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
2144 Snyder Road - Routes 29 & 63 - Green Lane, PA (215-234-4528)
Central Perkiomen Valley Park
Plank Road, Schwenksville, PA (610-287-6970)
101 New Mill Road, Oaks, PA (610-666-5371)
John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove
1201 Pawlings Road, Audubon, PA (610-666-5593).
Pennypacker Mills Historic Site
Route 73 & Haldeman Rd, Schwenksville, PA (610-287-9349)
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.
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