This morning Maryann R., Mike K. and I hiked the first 7 miles on The Horseshoe Trail.
When I was training for the 2007 MS Walk I did a lot of walking out at Valley Forge and saw the signs for the Horseshoe Trail. I purchased a guide book in the visitor center bookstore promising myself to hike some of it some day. That was 6 years ago. Better now than never I suppose. :)
|The trail is marked with yellow blazes|
Some were more difficult to read than others
We parked a car at the Great Valley Nature Center in Malvern. I've been told this is a neat place to visit and it appeared so. I think I'll have to go back someday when it is open. We met up at the Washington's Headquarters at Valley Forge park to begin our hike. It is only a few minutes walk from there to the start of the trail.
About a half mile in are the remains of the Colonial Springs Bottling plant originally operated by Benjamin Franklin Fisher in the 1800's. In the early 1900's - the guidebook says - the property was purchased by Chares Hires of Hires Root Beer fame. Click here for a history of Valley Forge Mountain where much of our hike took place. The link includes mention of the bottling plant, the trail, how Mount Misery and Mount Joy got their names and other neat stuff.
|Colonial Bottling Plant ruins|
|Another view of the Bottling Plant|
The trail follows paved road in a few places but is still mostly on trails through wooded areas. At some points it goes between the boundaries of private property. We saw houses and barns of varying sizes. We passed an Alpaca farm. I wish I had read the guidebook more closely before going out. Apparantly we passed very near some interesting sites that would have required only a small detour.
|Just before the end of today's hike |
we crossed this abandoned rail road.
I wonder what it was for? We surmised
it was to transport supplies for
the various forges in the area but
I haven't found any confirmation of that.
This was a fun hike and I look forward to Part II. If you are interested in hiking with us next time let me know and I'll keep you informed.