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Closure Notice: At Lock 60, Montgomery county is undertaking a dredging project and the trail is closed around the lock area. See Montgomery County page for more up to date information.
As its name indicates, the 2-mile long Schuylkill River East Trail follows the northeast bank of the Schuylkill River in Montgomery County. Curving between Royersford and Mont Clare, the multiuse trail offers scenic views of the water and is often sheltered by trees. It's sometimes referred to as the Upper Schuylkill River Trail or the Schuylkill East Trail.
Access the northern end of the trail by the boat launch in Upper Schuylkill Valley Park (1615 Black Rock Rd, Royersford). River Road comes to a dead end at the park's southeast corner, where there is a parking lot and the entrance to the trail.
Following the bend in the river south past Black Rock Dam to the Lock 60 Recreation Area, the trail crosses a footbridge over the restored canal lock. The historic locktender’s house, situated just south of the lock, now serves as the Visitor Center for the Schuylkill Canal Association.
Although the off-road portion of the trail ends at Lock 60, trail users can easily continue an additional mile south on Tow Path Road to join the developing Schuylkill River Trail, currently 70+ miles long, in Mont Clare. This quaint town has a restaurant and produce market and is home to several historical structures, including the arched trestle that once carried the now abandoned Pennsylvania RR line over the canal and the river.
Other notable features along the trail include opportunities for birdwatching, boating, and fishing. The sheer cliffs that rise up immediately east of the trail are impressive to view, while the roar of water going over Black Rock Dam testifies to the power of the river.
Unlike the main Schuylkill River Trail, the Schuylkill River East Trail is not considered part of The Circuit Trails network, a developing 800-mile urban trail network in Greater Philadelphia. Long term plans call for the trail to be extended further northwest to link with the Royersford Riverfront Trail and eventually rejoin the main Schuylkill River Trail near Parker Ford. This would form a loop of trails that would connect Royersford, Spring City, Mingo, Mont Clare, and Phoenixville along both sides of the river.
Parking is available at both Upper Schuylkill Valley Park (1615 Black Rock Rd, Royersford) and at the Lock 60 Recreation Area (400 Tow Path Rd, Mont Clare).
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