restored segment of canal in Mont Clare, Valley Forge National Historical Park, an old movie studio just east of Valley Forge, the Philadelphia Art Museum and Bartram's Garden, the oldest botanical gardens in the US, along with many others.
As one would also expect, the trail passes through a wide array of landscapes on its route. From the lush, remote forests of Schuylkill County, to the rural farmlands of Berks County, to the more suburban Montgomery and Chester counties and finally heavily urban Philadelphia, as well as smaller cities Reading and Pottstown and numerous towns along the route, the trail offers users a microcosm of Pennsylvania.

The trail is paved with crushed stone on most of its rural and remote segments from its northwest terminus outside Pottsville to the eastern end of a restored canal near Oaks, and asphalt in Reading, Pottstown and on most of the stretch from Oaks to its current southeast end at Bartram's Garden in South Philly. No review of the trail would be complete without mentioning the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk segment, which extends over the river itself in Center City Philadelphia.
Although most of its surface is smooth and user-friendly, some of the shorter segments, including the one that parallels Route 61 just south of Pottsville and a little-used one near Felix Dam Park in the north Reading suburbs, are in need of improvement. The westernmost segment of the Thun segment of the trail from Route 183 to Reading Community College, although paved with asphalt, also needs repaired and better overall maintenance. The subpar status of these sections of trail. along with vandalism in parts of Reading and the fact that some of the remaining gaps in the trail are not easily detoured, prevents me from giving the trail a 4 or 5 star rating.
Fortunately, efforts continue to close these gaps and it looks like the trail may be completed in the next decade or so. Plans are currently under way to complete the long-stalled restoration of an old RR trestle south of Auburn in the next year or two, a pedestrian bridge over a steep gap over Route 724 east of Monocacy is currently in the planning stage, a trail bridge spanning the Schuylkill River next to the new Route 422 bridge east of Pottsville has been completed in anticipation of constructing the "missing link" between Pottstown and Parker Ford in 2020 and work is currently under way on the repurposing of an old RR swinging bridge over the river in South Philadelphia, which will connect the Greys Ferry Crescent and Bartram's Mile sections to one another.
In addition to bringing the Schuylkill River's status as a transportation corridor into the 21st century by connecting numerous towns and cities, the trail has also helped revitalize the economy of a region that was hard hit by the decline of steel, coal mining and other heavy industries in the last few decades. With connections to the East Coast Greenway and future Schuylkill-Susquehanna Passage and 9/11 trails, it has the potential to be an eastern PA counterpart to the Great Allegheny Passage.

Chester Valley Trail

Generally Average

July, 2019 by jencromer

I'm basing my rating on comparison to other trails I've ridden. Some sections of CVRT are quite lovely; passing by parks and wooded areas.

Otherwise, the proximity to 202 and the numerous road crossings makes the trail feel choppy and you never really feel disconnected from suburbia. There are two intersections in particular that I found quite dangerous.

First, in Exton, the crossing at Rt. 100 is chaotic! You need to cross roads three times to reach the other side of 100. On top of that, truck traffic is extremely heavy and frequently blocks the intersection.

The other dangerous intersection is at Foundry Way in Malvern. Incoming traffic has the right of way and does not stop. The intersection is large, so by the time you're in the middle of it, traffic is inbound and they barely slow down! Be careful here.

Overall, I think CVRT is more a commuter trail than recreational trail.

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