|Length||140 mi (225 km)|
|Location||Southeastern Pennsylvania, United States|
|Trailheads||Valley Forge National Historical Park
|Trail difficulty||Moderate to Strenuous|
The Horse-Shoe Trail is a 140-mile (230 km) trail that runs from the western edge of Valley Forge National Historical Park westward toward Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It ends about 15 miles (24 km) northeast of Harrisburg at the Appalachian Trail.
The east end of the Horse-Shoe Trail is nearly connected to the Schuylkill River Trail, which runs through the north side of Valley Forge Park. Existing park trails almost connect them, but it is not signed, and busy PA Route 23 has to be crossed thrice. West of Valley Forge Park, the original trail has been broken up by suburban development. Some segments of the original trail have been closed off by new housing and lengthy detours are now required to continue on the trail's route. Detours and rerouted portions are sometimes not marked clearly.
Plans call for the Horse-Shoe Trail eventually to connect with the Brandywine Trail at Yellow Springs Road. The Brandywine Trail is planned to run approximately 35 miles (56 km) south to Wilmington, Delaware roughly along Brandywine Creek.
Minor connecting trails
Points of interest
- Near the start of the trail are the ruins of an old root beer bottling plant. A spring runs through the ruins.
- The trail runs through French Creek State Park.
- The trail runs through Welkinweir, an arboretum and conservation area south of Pottstown.
Horse-Shoe Trail Club
The Horse-Shoe Trail Club was founded in 1935 and coordinates volunteer and funding efforts to maintain the trail.
The club prints a guide to the trail that is updated occasionally, which includes a booklet and a set of 10 detailed maps. The guide is available for sale through the club. It is also sold at the visitor's center to Valley Forge Park and other select locations. The 24th edition of the guide was published in February 2011. There is also a newsletter, Blaze, that is published and includes updated information to the guide.