Two-day bike ride takes cyclists to three national parks near Schuylkill River Trail

Did you know that there are three national park sites located near the Schuylkill River Trail?

On Sept. 20 and 21, participants in the Schuylkill River Heritage Area’s Pedaling through Our National Parks Ride will visit those sites by bike. The third ride in the Heritage Area’s Schuylkill River Bike Tour Series, it will feature about 30 miles of cycling per day, with visits to Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Valley Forge National Historical Park and Independence National Historical Park.

Registrants can choose to ride on either or both days. The first day will include guided programs at Hopewell Furnace and Valley Forge, with a stop for lunch at the Schuylkill River Heritage Area headquarters in Pottstown. The second day will take cyclists from Valley Forge to Independence and will include a tour of Independence and a lunch program on the Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail. Lunch will be along the Schuylkill Banks in Philadelphia.

Each day, a bike/passenger shuttle will take riders back to their cars. Lunch, a light breakfast, tours and ride support are included. While most of the ride takes place along the Schuylkill River Trail, there are some on-road pieces. On the first day, about half is on road, primarily on back roads.

The Schuylkill River Trail Bike Tour Series is a series of annual rides that was introduced by the Schuylkill River Heritage Area in 2012. Each fall, a different section of trail is featured. All the rides are intended to raise awareness of the connections that can be made from the Schuylkill River Trail to regional historic sites.

“Our goal in establishing the Schuylkill River Trail Bike Tour Series is to show people that they can travel along the trail to connect to visitor sites and regional history,” said Kurt Zwikl, executive director of the Schuylkill River Heritage Area. “Cyclists who participate will not only experience an enjoyable ride, but they will discover how to access three national parks by bike.”

Registration closes Sept. 18. There will be no day of registration. Event is rain or shine. Ride limited to 200 riders per day.

Price includes bike/passenger shuttle, light breakfast, catered lunch, well-marked route, guided tours and programs and refreshments. Free t-shirts are included for all who register by September 5. All proceeds benefit the Schuylkill River Heritage Area.

Ride support and complimentary pre-ride bicycle safety checks will be provided by TriCounty Bicycles, of Pottstown. Due to the width of the trail, no bicycle trailers will be permitted. To learn more visit www.schuylkillriver.org.