The Horse-Shoe Trail of Pennsylvania is a 140 mile long trail that runs from Valley Forge National Park to the southeastern part of the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania. This trail is above and beyond if you are looking for a long run. The length of this trail will turn a lot of people away but you do not have to run the whole thing. This trail is perfect for someone who is training for an ultra marathon. It has hills, rock scrambles, and diversity to it. If you were to complete the entire trail you would run through 4 different counties of Pennsylvania.
What Makes It Great
This is the one of the few natural trails that has over 100 miles of trails in Pennsylvania. This allows the most intense runners to get those precious miles in all in one run. The Hors-Shoe Trail has a lot of variety just due to the distance it covers. With it running from Valley Forge to the southeastern part of the App. Trail you are going to experience a lot of different terrains. People are able to run through Valley Forge, French Creek State Park and the State Game Lands while following this trail.
This trail also allows you to experience what is like running at different times of the day if you complete the whole thing. This trail may seem like its a bit over the top for most people when in reality its not. Even if you are just starting your running career you could have great time running on this trail. The trail is well kept and in most sections you do not have to worry about exposed roots or rocks. The Horse-Shoe Trail is the ultimate ultra training spot in the Philadelphia area.
Who is Going to Love It
The people who are going to like this trail are the ones who are training for a race and need to add distance to their training log. People are immediately going to think this trail is not for them because it is 140 miles and is mostly used for hiking and horseback riding. The best part of the trail is that it has a wide variety of terrain making it perfect for the person who wants to get some trail running and not run single track. I would not take someone who does not have a good base to this trail but it is still a great place to train even if you don't complete the whole trail.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From downtown you are going to want to get onto I-76W and head towards Valley Forge. Once on I-76W you will take the take the exit for US-422W until you come to the exit for Valley Forge/PA-23. Once on PA-23 you will come to a stop light and make a right onto Valley Forge Park Road. You will stay on this road until you come to PA-252 where you will make a left. Stay on this road until you come to a parking lot. From the parking lot you are going to head back the way and cross the covered bridge. After the covered bridge you hop onto the Schuylkill River Trail. From the SRT you will be able to find the Horse-Shoe Trail.