Following the corridor of the former Philadelphia and Chester Valley Railroad, the 14-mile Chester Valley Trail (CVT), passes through scenic countryside in the Chester Valley between Bridgeport and Downingtown, PA. Anchored by Exton Park, near the King of Prussia Mall, the route is relatively flat but does include a steady elevation gain as you head southwest to the endpoint at N. Ship Road in Exton. Along the way see remnants of the historic railroad in the form of stone culverts and explore Exton Park, where over 190 bird species including osprey, bald eagle, and great egret have been observed in the wetlands.
The CVT is well-maintained, paved, offers shade on hot days, and provides links to numerous residential, commercial, and recreational areas, making it perfect for cyclists, in-line skaters or walkers. Overpasses and tunnels, which help avoid street crossings, make this a family-friendly route. In the future, extensions to the trail will allow for continuation past King of Prussia towards Bridgeport, where it will be possible to access the popular Schuylkill River Trail. Future plans also include connections through Exton Park to the Uwchlan Trail and a connection to the Enola Low Grade Trail. For more information see the Chester County Government website.
Photos: Courtesy of Chester County Government