Trails to Try
A series of articles dedicated to hiking trails in the Philadelphia area
The Skippack Creek Loop Trail
Hidden in the suburbs of Montgomery County, Evansburg State Park, a 3000+ area on both sides of the Skippack Creek that includes a variety of landscapes, from forests to meadows including the creek and former farmland. Just off Route 73 between Norristown and Collegeville, if you miss the signs you won’t even know it’s there. The park offers a number of recreational activities, including hiking which, while rated “easy” provides more of a challenge than the area rail trails.
The Skippack Creek Loop Trail, in the center of Evansburg State Park, is a 4 plus-mile trail that encircles the Skippack Creek. Published sources don’t seem to agree on the distance, listing it from 4.2 to 7 miles. This is likely due to the fact that the trail is not marked well in spots, making it easy to wander off. (Getting completely lost however is unlikely as the creek is in sight for most of the trail.) With an elevation gain of 246 feet, it has some steep portions, but is overall manageable for most casual hikers.
The trail runs high above the creek and also along the bank. You will also pass ruins of eighteenth and nineteenth century mills and houses. To complete the loop, there are two creek crossings and it is necessary to walk along the road with a narrow shoulder for a section, so you’ll need to watch out for cars zipping by.
Portions of the park are open to hunters established seasons and you will notice signs indicating this along the trail. If hiking during hunting season, wearing a bright color, such as orange, is recommended.
Evansburg has many other trails, including 15 miles for equestrians and 5 for mountain bikers. As is true with other state parks, there are also recreation and picnic areas, including some with charcoal grills.