Union Canal Trail


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The Union Canal Trail is a well-developed and maintained crushed stone trail that parallels sections of the Tulpehocken Creek in Berks County, PA The original Union Canal ran 79.5 miles from Reading, PA to the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg, PA. It is a beautiful trail that passes historic stone buildings left from the canal days. Several of these are now used for park offices and add to the charm of the area. The length of the Union Canal Trail has been extended by several miles along the Army Corp of Engineers property, across farmland leading to and surrounding Blue Marsh Lake. A portion of the extended trail is a well developed crushed stone tread about 12 feet wide and good for horse travel. At the Stilling Basin entrance the trail turns to single track. Signage indicates that this portion of the trail is being leased to the County by the Army Corps. The trail follows the original canal corridor after Rebers Bridge Road about 4,000 feet before before it ascends from the valley to the Swiftwater parking area and continues on to Stilling Basin Road.

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Priceless gem of a trail  
By jmcginnis11 on Jun 10, 2014 trail review rating icon - 4 stars

The Union Canal Trail, mostly situated on a berm between the Tulpehocken Creek and the long-defunct (but still visible) canal for which it was named, is a multi-use, crushed stone greenway that connects the west side of Reading with the Blue Marsh Recreation Area. It is also the most beautiful trail in the extensive network that connects much of the Reading metropolitan area. Notable features include the lush woodlands that line much of the trail, providing cool shade during the warm spring and summer days, breathtaking views of the Tulpehocken Creek and ever-present waterfowl, squirrels and other wildlife. A number of old stone homes and buildings, many of them dating from the days of the canal, further add to the charm and serenity of the trail, as does the fact that the trail provides local residents easy, non-motorized access to several major historic sites, including the Berks County Heritage Center and Gring's Mill. With its gorgeous scenery and historical significance, along with its role as a link in a burgeoning greenway system, the Union Canal Trail is a treasure that will be cherished for generations to come.  

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Trail Counter - Total Trail Count: 650 * Total Mileage: 12,000
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