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Parking is available adjacent to the Peace Valley Nature Center (170 N. Chapman Road), as well as off New Galena Road and Creek Road.
From a recumbent trike's perspective with a full suspension, the trail is easy ... if you can avoid the pedestrians: Overwhelming majority of people are polite & move over when you ring your bell. But only takes a few obnoxious runners.
Description: From the nature center parking lot, going clockwise, first obstacle are 2 sets of cement barriers on the bridge. A trike will get through, but recommend reduced speed to be sure. After that, the trail is paved but bumpy until you reach the parking lot on Creek Road; about a mile of this. At the parking lot veer to the right; this is new stretch of trail, that prevents riding on the road. From this point on it is smooth & easy, with manageable ups & down. You have 2 options when you reach the dam: Either ride on top of it, or take the longer route & ride below it (more elevation change). Nothing exciting until 1/4 mile past the last New Galena Rd parking lot, when 8% grade starts. This goes on for about 2/3 of a mile; lots of down hill after that before reaching the nature center. Total loop is a little over 6 miles.
Beautiful paved trail all the way around the lake with nice visitor's center with bathroom facilities. Several parking lots around the lake, some paved some gravel. Great place to ride when you don't want to ride on the road and other mixed surface trails are sloppy. Doylestown Bike Trail network connects to this trail with only one very small road section. And, Doylestown Bike Trail connects to 202 Parkway Trail. We did a 30 mile all paved trail ride with 1600 ft of climbing. Bring your climbing legs since this is NOT a flat trail. Also, lots of foot traffic around the lake so go early or out of season. On a warm day in January was amazed at number of people on the trail so can't image how busy it gets in season! Perfect for road or gravel bikes.
The trail now goes all of the way around New Galena Lake. It is 6 miles - much of it newly replaced and you no longer have to go on the road at all.
Love peace valley! Gorgeous views! It doesn't tend to get crowded & no shade across the bridge but the view totally makes up for it! Great for families & children
The parking area where we started had no signs or maps of the trail, we saw another biker and she told us we were on the trail and that it did loop around the lake with a short road section. We began by climbing a hill, when we got to the top I saw a sign for riders going the other direction of the 8% grade approaching. Turns or intersections were not marked especially when it came to the road section. Most of the trail has significant washboarding, very bumpy ride. The scenery is great, that earned the stars. Also, the porta-potty at the parking area was one of the worst I've ever been in and as a frequent trail rider (58 so far this year) that's saying a lot.
Family's first trail ride and it couldn't have been a more perfect day! The scenery around the trail is beautiful and the length was perfect for my 9 year old. There are a few hills which were difficult for her to get up (fare warning for people with children) but other than that, wonderful and highly recommended.
Fun trail can get congested for bikers. Nice scenery.
I just made the loop at Peace Valley Park. Beautiful scenary, but the path is old and narrow and broken up. When you pass by walkers (there are many), it is difficult to navigate. The cardio part is good!
I recently took a trip around Lake Galena at Peace Valley Park. This park is located about an hour north of Center City Philadelphia in historic Bucks County. Along with a running trail, the park boasts 14 miles of nature trails in the woods and meadows at the eastern end of Lake Galena.
From a running standpoint this area offers a 6 mile loop around the lake. However my GPS read 6.22 miles (I did get lost a little bit). Overall it was a very nice and scenic 6 miles. For the majority of the 6 miles the paths were open and allowed running on both sides without any issues.
There is a stretch where the running trail ends and you are required to run on an active road in order to finish the loop. Unfortunately there is no paved area or sidewalk for runners so this part can be a bit dangerous. A portion of this road is a one way so it is not a heavy traffic area, but there are cars driving there none the less. I didn’t get an exact distance on how much running was done on the road, but it felt like close to around half a mile.
One area I did enjoy about the running trail was the warning of hill increases and decreases as you approached them. It is something I had never scene before so for me this was new. Of course I would have ran the hills whether or not these warning signs were here, but it was good to know what you were in store for.
On the running trail there were a few amenities along the way. For example there were a few park benches if you want to take a seat or there were a few portable toilets if the urge hits you. However I did not see many areas with drinkable water, so make sure to bring a hydration vest/ belt if you plan on running here.
Outside of the running trail there are a few other areas to explore here. I passed a boat rental where it looked like you could rent a kayak, small sailing boat or canoe. I also saw a few trails that went off into the woods for some hiking. As I mentioned above, there are 14 miles of hiking trails at this park, so if you are looking for a good hike you can find it here.
Overall this running trail is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I enjoy a good run around the Schuylkill, but if you are looking for a truly scenic run this trail is worth the trip.
Thought I would try this one out while in the area. Not suitable for bikes. Too narrow, asphalt is chewed up, and too crowded. Would be nice for walking.
This is not a converted rail-trail, but rather a paved path around a small lake in a town park. Apparently very popular with the local community, as the path was pretty well congested the day after Christmas.
It's a fine park and lake for the local community, but not someplace to go to ride a bike on a trail. Even the locals don't bring their bikes.
You can definitely ride the path, but you will be going slow and dodging a lot of walkers along the way.
If you do bring your bike, do NOT expect to ride the road at the north end (to complete the loop). Others have commented that you can complete the circle by jumping on the road at the northern end (where the trail ends). You can, but you take your life in your hands. Along the mile or two of road there is NO shoulder on much of the road. The white line is literally at the edge of where you can ride. And there are lots of cars. Don't ride the road. Circle back instead.
I give it one star because it is a walking path and not a riding trail, and is quite congested. On the plus side, several parking lots around the lake. But if you're a rail-trail bike rider, definitely skip this one.
Great leisurely ride. You are out in the country. A road connects the part not shown on the map, making the loop just over 6 miles. Traffic is slow and sparse on this road and foot traffic is plentiful. Don't expect to go fast. Lots of walkers, runners and path crossers along the way. One short, steep hill on the northwest side will be a challenge to the novice rider. Recommend the clockwise direction. Pavement makes for easy pedaling, though some areas are rough and narrow. All in all, a place a I expect to come back to many times.
Wonderful trail for jogging and biking. It is an easier to bike it counter clockwise as you have one more long hill going up the road if go clockwise.
As this is a heavily used park, this trail should only be used for casual bike riding. Please do not use it for roadies riding for speed...you won't have a good time and walkers, joggers, unpredictable children and dog walkers will not appreciate you going 20+ mph thru the park!
As the other reviewer mentioned, be sure to stop at the bridge as you are about 99.99% assured of seeing some interesting wildlife. Birds that I've seen at Lake Galena have been...ducks, Canadian Geese, White Geese, Cormorants, Purple Marlins, Cardinals, Robins, Hummingbirds, House Finches, Yellow Finches, Doves, Eagles, Kestrel, Blue Heron, and Seagulls. Many of these smaller birds can be seen at the Nature Center's Bird Blind. Towards sunset you will often see flocks of geese come in and land on the lake; the Heron will often relocate for the evening. Sometimes you will also see the Seagulls or Cormorants lined up on the railings at the dam. You also have a pretty good chance before sunset to see some deer. You can often see them on the creek side of the dam and in some open fields along the roads around the dam on either side.
Although the map does not show it, the trail does completely circle the lake - making this about a 5 mile loop. All macadam. Only one steep hill on the northeast corner but there are benches to stop along the way up. A small part of the trail on the south side of the lake is shared with a road for about an eighth of a mile but it is nice and wide with the lake on one side and a few houses on the other side. We did the trail clockwise - N,E,S,W - and it was easy.
Great biking trail for the entire family. Make sure to stop on the bridge on the east end and look for wildlife - turtles, heron, etc. Nice picnicking areas and clean bathrooms (complete with hand dryers).
Overall a great easy ride and nice day!
Peace Valley is a fine place for riding, walking. There is a paved trail that all-but-circles Lake Galena (the circuit is completed by a road). The park and parking is free (except for boating) and there's an interesting nature center at the east end. Know that there is a the steep hill along the trail on the northeast corner of the lake. Lots of birds and other wildlife. Bring a picnic.
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