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You are viewing 3 posts with the tag Thun Trail

Leaf Peeping On The Circuit

While leaf weary Vermonters wait for Killington to start up their loud and icy snow guns, peak foliage has come to the trails of the Circuit. This year it appears that the peak is perfectly aligned with Indian Summerso now is the time to get on the path and enjoy a windshield free view of the Autumn color.

Since much of the Circuit trail system runs through parkland almost any segment of the network will do, however I do have a favorite lists of trails that I consider to be especially scenic and worth a visit.
1. Tyler State Park - The park has a 10 mile criss-crossed network of paved trails, the east side of the park has a flat path that follows the Neshaminy Creek, but it is the hilly west side trails that are most interesting with great views and an abundance of not so shy deer.At  the far north end of the park is Schofield Covered Bridge.
2 - Perkiomen Trail - The terrain around the northern half of this 19 mile trail is rural and rugged, there is even a moderate trail climb around Spring Mountain. And while the PA Live Steamers model RR is no longer open to the public you can still get a good view of the action from the trail. 
3 - D&L/D&R Trails - These trails follow scenic canals with interesting wooden bridges on both sides of the Delaware, unfortunately on the Pennsylvania the D&L Canal has been dewatered north of New Hope due to required trail repairs, so you will be riding next to a trench instead of a watercourse. Still it's worth riding north to see the impressive Nockamixon Cliffs on the River.
4 - Brendan Byrne State Forest - This may be the anti foliage trail, Pitch Pine and Cedars dominate the landscape. While the Pine Brendan Byrne's 2.7 mile Cranberry Trail is the only multi-use path in the core of the pines, For a more substantial ride try the 10 mile bike loop which uses low traffic park roads.
5 - Forbidden Drive and the Wissahickon Bikeway - Great scenery and just over 30 minutes by bike from Center City Philadelphia via the Schuylkill River Trail. Stop at Valley Green but make sure continue to travel north the Thomas Mill Bridge. On weekends through October ride about a mile up Northwestern Ave to the Morris Arboretum, where bicyclists can gain admission for half price.
More Than Honorable Mentions - These trails are just as scenic as the featured ones above, but I don't have all day to talk about them.
Tell us about your favorite autumn Circuit Trail ride.
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Berks County Park Rangers Add Bicycle Patrols (TRI-COUNTY RECORD)

Berks County Park Rangers have begun patroling the Union Canal Trail and the trails around Antietam Lake. Excerpts from the story, from the Tri-County Record:
“Not only does it ensure public safety, but it’s a way to engage the public to make sure they’re following safe bicycle practices,” explained Albert Evans, Park Ranger Supervisor. 
Patrols will be added in two phases. The first phase of patrols are currently underway following the completion of a training course by two rangers and the acquisition of bicycles, a bicycle rack and high visibility uniforms. Two additional rangers will be trained and are expected to begin patrols later this month. The training course was provided at no cost to the county as an in-kind donation by state-certified instructor and retired Reading Police Sergeant, John Pontician.
Bike Patrol Rangers will be equipped with mountain bikes and first aid kits at all times.
“We frequently come across injuries on the trail. The majority of medical emergencies that occur in the parks, rangers are the first responders and often come across them before 9-1-1 is called.,” Evans said. “Bicycles offer a more effective and efficient way to patrol areas that are being used more and more and that are not accessible other than walking.”
Bern Township Police Officers are also assisting in the bike patrols of the Union Canal Trail, which runs between Blue Marsh Lake and the Stonecliffe Recreation Area. The trail sees significant traffic from walkers, joggers and bicyclists.

Bus Bridging the Schuylkill River Trail

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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

BARTA Route 20 Schedule (pdf) - Reading to Hamburg/Hamburg to Reading

John Bartram Trail- Hamburg to Pine Lane

Transit Details:

  • The Route 93 bus connects at Norristown Transportation Center for SEPTA Regional Rail and High Speed Line Service to Philadelphia.
  • Route 20 bus does not run on Sundays.
  • BARTA Bus Terminal is at 5th and Penn St in Reading
  • One Way Fares (Exact Change) Route 93 $2.00, Route 20 $2.05
  • Bike on Bus Instructional Video