Our first stop after emptying our house prior to settlement and moving into our RV full-time was the 2017 Philadelphia Folk Festival near Schwenksville, PA, which gave me another opportunity to run the upper sections of the Perkiomen Trail in Montgomery County (southeastern Pennsylvania).
Farm field camping at the 2017 Philadelphia Folk Festival
I have come to love the upper section of the Perkiomen Trail — especially when camping at the annual Philly Folk Festival each August. The festival is situated immediately adjacent to the trail making it very convenient for training runs during the week leading up to the actual festival on the weekend. I have run from the fest starting at Salford Station Road south to Collegeville, and I’ve run north from the same spot to Green Lane Reservoir. With the exception of climbing and descending Spring Mountain between Spring Mount Road and Schwenksville Road, the trail is fairly flat and follows the Perkiomen Creek most of that stretch. But once at Green Lane you can climb the extension along the side the dam and around behind Marlborough Elementary School along Gravel Pike.
My favorite section, though, is from Spring Mount Road north to Upper Ridge Road — a nice run through the woods with the creek on one side. There are only a few low-traffic road crossings until you get to Crusher Road and the surface is fine crushed gravel which makes for a very forgiving trail surface.
Dappled sunlight on the upper Perkiomen Trail
View of the Perkiomen Creek alongside the trail
While Spring Mountain is a 12% grade near the top, it is only about a quarter mile long and the steep section is now paved with asphalt making it a lot less treacherous for footing and bicyclists. It is worth making the effort to get to the other side because the section between Schwenksville and Collegeville features many lovely miles of shaded trail and rest rooms and water fountain at the Central Perkiomen Valley Park. You also get to run past the Gratersford Correctional Facility for a little speed motivation halfway to Collegeville.
If you haven’t been on the section from Collegeville north to Green Lane, do yourself a favor and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.