“A gentle loop around Mill Grove Wildlife Preserve and Lower Perkiomen Valley Park.”
— Jeff Menaker
Birding · River/Creek · Wildflowers · Wildlife
A paved trail through Mill Grove Audubon Preserve and Lower Perkiomen Valley Park, excellent for running, birding and biking. This route also offers a bit of history, as it travels through old mining territory and was the first home in the US of noted author and wildlife artist John James Audubon. Visiting the museum and a raptor center is an easy side loop. Although paved, there are a few steep sections.
Need to Know
The trail is entirely paved but has one steep climb. Portions of the trail are closed to traffic. The trail is also popular for running and biking.
Start the trail from the parking lot at Lower Perkiomen Valley Park. From the parking lot, head back on Mill Rd towards Egypt Road. The trail crosses over the Perkiomen Trail
and Perkiomen Creek on the Egypt Rd Bridge. After crossing the bridge, look for bollards denoting where the path passes through a wooden fence.
The trail passes through a meadow offering opportunities for birding and wildflower observation before crossing the Mine Run (bridge). Here, the trail enters a wooded area and begins a steep ascent. A few marked side trails are off to the right following Mine Run into the Perkiomen. As the trail levels out, the remains of an old copper and lead mine are on the left, (with an interpretive sign). The paved trail continues on and reaches the edge of a large field. As the trail turns a corner, a large bird blind is positioned facing the field.
If you wish to visit the Museum (Audubon's house) and Raptor Center (next to the house), follow the dirt path across the field and turn to the right. You can return to the loop trail by following the driveway until it crosses the trail just before exiting the property at the corner of Audubon Road and Pawlings Road.
The paved loop trail continues around the edge of the field and turns to follow Pawlings Road. The trail runs alongside Pawlings Road for a bit. On the non-road side of the trail look for more birds and forest restoration activities (and more interpretive waysides). There will be one short descent and climb when the trail crosses Old Mill Road. The trail continues on to cross US 422 via the Pawlings Rd Bridge (concrete barriers isolate the trail and vehicular traffic, fencing prevents leaping from the bridge).
Once across the bridge, enter the Pawlings Road Trailhead parking lot for the Schuylkill RIver Trail. and follow the connector at the northwest corner of the parking lot down until it merges with the Schuylkill River Trail. The loop will follow the Schuylkill River Trail west (left) towards Oaks. A gradual climb up to the Mill Rd bridge allows passage over the Perkiomen Creek, followed by a switchback descent back to the creek. Here, the trails split again. To the right is the Schuylkill River Trail towards Phoenixville; to the left is the Perkiomen Trail
Follow the Perkiomen Trail
to the left as it enters Lower Perkiomen Valley Park. The trail follows the Perkiomen Creek for the remainder of the loop. Near the dam, there is a vantage point of the Audubon's house, as well as an excellent chance of seeing a heron or ducks splashing around in the spillway. Although the Perkiomen Trail
continues on, exit the trail at the parking area to your left to complete the loop.
Flora & Fauna
Birds, deer, fox, wildflowers.
History & Background
This area has a diverse background including farming, mining, and the residence of John James Audubon.