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Sunday, September 18, 2022

Biking the Perkiomen Trail North

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Hi Blog!

After a day of RV chores, it was time to get out and about. Not far from our RV Park in Hatfield is the Perkiomen Trail. The trail winds its way through the heart of the Perkiomen Valley. Beginning at the junction of the Schuylkill River Trail in Oaks, the trail uses much of the former rail bed of the Perkiomen Line of the Reading Railroad. The 20 mile trail passes several historic sites. Since this is our first bike ride in more than a month, we decided to start in the middle of the trail and bike 10 miles north to the trail's end in Marlborough. The return trip would give us a 20 mile ride.

Here we are at the trailhead in the Central Perkiomen Valley Park:

No sooner did we get started on our ride than we had to stop and admire this beautiful field of sunflowers.

Our first good view of Perkiomen Creek. The creek has 18 miles of navigable waters from south of Green Lane to its confluence with the Schuykill River near Oaks. Though largely a free-flowing stream from Green Lane to the Schuykill, there are a few small dams and old mill dam remnants scattered throughout its length.  

Perkiomen Bicycles has a great way to attract customers! They are posted directly on the bike trail and served as a full-service bike shop. They also will fix anything with wheels - wheelchairs, dog racing carts, kids bikes, and antique bikes.

The trail brought us to the town of Schwenksville. Many, many years ago we rode our bikes up from the Schuylkill Trail to the ice cream shop in Schwenksville. It warmed our hearts to know the shop is still there right next to the trail. While we were tempted to stop, we had miles to go before reaching the turnaround point.

The trail crosses the creek on a number of old railroad bridges.

Bridges are a fun place to stop and take in the beautiful valley. We are seeing more and more signs of fall. Winter is coming!

As we made our way toward Spring Mountain, we left the railroad right-of-way and made our way down a 12% grade to ride right next to the creek. It did cross our minds as we flew down the hill that we would have to ride back up!

The next four miles of the trail meandered through the rural communities of Lower Frederick Township. While we knew the bike trail was a multi-use trail, it was still surprising to see a couple of horses coming our way.

The Old Pool Farm has been home to the Philadelphia Folk Festival for 60 years. We have been to this farm dozens of times. However, we almost rode right by it, because we have never seen it from this direction. It also looks different without the light towers, food vendors and crowds!

What's not to love about a horse grazing next to a red barn?

We stopped on the bridge over Unami Creek. It was easy to see where the clear water of Unami Creek joined the cloudy water of Perkiomen Creek. The creek was named Unami after the Lenape people who lived along the creek. Unami was an Algonquian language spoken in eastern Pennsylvania.

Below, an old railroad bridge crosses Perkiomen Creek. We wondered how long it would be before another rail trail joined the Perkiomen Trail.

We stopped to check out the Deep Creek fishing and boating area. While the lake is small for a paddling adventure, Pennsylvania does stock the lake with rainbow trout in the fall. We may come back and try our luck.

As we approached Green Lane, we noticed a number of side trails. We weren't sure exactly which way the Perkiomen Trail continued. Our question was quickly answered. We had reached the end of the trail.

After a quick stop at the Sunoco down the street for a cold Gatorade, it was time to make our way back to the trailhead. You'll be happy to know, we did make it back up the 12% grade even if we did have to walk the bikes for the last 50 yards.

We have another week of puppy sitting, so it will be a while before our next adventure. We hope to get the bikes out again and take the Perkiomen Trail south to the Schuylkill Trail. Stay tuned.

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