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Parks and Recreation

Northbrook Canoe Company offers an amazing way to tour the Brandywine Valley and Wyeth Country by kayaking, canoeing and tubing along the scenic Brandywine River. Coast downstream along the calm, meandering river and take in the beautiful countryside on a nice, easy-paced river.

United Sports, located in West Bradford Township, is a 127,000-square-foot indoor, 60-acre outdoor sports complex located directly off the Route 30 bypass in the heart of Chester County. This privately-funded project transformed a historic, but long-neglected, airport into a major center for public recreation and field access.

Sadsbury Woods Preserve, encompassing 508 acres, is one of the largest remaining unfragmented woodlands in Chester County. The preserve, located in Sadsbury Township, is an important habitat for interior nesting birds and small mammals and contains 5.5 miles of unpaved trails ranging from easy to difficult.

This preserve is owned and managed by Natural Lands Trust and is open to the public thanks to the support of dedicated members and funding partners. As the region’s largest land conservation organization, the trust saves the forests, fields, streams and wetlands that are essential to the sustainability and quality of life in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. The Natural Lands Trust has preserved more than 100,000 acres, including 42 nature preserves.

Struble Trail, with 2.6 miles currently open, follows the east branch of the Brandywine Creek as it flows toward Downingtown. Sitting on the original rail bed of the Waynesburg Rail Line, the trail is generally flat, and although some undulations occur, the terrain is considered low in user difficulty. Struble Trail connects to various neighborhoods’ trail systems, and is often utilized to commute between home and work. Connections are found to Downingtown-Kardon, Dowlin-Forge and Shamona Creek Parks, and the Uwchlan Woods and Williamsburg developments. This last connection is a severe climb, but fortunately only for a short distance.

The East Branch Brandywine Trail begins south of Downingtown and continues south along its namesake river. The paved trail passes through meadows and wooded areas, including the M. John Johnson Nature Center and the Harmony Hill Nature Area. The trail crosses over the river approximately at its midpoint. Branching off from the main trail are a number of unpaved paths for mountain bikes. This trail is part of the Brandywine-Struble Regional Recreation Corridor, which extends north and south through Chester County. It is hoped that this system will someday afford connections between Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Downingtown and West Chester.

The Chester County Parks & Recreation Department was established in 1958. Now operating as the Chester County Department of Facilities & Parks, the department currently manages over 4,600 acres of dedicated public parkland, created to preserve natural, cultural and historic resources. Each with distinct features, Hibernia, Nottingham, Warwick and Wolf’s Hollow County Parks, Springton Manor Farm and Black Rock Sanctuary are open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset. Tucked away from major highways, the parks offer family-friendly fun, and plenty to challenge or entertain the outdoor enthusiast. Every season offers a variety of programs and recreational opportunities, such as camping, multi-use trails, boating, fishing and play areas.

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