Chester Valley Trail: The Outdoor Equivalent of a Treadmill

Firstly, let me start by sending a massive congratulations and thanks to the people that look after the Chester Valley Trail. For, in a time with continuous sub-freezing temperatures and five snowstorms in the last week, their trail is completely clear. No snow. No ice. No slippery places towards the edges. No melt water patches. Nothing. Amazing.

If you are looking for somewhere clear to run outside in these winter conditions, there is probably no better choice than this trail. Big props!

But, boy, is it a boring trail. It runs parallel with the PA route 202 and is constantly within ear shot of the traffic, so run with headphones if you want some escapism.

The 5.5 miles out and back that I ran was straight as a straight could be. Here’s the GPS to prove it:

2015/02/img_4247.pngIsn’t that crazy? The outdoor, real-world equivalent of a treadmill session as there is nothing interesting to see.

The road weaves away a little and the later end of the path is through corporate office parks but the omnipresent hum of rolling traffic haunts the trail even early on a Sunday morning.

My run started at Old Eagle School road and went almost all the way to Wegman’s in Malvern. This was the base site for my recent Boxing Day marathon and means that if you were so inclined, you could run almost exactly a marathon along the length from start to end. By my rough calculations it is 13 miles out and back.

One enjoyable thing today was that EVERY runner that I passed today said ‘hello’ unlike the people in England last week. And I passed about forty runners during my 11 mile run today. Well done, American Runners.

The temperature was a fine 20F with no breeze and I slightly over dressed. Eventually I was running with my jacket tied around my waist.

Eleven miles in 1 hour 28 gives a 7:59 pace. My legs feel slow at the moment and I think it is because I am not eating properly or hydrating. I shall attempt to address that this week.

January is done and I ran somewhere over 100 miles which isn’t too shabby given the temps and conditions.


6 thoughts on “Chester Valley Trail: The Outdoor Equivalent of a Treadmill

  1. Annie at

    I still haven’t run this section of the CVT but I did drive over it today on the way to and from a friend’s house off of Walker Rd. I looked down from the 202 offramp and admired how nicely cleared the trail looked. It sure is straight though!!

    1. pauldburton Post author

      It gets a little wiggly around the Wegmans in Malvern but then goes straight again. Still a useful trail if others are iced up. Note that there have been some issues for lone women runners on this trail.


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