Greeted with sunny skies and crisp fall weather, nearly 500 cyclists joined the Brandywine Conservancy’s third annual Bike the Brandywine event on Saturday, September 22. Featuring routes of 25, 45 and 80 miles along the Brandywine Creek Greenway, Bike the Brandywine took riders along a scenic journey with stunning views of rural landscapes, rich history and active farmland—much of which the Brandywine Conservancy has helped permanently protect and conserve for future generations. All three routes concluded at the Chadds Ford Historical Society as cyclists were welcomed back to the sounds of cheers and cowbells, as well as celebratory drinks from Victory Brewing Company and a complimentary lunch.
“Bike the Brandywine is a fun way for cyclists to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Brandywine Valley and to get a sense of our decades-long efforts to conserve and protect the land, the river and the historic sites of this area,” said Ellen Ferretti, director of the Brandywine Conservancy. “Thanks to the generous support of the William Penn Foundation and our many sponsors, as well as our incredible staff and volunteers, we were grateful for another successful year.”
“After months of preparation and planning for the ride, nothing is better than seeing all of our work come to fruition with almost 500 cyclists enjoying a beautiful ride through some amazing countryside,” said Susan McCreadie, Brandywine’s coordinator of volunteers and events.
Each route began and ended at the Chadds Ford Historical Society, with options for both the recreational and more seasoned cyclist. Following both the east and west branches of the historic Brandywine River, the 80-mile loop guided riders from Chadds Ford all the way to the river’sh eadwaters in bucolic Honey Brook Township. Cyclists on the 45-mile loop followed the west branch of the river through the magnificent King Ranch area in Unionville before winding past the historic village of Marshallton. Closely mirroring the early routes of both the 80- and 45-mile options, the 25-mile loop followed the west branch of the river through open farmland and scenic river valleys, providing a trip through the historic village of Marshallton and its neighboring equestrian and farming landscapes.
“Bike the Brandywine offered riders a taste of the Brandywine Creek Greenway and the beautiful surrounding countryside,” said Sheila Fleming, manager for municipal assistance at the Brandywine
Conservancy. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to support the Conservancy and highlight the Greenway, especially as we continue to work with our partners and municipalities to expand and enhance it for all communities to enjoy.”
The Brandywine Creek Greenway is a regional planning initiative of the Brandywine Conservancy—and 26 municipal partners in Chester and Delaware counties—to create a 30-mile conservation and recreation corridor along both branches of the Brandywine. It stretches from the Delaware state line just south of Chadds Ford to the Pennsylvania Highlands Mega-Greenway at the northern border of Honey Brook Township. The Brandywine River and its network of parks and trails form the western limit of The Circuit, a regional trail network of the greater Philadelphia region. The vision of the Brandywine Creek Greenway is to build healthier, more sustainable communities, by emphasizing the natural and cultural resources of the area; preserving and protecting the Brandywine River; and creating connections among open space, parks, river access points and area attractions. To learn more, visit www.brandywinegreenway.org.