September is Pennsylvania Trails Month! Whether you like to run, bike, kayak or just be outside in nature, there’s a trail nearby for you. This month, we’d like to draw special attention to a unique trail that plays an important role in recreation and transportation for a large part of the state: The Schuylkill River Trail.
Stretching almost 130 miles in its entirety, the Schuylkill River Trail (SRT) begins at the river’s headwaters in Schuylkill County and runs all the way to Philadelphia. While there are still sections of the trail being built, most of the trail is complete. There are both on-trail and on-road portions of the SRT, with signage throughout that make it easy to navigate. The trail and its surrounding area provide beautiful scenery, habitat for wildlife, a safe corridor for motorless travel and endless possibilities for recreation.
The SRT runs right through Pottstown and there are multiple ways to easily access the trail. The Pottstown portion of the SRT also houses many attractions worth stopping by while you’re biking or strolling. Here, we’ll list all the local access points as well as some fun things to check out as you travel along the trail.
Five Pottstown Area Access Points
The five SRT trailheads in the Pottstown area are described below.
Grosstown Road Access
The Grosstown Road trailhead is located at 1 Grosstown Road, in West Pottsgrove Township, just south of West High Street. The parking lot is well marked with Schuylkill River Trail signage at the entrance. A local convenience store is close by that is open to trail users for snacks, restrooms and fuel. This trailhead is a great access point for traveling west toward Reading, where the SRT is known as the Thun Trail. Traveling east leads to historic downtown Pottstown and Riverfront Park. Traveling west beyond Grosstown Road, the SRT is surfaced with crushed stone, and heading east in the Pottstown area, the trail is paved.
Riverfront Park Access Points
Two trailheads are located conveniently at Riverfront Park in Pottstown. Shaded parking areas are found on either side of the Manatawny Creek. Both areas are connected via a pedestrian bridge on the SRT. The parking area to the left of the creek is located at 150 Keystone Boulevard. The second parking area is directly next to the PARRC and Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area office at 140 College Drive. Both offer ample parking, paved trails, and river access. A connector trail leads to the downtown Pottstown shopping and restaurant district.
Frick's Lock Trailhead
The trailhead at Frick's Lock Village is a relatively new SRT access point and includes plenty of parking, a bike repair station, a picnic pavilion and access to the village, which is listed on National Register of Historic Places. Make a day out of your SRT adventure by exploring the trail and stopping for a tour of the village.
Towpath Park Access
The Towpath Park trailhead is located at 1597 New Schuylkill Road (Route 724) in East Coventry Township. The park has restrooms, picnic tables, a pavilion, playground equipment and a boat launch for access to the river at this site. Towpath Park is also great place to view and learn more about the history of the Schuylkill Canal and its important role in the state's historic anthracite coal industry.
This trailhead consists of a large parking area and is located at the intersection of Route 724 and Linfield Road within historic Parkerford in East Coventry Township. Heading southeast, trail users will reach Spring City and the Borough of Phoenixville.