Completed in 2015, the Pennypack Trail extends 5.4 miles from Rockledge Borough to Byberry Road near Mason’s Mill Park. Built on the former Fox Chase-Newtown SEPTA rail line, this 12 foot wide gravel path provides level hiking and biking opportunities with scenic views of the Pennypack Creek valley.
Starting at Rockledge Borough Park at the intersection of Robbins & Rockledge Aves., the trail immediately crosses over Shady Lane and then a majestic new 165 foot steel bridge, 35 feet above a small stream valley. For the next two miles the trail becomes the western edge of Lorimer Park. Access is available to miles of the park’s internal trail system; exploring meadows and forests with huge trees. Bird and animal life abounds. The park’s main use area on Moredon Road provides parking, a picnic area and modern restrooms.
Continuing north the trail crosses the active SEPTA West Trenton line. Please obey the signals and gates when trains approach! Immediately past the train crossing is the Bethayres Swamp. Bring binoculars and look for birds, as this is an Audubon IBA (Important Bird Area). Leaving the swamp the trail intersects Welsh Road (Rt. 63). Parking is available for 40 cars and there is a portable toilet. There is also a kiosk with benches and historic panels describing the history of the former train station.
Two busy roads now need to be crossed, Welsh and Terwood. Each has crosswalks and pedestrian signals. For safety, please push the buttons to activate the signals. At approximately mile 3.0 the trail crosses the Pennypack Creek for the third time with a refurbished 165 foot former railroad bridge. (Note: All trail bridges, with the exception of Rockledge, were refurbished by Lorimer Park staff.)
The trail now goes through the historic town of Bryn Athyn. The post office, a former train station, is the hub of resident activity. Parking here is limited and permitted during NON-BUSINESS hours only.
The remaining stretch of trail going north bisects the lands of the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust. This conservation organization is dedicated to preserving the natural landscape of the Pennypack watershed. Many areas are environmentally sensitive, so please do not venture off the main trails into the woods. Just south of Creek Road is the site of a 1921 devastating train wreck. Many people lost their lives when two trains collided head-on in a curved rock gorge. The Trust provides one or two programs a year describing the incident.
The existing trail now ends at Byberry Road. There is a 28 car parking area and a portable toilet. Future plans would be to cross Byberry Road and complete the last 1/3 mile in Montgomery County to County Line Road. From there the rail line continues to Newtown, Bucks County. Many townships in that County are considering developing their portion of the line into trails as well.
- Length: 5.4 miles
- Width: 10-12 feet
- Surface: Crushed stone
- Activities: Biking, walking, jogging, horseback riding
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