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East Branch Brandywine Trail

An Easy to Hard 5 mile shared use path 20 minutes away


Universal Access (UA): The overall path does not meet standards for Shared Use Paths or Universal Access Trails with respect to running grade with an Maximum Effort Rating of Easy to Hard. As a shared use path, it otherwise meets all standards for surface, obstacles, cross-slope, and passing spaces.

For a 1.4 mile hike that complies fully with standards for Universal Access Walking Paths, start at the northern end and head south.  Walk a bit more than half a mile (just as you begin a gradual climb) and then turn around. The path becomes Very Easy for another .3 miles until the bridge, where a 40' approach creates a very difficult slope. If you are able to pass this, the path reverts to Very Easy for another .6 miles, just south of Harmony Hill Rd, where it enters a long Hard section.

Effort: This 5 mile out and back shared use path (2.5 miles each way) has a Flat Equivalent Length of 5.4 miles and merits a Maximum Effort Rating of Easy to Hard.  Depending on the direction, the longest continuous grades are as follows: a 160-210' section with at least easy grades, a 90-160' section with at least easy to moderate  grades, a 60-160' section with at least moderate grades, a 50-60' section with at least difficult grades. There are somewhat steeper uphill grades heading north. 

Stress: As a shared use path, this is generally rated as very low stress for most users, except for two issues. Some wheelchair users may find Easy to Moderate and Moderate downhill sections to be stressful. There is also a pronounced dip (perhaps to help drainage?) about .8 miles south of the northern trailhead, just where the trail turns to approach the bridge (see left).  Some might find it impossible to traverse this without help.  

Other features: This is a busy trail, running close to the East Branch of the Brandywine Creek. The southern mile and a half is generally shaded.  There are plenty of benches along the way

Connections: There are numerous natural trail spurs along this route. 

Getting there: Click here (or on the map) for directions to the southern trailhead.

Trail maps: Click directly on the maps below to navigate, or click here open the map in a new window heading south, and click here for a map heading north

  • Click Home to re-center the map on the trail. 

  • Click Your Location to track your progress while you hike.

  • Click on Legend to see the symbols indicating different grades and cumulative grade ratings

  • Click on Layer to select specific layers (like 10' grade ratings, cumulative grade ratings, and so on) you want to turn off. 


Your location


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