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Perkiomen Trail

Pennsylvania Rail Trails
Lehigh Valley Region, PA

Family / Historic
Perkiomen Trail Description
Trail Access
Perkiomen Trail Access & Directions

Location: Near Philadelphia. Perkiomenville (Green Lane Park) to Oaks in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Trail Length: 21 miles.

Trail Surface: Cinder, crushed stone with grass shoulders. Paved for a short distance from Indianhead to the Schuylkill River Trail in Oaks (SRT).

Trail Difficulty: Easy

Trail Use : Mountain bike, cycle, walk, run, cross-country ski and horseback ride.

Caution: Busy multi-use trail. Some sections of the trail are remote.

 

 

 

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Perkiomen Trail

Note: The free trail maps on this website have been simplified to provide an overview with approximate locations of trails and special features. Read Full Disclaimer.

Perkiomen Trail Description:

The 21 mile Perkiomen Trail is among one of several long-distance, regional multi-use rail trails in Pennsylvania. It runs through the Perkiomen Creek Valley connecting Green Lane Park at the northern end with the Schuylkill River Trail near Valley Forge National Historic Park at the southern end. Most of the 10 foot-wide trail has a cinder and packed gravel surface except for the short distance at the southern end in Oaks where it is paved. Although there are some rough spots and challenging grades in some places, for the most part the level, easy grade and accessibility makes this a great bike ride for families and bicyclists of all ability levels.

Lovely at all times of the year, the Perkiomen Trail passes through diverse landscapes from shaded woods, natural areas and fields bursting with wildflowers to towns, suburbs and serene rural areas while always following scenic Perkiomen Creek along the route of the old Perkiomen Railway which began operation in 1868. Now, 130 years later, it is a treasured recreational corridor, passing through an area truly rich in history.

The Perkiomen Trail travels through ten Montgomery County municipalities, three county parks (Green Lane Park, Central Perkiomen Valley Park, Lower Perkiomen Valley Park) and two important historic sites, Mill Grove National Historical Landmark (John James Audubon House and Wildlife Sanctuary) and Pennypacker Mills Historic Site.

Several multi-use, spur trails branch of the Perkiomen Trail providing the opportunity for interesting side trips: The Evansburg Loop Trail, The Schuylkill River Trail, and the Audubon Loop Trail.

Around the Perkiomen Trail's midpoint, just below Graterford Road, the trail crosses to the west side of the Perkiomen Creek over a newly redecked old railroad bridge which offers trail users scenic views of the Perkiomen Creek and provides access to the Evansburg Loop Trail which connects the Perkiomen Trail with Evansburg State Park (following a utility cut) and a spur that leads to historic Skippack Village. The trail is paved but provides a horse trail corridor along the route.

The southern end of the trail connects to the 25 mile long Schuylkill River Trail (SRT). Part of the Federal River Heritage Corridor, it provides access to Valley Forge National Historical Park where cyclists can bike through history on over 18 miles of authorized biking trails.

The new 4.5 mile Audbon Loop Trail connects the Schuylkill River Trail in Valley Forge (National Historic) Park at Pawlings Road with the James Audubon Center and loops to Lower Perkiomen Park at Egypt Road. The PaDOT bridge over the Perkimomen links back to the Perkiomen Trail. A mountain bike is recommended if you plan to do the entire loop.

 

Green Lane Park
This 3,400 acre park located at the northern Perkiomen trailhead contains three bodies of water totaling 870 acres. Boat rentals are also available. The Deep Creek Lake area offers overnight campsites for family camping with modern restroom facilities as well as a designated camping area only for equestrians. There are miles of additional hiking, mountain biking, and horseback trails in the park. Trail maps can be found at the park office.

2144 Snyder Road - Routes 29 & 63 - Green Lane, PA (215-234-4528)

Central Perkiomen Valley Park
The Perkiomen Trail wanders through the 800 acre park's woodlands, and fields offering beautiful vistas of Perkiomen Creek. There are picnic areas at the Park Headquarters on Plank Road, as well as fishing access to the creek, a children's playground, shuffleboard and large multi-use fields.

Plank Road, Schwenksville, PA (610-287-6970)

Lower Perkiomen Valley Park
Small picturesque park. Tables available for a picnic lunch. In early summer, the field of red poppies by the park's Perkiomen trailhead is a highlight.

101 New Mill Road, Oaks, PA (610-666-5371)

 

John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove
Located near the southern end of the Perkiomen Trail, this fieldstone farm house was home to John James Audubon, the famous naturalist and artist. Visitors can observe birds and other wildlife on more than seven miles of hiking trails with gorgeous views of the Perkiomen Creek.  The historic three-story stone farmstone contains a museum displaying original Audubon prints, oil paintings, and memorabilia.

1201 Pawlings Road, Audubon, PA (610-666-5593).

Pennypacker Mills Historic Site
The highlight of this country estate, located aside the Perkiomen Creek just below Schwenksville, is the Colonial Revival mansion with furnishings and antiques collected by former governor Samuel W. Pennypacker. Activities throughout the year include exhibits, nature walks, workshops, historical renactments and special events.

Route 73 & Haldeman Rd, Schwenksville, PA (610-287-9349)

 

 

Perkiomen Trail Access

Parking can be found at several locations along routes 29 and 73, and Pawlings Road. To reach the area take Routes 100 and 29 south from Allentown or the Pottstown Expressway (Rt.422) northwest of Philadelphia. Major trailhead access points also provide in addition to parking, information and other amenities. Please respect private property and stay on the trail.

Northern Section
Green Lane Park Trailhead: Parking area at intersection of Snyder and Deep Creek Roads (in Park)
Central Section
Spring Mount Trailhead: Limited parking areas in village of Spring Mount, adjacent to Spring Mount Hotel and Foy Park on Main Street.
Central Perkiomen Valley Park: Trailhead parking at Plank Road, south of Schwenksville Borough between routes 29 and 73.
Graterford Trailhead: Parking area located on Rt. 29 across from the Perkiomen Township Building and Perkiomen Valley High School.
Collegeville Trailhead: Limited parking available behind Collegeville Station on Third Avenue and the Collegeville Post Office.
Southern Section
Lower Perkiomen Valley Park Trailhead: Parking area along New Mill Road (in Park)
Pawlings Road Trailhead: Located on the Schuylkill River Trail, parking is very close to the southern end of the trail.

Historical Note:

The Perkiomen Railway Company began operation in 1868. In the 1920's the line became a popular with nature lovers looking to access the lush Perkiomen Valley for recreational pursuits. In 1944 the Reading Railroad, expecting a continuing boom bought the line. Passenger service stopped in 1955 after passenger travel waned and twenty-one years later freight service ended. Montgomery County bought the right-of-way after the railroad declared bankruptcy in 1978.

 

 

For more information:

For other long distance multi-use rail-trails in this region see Pennsylvania Rail Trails

 

The trail is operated and maintained by the Montgomery County Department of Parks. They regularly maintain and patrol the trail to enforce park regulations and provide services to users. The trail is open during daylight hours.

Montgomery County Department of Parks and Heritage Services
PO Box 311
Norristown, PA 19404-0311

Phone:(610) 278-3555
TTY: 711 (AT&T Relay Services)

Trail Website: Montgomery County Parks  

 

 

 

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