Struble Trail and Uwchlan Trail
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Philadelphia (AMC Books)
Address:Norwood Road near PA 282, Downingtown, PA
Hours:8 a.m. to sunset daily
Fee: Free
Contact:, 610-942-2450

Bathrooms: Portable toilets at parking areas
Water/Snacks: None
Map: (click on Trails); (click on Information, then Parks & Recreation)

A very pretty, family-friendly multiuse trail leads along the East Branch of the Brandywine Creek.

Struble Trail and Uwchlan Trail
Photo by: Chester County Planning Commission

The Struble Trail is a wide, paved multiuse trail along the East Branch of the Brandywine Creek beginning in Downingtown Borough. It’s popular with families for biking and walking, yet nowhere near as crowded or fast-paced as some of the other trails in the region.

Young kids can enjoy lots of straightaway to get their biking legs in shape. Although relatively short (currently 2.6 miles, though when finished it will be 16 miles), the trail is a great choice for families. A former rail bed, the trail has a level, easy grade for its entire length and follows a lovely tree-shaded stretch of the wide, meandering creek between Dorlan Mill Road (south of Marsh Creek State Park) and Norwood Road. There are several well-gated road crossings.

A spur trail at Norwood connects to Kardon Park in Downingtown, and above the dam near the Norwood access is a popular swimming hole. Plans are in place to connect the trail to the north with Marsh Creek State Park and Springton Manor Farm, and beyond, for a total of 16 miles.

The creek is stocked with trout; along the trail are great fishing access spots.

At about 1.75 miles north of the Norwood parking area, the trail connects with the Uwchlan Trail, in Uwchlan Township. This is another paved trail, narrower and a bit hillier than the Struble Trail. It crosses several roads, with marked but ungated crossings. While perhaps too challenging for training wheels, it’s excellent for older kids to bike or walk on. It follows the rocky Shamona Creek up a pretty, wooded valley; the stream narrows to a trickle just south of a country club near Milford Road. (This is a good turn-around point—although the trail continues through residential neighborhoods from there, it’s not particularly scenic.) Along the Uwchlan Trail are several ruins and interpretive signs describing the history of iron making at Dowlin Forge, charcoaling and logging in the valley, and a gristmill.

Remember: Dogs should be leashed. Parking areas are in several spots beside the main Norwood access point; see map. A delayed-harvest (artificial lure only) trout fishing area is on the East Branch of the Brandywine between Shelmire and Dorlan Mill roads.

Plan B:

Springton Manor Farm, which administers the Struble Trail, has more trails, as well as a working farm open to visitors; Marsh Creek State Park nearby has boating, a swimming pool, and hiking trails.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Continue on PA 282 a short distance into Downingtown.


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