The Phoenix

Get outdoors and explore this spring

- By Courtney Diener-Stokes

If you’re in the active aging category, this is a wonderful time of year to start moving outdoors.

But before you venture out to your normal walking routes, it’s good to consider a number of nearby trails that might expose you to some new sights and sounds.

You can do this safely and wisely taking into considerat­ion any physical limitation­s you might have with the help of some longstandi­ng trail clubs that aim for hikers to know what they are getting into before hitting the trails.

The Chester County Trail Club has been around since 1970, and 52 years later it has an impressive calendar filled with morning, afternoon and evening, weekday and weekend hikes for the month of April on its schedule.

Locations are listed, along with the category of hike rated from Class A to D, as well as mileage.

Class A is ideal for those seeking mostly flat trails with good footing and very little elevation change. Most Class A hikes take place on paved trails and wellworn foot paths. However, be sure to look at the length of the hike, because while it might suit your category needs, the length might add some of its own challenges that the difficulty of the trail doesn’t.

Some hikes are considered Class B, the next step up from A in terms of degree of difficulty. On these trails you will likely find rolling hills with moderate elevation change. There also might be rocks on the trail and some underbrush, so you should be sure of your footing if venturing on this category of trail.

Upcoming Class A and Class A/B hikes to consider for the month of April include Ridley Creek State Park, Chester Valley Trail, Sadsbury Woods Preserve and Wilson Farm Park. Here are some details about each park to give you an idea of what to expect.

Ridley Creek State Park, Media

Ridley Creek State Park encompasse­s more than 2,606 acres of Delaware County woodlands and meadows. The gently rolling terrain, bisected by Ridley Creek, is only 16 miles from center city Philadelph­ia and is an oasis of open space in a growing urban

area.

SOURCE» www.dcnr.pa.gov FOR MORE INFORMATIO­N» https://tinyurl. com/2p8d8mrc

Chester Valley Trail, Malvern and Exton trailheads

The Chester Valley Trail is 14.7 miles in length with 13.5 miles open for use in Chester County and 1.2 miles open to the east in Montgomery County. Maintenanc­e and operation east of County Line Road should be directed to Montgomery County Parks, Trails, and historic places.

SOURCE» www.chesco.org FOR MORE INFORMATIO­N» https://tinyurl. com/4mjx9r9m

Sadsbury Woods Preserve, Coatesvill­e

Sadsbury Woods is part of the largest remaining, unfragment­ed woodlands in Chester County. The 508-acre preserve is an important habitat for several species of birds — such as the scarlet tanager, rosebreast­ed grosbeak, and ovenbird — that are dependent on its deep, sheltering forest for their survival.

SOURCE» www.natlands.org

FOR MORE INFORMATIO­N» https://natlands.org/sadsbury-woods-preserve

Wilson Farm Park, Chesterbro­ok

Head out on this 1.3-mile, loop trail near Berwyn, Chester County. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 34 min to complete. This is a popular trail for road biking, trail running and walking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day. The best times to visit this trail are March through October. SOURCE» www.alltrails.com FOR MORE INFORMATIO­N» https://tinyurl. com/2p8n2e3c

 ?? COURTESY OF ANASTASIA SHURAEVA ?? It’s an ideal time of year to get moving outdoors on the many paths available in nearby parks and trail systems in forested areas.
COURTESY OF ANASTASIA SHURAEVA It’s an ideal time of year to get moving outdoors on the many paths available in nearby parks and trail systems in forested areas.
 ?? WIKIMEDIA COMMONS ?? Ridley Creek State Park in Delaware County.
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS Ridley Creek State Park in Delaware County.
 ?? COURTESY OF RON LACH ?? If you’re in the active aging category, it’s ideal to consider the grade of the trail as well as the distance before taking it on.
COURTESY OF RON LACH If you’re in the active aging category, it’s ideal to consider the grade of the trail as well as the distance before taking it on.

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