Why just visit a place when you can experience it? To truly get to know a destination, you need to leave the paved trail and put down the guidebook. Wander, meander, and explore.
In Chester County, this means lacing up some sneaks and getting into nature. Fuel up for your adventure with a hearty breakfast in town, than hit the ground. Running? Sure. But there’s so many other ways to navigate the Brandywine Valley’s natural wonders. Grab a mountain bike. Rent a kayak. Hop on a horse. No matter how and where you roam, we promise the views will be stellar, and the experience unforgettable.
Serpentine Barrens Heritage Hike at Nottingham County Park. With stunning views, a variety of environments, and a mini history on the regions mining history, this self-guided trail/tour is interesting and invigorating. Grab the guide here.
Black Rock Interpretive Trail at Black Rock Sanctuary. A great trail for families that only takes around 30 minutes, this sign-guided trail keeps all ages interested with mini educational lessons and challenges along the way.
Binky Lee Preserve. Four miles of trails meander fields, woodlands, wetlands, and hills, many bordering Pickering Creek.
Stroud Preserve consists of 571 acres of culturally and ecologically important land popular for nature photographers. The rolling mosaic of once-pastured grasslands, working farmlands, and woodlands now serves as wildlife habitat and a unique site for research by the Stroud Research Center, one of the premier stream research labs in North America. If looking for a great scenic overlook, we recommend the Red Loop trail.
Marsh Creek Lake. The 535-acre destination allows you to enjoy migrating fowl and beautiful views. With two boat launches and 220 seasonal mooring slips, the lake is especially popular with sailboaters and fisherman.
Northbrook Canoe Company. Don’t have your own vessel? Head here for an amazing way to tour the area via the Brandywine River. Pick from kayaks, canoes, or inner tubes, and relax as the calm river pulls you through nature.
French Creek State Park, the largest block of contiguous forest between Washington, D.C. and New York City at 7,730-acres, includes two lakes in which to boat on. The larger, Hopewell Lake, offers seasonal kayak, canoe, rowboat (with and without motors), and paddleboarding rentals.
Struble Trail. Three miles of paved trails bordering the East branch of the Brandywine Creek makes for scenic views on an approachable course.
Warwick County Park. Miles of trails, some paved, some more rustic, meander through hills and valleys in this popular park. Be sure to navigate toward the only surviving Fink Truss, salvaged and used as part of a scenic overlook “bridge” by the French Creek.
Schuylkill River Trail. Got energy to burn? This multi-section trail travels the river from its start in Philadelphia and 128 miles through the countryside. The Chester County branch goes from Phoenixville toward Pottstown and runs just over 9 miles.
The following accommodations have access to biking paths or trails on site: 1732 Folke Stone Bed & Breakfast, General Warren Inne, Hamanassett Bed & Breakfast, Kennett House Bed and Breakfast, Residence Inn Philadelphia Valley Forge, The Desmond Hotel & Conference Center (bike rentals available on site), The Inn at Grace Winery, and The Mainstay Inn.