Schuylkill River Trail is a 24.6 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Norristown, PA that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October.
Schuylkill River Trail
The hustle of traffic is all gone, I can hear the leaves falling all around me, the forest is alive with activity and color, it's a beautiful trail in Philly.
The Schuylkill River Bridge nearly met its demise in the 19 century. Once home to the Delaware Indians who called it Manaiunk meaning "Rushing and Roaring Waters."
The Native Americans known as the Lenni-Lenape inhabited this region they called Lenapehoking; Southern New York all the way through Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey down to Delaware. “Lenni” means “genuine” or “pure” or “real” or “original”; “Lenape” — properly pronounced “Leh-NAH-pay” — means “Indian” or “man
Do you remember tales of Valley Forge, it's just up the river a bit. Just imagine, a generation of people who sacrificed and perseverance through the Revolutionary War, pulling together, and overcame adversity during extraordinary times!
The First Bridge: Our Nation's Founding Father, in 1776 General George Washington, ordered the building of a bridge connecting Philadelphia to the West over the Schuylkill River.
The Continental Army was in peril, after a series of devastating battles, losses mounting, morale and all-time low, General Putnam gave the order to impede the advance of the British; destroying the bridge, after the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777.
The Second Bridge: The following year, Sir William Howe, directed Captain John Montressor to erect a second bridge, but the hastily built span was ruined by, "Rushing and Roaring Waters."
The Third Bridge: Captain John Montressor and his troops collected the debris and constructed a third bridge, which remained after the British departed the area.
After the wars end, an English traveler Henry Wansey visited the United States in 1794; his description of the third bridge, in An "Excursion to the United States of America" published two years later:
"[two iron chains] strained across the river parallel to each other, about six feet distance; on it are placed flat planks, fastened to each chain; and in this the horses and carriages pass over. As the horses stepped on the boards they sank under the pressure and the water rose between them; no railing on either side, it really looked very frightful and dangerous."
The chains are gone, but the memories live on.
Very nice trail, but not my favorite. started around Reading and went a few miles in each direction. Well maintained, but the trail runs along major interstates. All you hear is traffic.
I did this trail on 8/1/15 form Mont Clara. to just below Walnut Street. Started to ride back back but then decided to take the train back to Norristown. Then rode bake to Providence with with a friend and on to Mont Clare via the Toe Path. I had to wait so long for the train though it would have been just as fast to ride back. (next time I want to part way up the west side of the river. Wish they had a "trail riding" category
I started this trail at Norristown for a 32 mile round trip. It's flat and paved for most sections and then we get into cinder around Manayunk. Plenty of nice areas to cool off in the shade and I absolutely love biking past the lock and river. After circling around the museum, I stopped at a nice restaurant in Manayunk for a beer and continued back. Be careful in Manayunk. There's a short section that goes alongside traffic.
Really fast and fun if you hit it in the morning before the joggers/walkers come out. you can go down to the art museum or up to Lower Perkiomen Valley Park in Oaks but I don't suggest riding the Perkiomen past there because it's all gravel.
This trail is actually approximately 25 miles long point to point from Philadelphia to Valley Forge and 50 miles round trip. Great ride, very tiring, but there are some good places to stop along the way for a quick refuel or even a beer. Takes anywhere from 3 to 5 hours to complete all 50 miles depending on your fitness level. The trail is flat for the most part and paved the entire way, except for a short section between Manayunk and Conshohoken. Happy riding!!