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Returning to Chester County’s Biking Paradise

Returning to Chester County’s Biking Paradise

embreeville mill
September 13, 2017

Having spent five years battling heat, humidity, head-winds, and a dearth of paved country roads in Kansas, I couldn’t be more thrilled than to now have Chester County and its surrounding environs as the backdrop for my many miles in the saddle.  So, you ask, what makes this such a special place to ride?

Above all, what makes this such a great place to ride are the views.  And how special some of them are.  Colorful meadows, old rugged barns and farmsteads, babbling brooks, stately covered bridges, majestic rolling hills, mist filled hollows, cool shady woodlands, and expansive country views; we’ve got them all right here in Chester County.  Traversing the quiet country roads on your bike, at a pace more akin to years gone by, allows these special places to slowly seep into your consciousness, and if, like me, you’re a dawn rider, set the tone for the rest of your day.

farm with rocks
Hibernia Park Mansion
bikers

This abundance of special places is, in part, due to the hard work of organizations such as the Brandywine Conservancy.  Our work to conserve the natural and cultural resources of the Brandywine watershed, through the permanent protection of natural, cultural and scenic resources, helps maintain these inspirational places for future generations of cyclists to enjoy.  Furthermore, our work through the Brandywine Creek Greenway, a conservation planning initiative of the Brandywine Conservancy, works with 25 dedicated municipalities spanning the East and West Branches of Brandywine Creek to provide a contiguous conservation corridor (or Greenway) that provides access to recreational, cultural, and natural features, while also providing valuable environmental services such as flood control, habitat diversity, and improving water quality.

nature preserve sign
planting trees
hawk

Last year, nearly 400 people joined us as we explored the Brandywine Creek Greenway and rode through the impressive King Ranch, visited two spectacular County Parks, and enjoyed numerous scenic views of the Creek and its surrounding countryside. Representing cycling clubs from all over the area the riders came together not only to enjoy a scenic ride but to help protect and preserve the very open spaces that make Chester County such a beautiful place to call home. This year, as the Conservancy celebrates its 50th anniversary in the Brandywine Valley, the number of riders is growing as is the number of routes. In 2017 riders can choose between the 25, 50, and 100 mile or “century” ride for those who want to venture all the way up to the headwaters of the Brandywine Creek, to some of the most stunning views in Pennsylvania.

If you, too, want to explore the scenery, glimpse the history and discover the lure of the Brandywine, join us for our second annual Bike the Brandywine.  This exciting event on Saturday, September 30th will traverse some of the county’s most bucolic landscapes as we trace the east and west branches of Brandywine Creek.  Proceeds from the ride will benefit the Conservancy’s clean water programs.  To learn more or register, visit www.brandywine.org/bikeride.

bike the brandywine jersey
The author in the inaugural Bike the Brandywine jersey from 2016