A few years ago when we lived in Media we discovered that there were miles of hiking trails in our neighboring township. While this kind of revelation may not be that shocking for many people in most parts of the country, we live in the Philadelphia suburbs and this was quite a pleasant surprise for us. We immediately started to explore the Middletown Township Trails and have since hiked each of the six trails multiple times.
One of our favorite trails is the Linvill Trail. It follows the perimeter of the awesome Linvilla Orchards, home of pick your own apples (and blueberries, peaches, strawberries, you name it), a brand new garden center, haunted hayrides, and, my favorite, cut your own Christmas trees. We’ve cut down a tree with Matt’s family for the past 6+ years and we always get our tree (a frazier fir) from the pre-cut tree area in the market.
The Linvill Trail and its neighbor, the Indian Orchard Trail, wind around through beautiful, quiet woods and wide open fields. I especially like the few spots where you suddenly stumble upon an old, crumbly spring house, a ‘hidden’ swim club, or, (my absolute favorite!!) abandoned railroad tracks. You can take an easy detour off of the Linvill Trail and visit the Chester Creek Branch, a single track that is completely falling apart and overgrown. (But be careful, parts will collapse and slide into Chester Creek if you don’t watch your step!!)
Eventually the Chester Creek Branch is supposed to become a Rail-Trail. Although I know that this will be great for the overall community, I love seeing the actual abandoned tracks and having the right-of-way to ourselves. It just won’t be the same once it’s paved over and populated with bikers and runners… Oh well!
Another underutilized right-of-way on the Linvill Trail is the huge swath of land that has been cut back for a gas pipeline. Although the initial lack of vegetation can be a surprise at first, I like pipeline right-of-ways because they create a whole new open area in the woods to explore. Every once in a while you’ll come to a point where you can see along the pipeline for several hundred yards which is kind of a neat sight in an otherwise dense forest. According to the township map, this pipeline is also slated to become a ‘future trail’ at some point.
I’ll finish this post off with another photo of the beautiful fields of Linvilla Orchards. For more information on the Linvill and Indian Orchard Trails, check out the trail map (with my notes!) or visit the Middletown Township Trails web site!