Easy paved path along the Schuylkill River, Birding and River views, joggers, bikers, walkers.”
— Jeff Menaker
Features: Birding — River/Creek — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Family Friendly: Easy paved trail, popular with biking, rollerblading, and running
The Schuylkill River Trail will cover approimately 130 miles of the Schuylkill River when completed. At this point, there are several discontinuous sections available. This section of the trail is from Conshohocken to Parkersford. For most of the path, this is paved and 4-8 feet wide. It typically follows the river, although at times it may track straighter than the river and stray from the river's edge.
This section begins in a commercial/industrial section of Conshohocken. At the start there is easy access to food, beverage and parking. Just downriver on the trail (to be mapped still), there is a brewery with trail access.
Going upstream from Conoshohocken, you'll pass a blend of urban suburban, and rural landscapes. The trail will travel through the edge of Norristown, before entering into Valley Forge National Historical Park (A connector to the park is still under construction, although a temporary wooden walkway is available along the US 422 bridge at Betzwoood Access).
In Valley Forge, the trail is wooded. If it weren't for paralleling US 422, it would be quiet and serene. After the trail crosses the Perkiomen Creek, one switchback carries the trail down to stream level near the Confluence of the Perkiomen Creek and Schuylkill River. The trail continues along the bank of the Schuylkill behind an Industrial area of Oaks before another wooded and isolated stretch up to Reynold's dog park.
At the Dog Park and downriver end of the Schuylkill Canal, the trail takes a hard S turn around the end of the Schuylkill Canal and continues on the riverside/towpath of the Canal (to be more accurate, it's really a navigation, not a canal). From here until the Route 29 bridge in Phoenixville the trail is mostly grass/crushed stone. (There is an onroad option of the trail at this point)
At the Route 29 Bridge, the trail crosses the Schuylkill into Chester County, then follows a few road sections behind Bridge Street (filled with popular shopping and dining options). A recently opened section of trail continues through the gentle slopes and rural areas of Chester County to the trailhead in Parkersford. A large portion of the Chester County section is a crushed gravel surface. At this time, the adjacent section of trail has yet to be completed
Flora & Fauna
Watch the river, there are usually plenty of Herons, ducks, geese, and an occasional eagle. When alongside the canal keep alert for turtles, particularly on the sunny days.