The Berks Area Transportation Authority (BARTA) has just announced that their entire bus fleet is now bike rack equipped. So while the dream of bicycling or walking off road from Philadelphia to Pottsville is still several years in the future it is now possible to experience most of the existing Schuylkill RIver trail without dealing with complicated and hilly road routes.
The two largest gaps in the trail network are parallel to bike rack equipped commuter bus routes. In Montgomery County County take the Schuylkill River Trail/Perkiomen Trail to Collegeville where you can catch SEPTA Route 93 westbound at the Main St crossing. The bus will take you to the Pottstown to Reading portion of the Schuylkill River Trail. When you get to Downtown Reading BARTA bus 20 will take you to the John Bartram Trail section in Hamburg. From Hamburg you can travel another 7 miles to the current terminus of the trail at Pine Lane in South Manheim Township near Auburn in Schuylkill County.
If you are starting your bike trip in Philadelphia allow two long days or three easy days for the round trip. Camping and lodging accommodations are located in or near Reading, Hamburg and Auburn.
Schuylkill River/Perkiomen Trail - Philadelphia to Collegeville
SEPTA Route 93 on Google Transit - Collegeville to Pottstown
Schuylkill River/Thun Trail - Pottstown to Reading
John Bartram Trail- Hamburg to Pine Lane