Schuylkill River Trail: A metric century from Philadelphia to Reading

Actually, make that two solid metric centuries — 62-plus miles each time — since we — my sister and I — biked back the next day.

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Arney’s Mount: another stunning Burlington County trail

Yup, that’s Arney’s Mount.

The climbing starts as soon as you leave the parking lot and hit the Arney’s Mount Trail. Climbing is a relative term, though, because this is flat, flat Burlington County, and the highest point is … Arney’s Mount. It’s all of maybe 249 feet, and that’s standing on tip-toes.

The new Arney’s Mount Trail, which just had its official opening, doesn’t go all the way to the top. Instead, the 2.2-mile paved loop soon takes you out of the woods and skirting open field. One surprise is that the loop encircles private property.

(Psst… if you do want to claim you’ve been to the county’s highest point, look for the unsigned paved path to your left not long into your ride. You’ll need your gears. On a clear day, you might see the Philadelphia skyline. So they say.)

The trail swoops gently up and down, curves one way, then another. The backdrop this time of year is all red, orange and gold. Just before a bridge, look left. More private land, and the field was full of pumpkins one day after Halloween(!). Or have I discovered Linus’ Great Pumpkin Patch?

Then there’s a straightaway that had me thinking Indy 500 (I know! But you can imagine how kids would love this chance to show off their speed!) before this sign that was a first for me on a trail:

After that it’s back to gentle curves and eventually it’s decision: time: turn left and head back to the parking lot or go around again. Really, go again because it’s that enjoyable. This route might be as pretty as the recently opened Delaware River Heritage Trail section from Crystal Lake Park to Roebling, just less than half its length.

I volunteer with Girls in Gear, and I couldn’t help but think how perfect this trail would be for my current group of 11-13-year-olds (who could use more practice using their gears) and even the 8-10-year-old group. The older girls could do two loops, three loops with some pushing. The younger girls would do one.

You want more? The gravel-minded should look out for a couple of options off to the sides. Equestrians get a place to ride as well. And of course walkers are welcome.

The trailhead includes four inverted-U bike racks, a picnic shelter plus another table outside the shelter, a port-a-potty and of course a generously sized parking lot. Click here to get directions from your GPS.

Burlington County has an ambitious trail program, and this is only the first phase for Arney’s Mount. You might say the trail right now goes nowhere, but the next part, perhaps 3.5 miles long, will meander northwest through county open space and preserved farms to the Burlington County Fairgrounds (think by Recklesstown Farm Distillery). Heading in the other direction eventually will be more trail that leads to the developing Rancocas Creek Greenway. (Read about my ride along that trail’s new 4-mile section.)

Overall, it’s another great addition to the Circuit Trails.

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Explore Burlington County’s new Rancocas Creek Greenway

Burlington County formally opened the 4-mile Rancocas Creek Greenway in September. This trail stretches from Amico Island where the Rancocas Creek meets the Delaware River into Riverside, then across a bridge spanning the Rancocas Creek and into Delanco, then along the creek and past an over-55 neighborhood to beautiful Pennington Park.

How cool would it be to have this trail behind your neighborhood?

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E-biking in Piedmont’s wine country around Alba

Yup, an e-bike. Why not?

The hills south of Alba, vines dripping with purple Nebbiolo grapes that will be turned into Barolo wine, are steep. Why make this day hard on ourselves?

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Day 3 on Eurovelo 8 in France: We reach Narbonne

The first question of the day: how do we get back to the Canal du Midi?

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Day 2 on Eurovelo 8 in France: Sete to Beziers

The goal on this day is to meet friends for dinner in Beziers. Along the way, though, my goal is to reflexively say Bonjour Madame/Monsieur every time I enter a shop or otherwise approach someone. After all, one of these friends has explained, not doing this is considered the height of rudeness (and why perhaps Americans in France are seen as rude, not the other way around.) I know I was a bit remiss on Day 1.

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Eurovelo 8: Montpellier to Narbonne in 3 days

It’s hot, the sun is beating down, we’re maybe halfway through our first day on Eurovelo 8, and I’m sick of the taste of Isostar (Europe’s Gatorade) in my water bottle. All three of us are looking for water.

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How to bike to Duke Farms (with a detour to the new Flounder Brewing)

Biking to Duke Farms has been on the list for a while.

But if we wanted to benefit from the calmness of the D&R Canal towpath for much of the ride, the trade-off would be some stretches of busy road. Would it be worth it?

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Lawrence Hopewell Trail’s Full Moon Ride is back!

I love the Lawrence Hopewell Trail but haven’t been on its Full Moon Ride in – gulp! – five years. Time to go back!

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Erie Canal bike ride: We reach Albany on Day 7

Congratulate four new end-to-enders!

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