PA Trails – Chester Valley Trail – Part 2

East view along Matthews Rd
I was struck by a massive case of wanderlust after a long day of work Friday, and found myself exploring a still-under-construction segment of the Chester Valley Trail in Malvern, PA.  This has quickly become one of my favorite trails, due to its proximity to my office and its ability to spare me the worst of the Friday night traffic towards the Poconos.

I started at my usual location of the Battle of the Clouds Park and headed east towards Target.  Instead of turning around this time, I continued along Matthews Road.  A wide swath of new pavement parallels this road, although segments are still missing.  This resulted in some curb hopping between the trail and the road, being mindful about vehicular traffic while doing so.

Fragmentation viewed from same spot looking west
As it rounded a bend, I rode amongst a family of deer, who were no doubt curious about my three-wheel contraption.  The trail wound down to a bridge near Cedar Hollow Road, and this was as far as I went, even though I suspected the trail went further if you walked up the gravelly hill.  I later confirmed on Google Maps that the trail does continue east, stretching from Cedar Hollow Road to Swedesford Road.  This will no doubt fuel another after-work excursion in the near future. 

If you ride between Target and Cedar Hollow Road, you need to be aware of the fragmented nature of the trail, although it should be completed in the near future.  It is generally a downhill ride as you head east, giving you a substantial climb returning west.  I did not measure it, but I believe it to be about 3 degrees, and I was able to climb it without stopping.  For reference, it is slightly less steep than the hill at the far end of the Target parking lot, which is the steepest I have found on the trail so far.
Scenic . . . but watch for deer crossing the trail!
When I added these miles into my usual ride, it brought the round-trip to 12.84 miles.  With the waning amount of daylight, this was as far as I could have gone anyway in the time I had available.  I will continue to recommend this trail as the best place to Trikke in this part of the state.
Map of last Friday’s ride: http://www.mapmyfitness.com/workout/370221675
Under construction near Cedar Hollow Rd
For more information about the Chester Valley Trail and the larger network of current and future Southeastern Pennsylvania trails, you can visit http://www.chestervalleytrail.org/and http://connectthecircuit.org/.
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