Valley Forge National Historical Park | BIKING

Biking the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail at Valley Forge National Historical Park

Biking the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail at Valley Forge National Historical Park

While you are always welcome to ride on the roads at Valley Forge National Historical Park, there are plenty of trails open to bikers. The Joseph Plumb Martin Trail is a paved path that follows closely to the park road, so it’s a great way to tour the park. It passes by all stops on the Valley Forge Encampment Tour except for #4, #5, and #6, but short detours along the road or on side trails will get you to them.

Other trails that allow bikes are the Chapel Trail (dirt, 2.3 miles), the Valley Creek Trail (gravel, 1 mile), the River Trail (gravel, 3 miles), the Commissary Trail (dirt and gravel, 1 mile), and the Schuylkill River Trail (paved) that runs 120 miles between Frackville and Philadelphia (only 2 miles are within the park). I recommend off-road bikes for all of these trails except the Schuylkill River Trail.

Typical gravel trail at Valley Forge National Historical Park

Typical gravel trail at Valley Forge National Historical Park

For those who do not have a bike, there are two rental shops located in the main parking lot of the Valley Forge National Historical Park Visitor Center. Standard bicycles (non-electric) are available from the Valley Forge Encampment Store at the bike rental shed next to the restroom building. The Encampment Store even offers guided history tours by bike. Operating hours vary depending on the season, so be sure to check the Valley Forge Encampment Store’s Bicycle Rentals and Tours web page for the latest schedule and prices. If it is overcast with a possibility of rain, the shop may be closed. I was at Valley Forge on an overcast Saturday in July when the park was packed with visitors, and the bike shop was closed.

The Encampment Store bike rental shop at Valley Forge National Historical Park

The Encampment Store bike rental shop at Valley Forge National Historical Park

For those who are older, out of shape, or just plain lazy, e-Bikes (electronic bikes) are available at a stand in the parking lot from EBike Rental Valley Forge. I’m 57 years old, and I biked every trail in the park. Most of the terrain is level, but there are plenty of hills where I was dreaming of an e-Bike. To meet National Park Service requirements, the bike motors do not operate without peddling, so it’s not like riding a motorcycle. The motor kicks in and helps you peddle when it detects that you are slowing down. It does not engage if you are not peddling or going faster than 15 MPH. It makes peddling easier but not effortless. Riders must be at least 16 years old and must do a test peddle around the parking lot to make sure they can handle the bike. Wearing a helmet is required for all ages. For more information, hours, and fees, see the EBike Rental Valley Forge website. By the way, one the same day in July when the Valley Forge Encampment Center Store bike shop was closed, the e-Bike stand was still doing business.

EBike Rental Valley Forge bike stand at Valley Forge National Historical Park

EBike Rental Valley Forge bike stand at Valley Forge National Historical Park

Back to the Top


With a few exceptions, use of any photograph on the National Park Planner website requires a paid Royalty Free Editorial Use License or Commercial Use License. See the Photo Usage page for details.
Last updated on August 3, 2022
Share this article