The Wonderful family and ourselves, along with a bonus family of 3, set out for Evansville State Park on the Schuylkill River Bike Path for our sixth annual bike/camp extravaganza! The youngest are our own Fantastic twins, recently turned 8, and all the kids were raring to go. They chose this location for its bike access, woodsy seclusion, fairy house potential, river, and minimal car time. In fact, we used only one car for gear for our 9 kids and 6 adults. Most of us ended up biking over 80 miles during the 4-day trip. Bike, bike hooray!
Cynwood to Manayunk
We stared off near the Wonderful household on the Cynwyd (pronounced “kin-wood”) Heritage Trail (above). This little 2-mile rails-to-trails linear park has tremendous community support and big plans of incorporating the historic Manayunk Bridge- let’s do it people!!! I can’t wait to ride this trail at that time because it will be an amazing bird’s eye view of the city that will also connect the town of Bala Cynwyd on the west side of the Schuylkill River to Manayunk on the east side. One caveat, however: we rode downhill on the trail almost the whole way – it may not be as fun going uphill. For us it was a lovely day, a comfortable downhill slope, and we were just starting on our trip.
Historic hotel and bridge in Collegeville, us on part of the trail: Original dedication inscription on bridge says “This bridge was founded in the Year of our Lord 1798 & finished in 1799″ along with some names, see Wikipedia article about Perkiomen Bridge
Collegeville and Evansville State Park
Once we crossed some traffic and the bridge to Manayunk, we were on the bike path until Collegeville, about 22 miles. We stopped for lunch at Valley Forge, a National Historic Park on the bike trail where we ignored some significant national history and took advantage of the bathrooms and picnic tables. Then we continued on to Evansville State Park where we had stayed before. In the quiet, wooded group campsite we were once again the only campers. We ate, played Boggle and “four on a couch” (using a log for the couch-the game was new to me and so fun!), made campfires, and hiked to the Skippack Creek and went creekwalking. We saw a water snake and lots of fish, also we saw a fox on the trail.
We were pleasantly surprised to find a bike trail from Evansville State Park to the small, touristy town of Skippack Village. It was about 7 miles and went through agricultural fields, suburban backyards, and a town park. A few of us went to check it out then all of us decided to go on a second trip. It is a small strip of historic buildings which are now many gift shops, a pottery store, and the wonderful Miss Riddle’s candy shop.
clockwise from top left: covered bridge where trail meets town, bike trail signage, picnicking next to the river, Skippack Village signage
We lucked out with no rain, mostly happy kids, and a nice ride back. I noticed this old film studio near Valley Forge next to the bike trail (below). Interestingly, it is the site of a pre-Hollywood film studio called Betzwood Motion Picture Studio that covered 350 acres and churned out a movie a week at its prime in the early 1900′s. Thanks to this blogger for documenting so much about it. Also below: rock wall detail, Falls Bridge in Philadelphia.
How Time Flies!
It was during last year’s bike trip that the idea for this blog was born, so it is nice to post about this year’s trip while considering all of the trips I have blogged about over this past year. A year from now we should be very close to The Big Trip RTW! Much to look forward to, much to enjoy remembering, thanks for reading.