Township Trail System

In 1986, the Middletown Township Council initiated Project 300, an ambitious open space preservation program named in recognition of the Township's Tricentennial observance that year.  Preservation of significant portions of the remaining open space in Middletown was felt to be a key element in helping to retain and protect the present character and quality of life of our community. 

 

With the overwhelming support of Township residents, the Township was able to proceed with the acquisition of 157 acres of property from the Linvill Family on the north side of West Knowlton Road and 170 acres of property from the Jesse and Martha Darlington Estate heirs located along both sides of Darlington Road adjacent to the Chester Creek.  Together with the acquisition by the Township of the former Indian

Memorial Park
Memorial Park
Orchard Girl Scout Camp property in 1981, these lands, along with subsequent additions, now help comprise one of the largest municipally-owned open space systems in the Greater Philadelphia area.

 

The creation by the Township of hiking and horseback riding trails on these tracts and on privately-held open space along Rocky Run in cooperation with many volunteers now provides residents with the means to visit and enjoy the scenic beauty of each of these areas.  Using our current trails as a foundation, the Township's long-range objective is to create a larger trail network along both the Ridley and Chester Creeks, interconnecting these and other significant open space tracts to provide an even greater opportunity for residents to enjoy the natural beauty and diversity of our community.

 

 Darlington Trail

The Darlington Trail is marked with yellow trail markers and is located on Township-owned open space.  Take Rt 1 South past Wawa Dairies and turn right on Darlington Rd just past the Arts Center.  It is most easily accessible from the parking lot on Darlington Road.  The trail follows Chester Creek for several hundred yards then parallels an old railroad right-of-way.  It then crosses portions of the former Darlington Family Dairy through mixed woods, meadows and farmland, thence to return via Darlington Road, or alternatively, to continue on a similar perimeter trail around the portion of the farm north of Darlington Road featuring woodlands, old farmsteads, and meadows exhibiting the presence of the invasive multiflora rose.  The entire loop is approximately 2-3/4 miles and the terrain is varied, offering some flat areas and some steeper sections that create exceptional vistas of the rolling Chester Creek Valley.

 Cornucopia Trail

The Cornucopia Trail follows a portion of the perimeter of the old Darlington Family Dairy property and offers views of an old Darlington Family homestead as well as Chester Creek.  It can be accessed by taking Rt 352 N to left on Forge Rd, then left on Stephen where the trail head begins.  The trail's name was taken from the name of the old family dairy.  The terrain is varied with differing grades of inclines.  The trail can be accessed from the Darlington Trail, the trailhead located on Stephen Drive, or where it crosses Richard Lane.  The trail is marked by orange trail markers and is approximately 1-1/4 miles in length.

 Indian Orchard Trail

The Indian Orchard Trail is located on Copes Lane (off 352 South).  The trail passes in a relatively compact setting terrain representative of the best that is found in Middletown Township.  The approximately one mile trail, with yellow trail markers, traverses woodlands of mature hardwoods and conifers, steep slopes, high-grass bottom lands, several varieties of ferns, wildflowers in season, and features five delightful foot bridges over meandering creeks.  Picnic tables and charcoal grills are found near the parking area.

 Linvill Trail

The Linvill Trail is approximately 3-1/2 miles and is marked with white trail markers.  It follows the perimeter of the open space property acquired by the Township in 1987 and offers wonderful long views of rolling farmland and orchards fringed by woods.  It can be accessed by taking Rt 352 South to right on Knowlton Rd, right on Linvill Rd, and right at the first stop sign.  The trail is an easy hike over relatively flat terrain.

 Millennium Trail at Memorial Park

The Millennium Trail begins at the north end of the Memorial Park parking lot, located across from the Water Works at the intersection of Baltimore Pike and Elwyn Road.  Before or after your hike be sure to spend a few moments at the observation deck over Ridley Creek.  In summer you are likely to see red-winged blackbirds, mallard ducks and great blue herons in the slack water behind the water plant's dam.  The trail follows the crest of an old berm that runs along the creek's floodplain before heading uphill through a beech and oak woodland to a high bluff.  From there one gains a fine view of a wetland meadow across the creek in Upper Providence Township.  The trail then descends to a small tributary coming off Mineral Hill (source of a number of rare minerals of interest to local geologists) before looping and returning to the parking lot.  The approximate round-trip length is 1/2 mile.

 Rocky Run Trail

Rocky Run Trail, located in large part on property owned by the Natural Lands Trust, is directly accessible from a parking lot adjacent to the Valley Road bridge over the Rocky Run and is approximately 2-1/2 miles in length with white trail markers.  The downstream portion of the trail parallels Rocky Run, one of the most beautiful streams in Delaware County, revealing old-growth hardwoods, steep slopes, and magnificent rocky stream vistas.  The trail itself is relatively easy walking and connects at its lower end to the Darlington Trail just before the Rocky Run reaches the Chester Creek.  The upstream portion of the trail crosses open meadows below the Granite Farm Estates Retirement Community, wanders through woods on County property, passes the Fair Acres complex, and then connects over private property (the Lima Estates Retirement Community) to the Tyler Arboretum trail network.  This in turn interconnects with Ridley Creek State Parks trails.

 Trail Future Plans

Middletown Township will acquire approximately 50.6 acres as public open space from Old Mill Pointe.  Trails to be established on this ground will interconnect with the existing Linvill Trail system upon completion.

 Tyler Arboretum

Tyler Arboretum is a private, non-profit organization that charges an admission fee for non-members.  Its trail system links up with, but is totally separate from the Rocky Run Trail.  Trail users may only use the Arboretum's trail for access to Painter Road and Ridley Creek State Park.  Use of other Arboretum trails or facilities is subject to their membership and fee policies and dogs are prohibited.

27 N. Pennell Rd. P.O. Box 157 Lima, PA 19037 Phone: 610-565-2700 Fax: 610-566-3640