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.
“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.
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