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Old 05-10-11, 05:19 AM   #1
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Route Advice: Philly to Darlington, MD

Looking for a way from Philadelphia to Darlington, MD.

GoogleMaps (yuck!) is helpful in pointing out that starting out by going west on the Schuylkill River Trail isn't really a winner -- but once it gets that part right, it's first recommendation is to route me through Wilmington AND Newark.

Its second try is to have me spend a lot of time on Baltimore Pike -- which, I believe, is another name for Route 1.

Suggestions?
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Old 05-10-11, 09:22 AM   #2
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Once you're out of philly environs I would head more westerly and cross the Susq. at the holtwood bridge. Crossing at Conowingo is legal and mostly safe, but Holtwood is so much nicer.
on the western shore take flintville and delta south to Darlington.
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Old 05-10-11, 12:28 PM   #3
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but Holtwood is so much nicer. on the western shore take flintville and delta south to Darlington.
+1. Have you looked in PA Bike Routes? You could take the SRT to hook with PA Route S towards the Lancaster area and then hook south towards Holtwood. Route S has its failings in places (e.g., there are nicer roads that roughly parallel SR 23 in places), but it's certainly better that Wilmington and Newark.

Is this a one-day thing you are planning?
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Old 05-10-11, 12:53 PM   #4
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Hmm. The Holtwood route looks longer, but if it's that much nicer....

Had been thinking of one day out, spend a few days with friends, then one day back.
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Old 05-11-11, 12:30 PM   #5
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My rough suggestion is probably a stretch for one day unless you like long mileages. Holtwood to Darlington is about 20 miles in and of itself.
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Old 05-11-11, 10:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jeneralist View Post
Looking for a way from Philadelphia to Darlington, MD.

GoogleMaps (yuck!) is helpful in pointing out that starting out by going west on the Schuylkill River Trail isn't really a winner -- but once it gets that part right, it's first recommendation is to route me through Wilmington AND Newark.

Its second try is to have me spend a lot of time on Baltimore Pike -- which, I believe, is another name for Route 1.

Suggestions?
I used to run a NYC to DC non-stop ride that included routing from Philly to Darlington. That part of the ride was usually between 2 and 9 am, scenery was not a design criterion.

Out of Philly on US 30 (Lancaster Ave)
LT (south) onto US 1 (City Ave, Township Line Rd, State Rd)
LT onto PA 320
RT onto Baltimore Pike
Merge back onto US 1
Back onto Baltimore Pike (follow sign for Kennett Sq in Chadds Ford)
Follow Baltimore Pike through Kennett Sq, Avondale, West Grove, Jennersville, Oxford, Barnsley to Nottingham
LT on PA 272
1st RT onto Stoney Ln
2nd RT onto State Line Rd
LT onto Sylmar Rd
RT onto MD 273
LT onto MD 276
RT onto MD 269
RT onto Basin Run Rd in Liberty Grove
LT at T intersection
RT onto US 222
LT onto US 1 - Cross Conowingo Dam
1st LT after dam onto Shuresville Rd
RT at T intersection into Darlington (MD 161)

US 1 still uses Baltimore Pike in sections. There are sections where US 1 has been upgraded to a limited access highway. Baltimore Pike parallels these limited access sections and is pleasant riding. I'm also sure you can find roads parallel to US 1, where US 1 uses the Baltimore Pike. My concern was a direct route that was easy to follow in the dark for people not familiar with the area.
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Old 05-12-11, 03:49 AM   #7
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US 1 still uses Baltimore Pike in sections. There are sections where US 1 has been upgraded to a limited access highway. Baltimore Pike parallels these limited access sections and is pleasant riding. I'm also sure you can find roads parallel to US 1, where US 1 uses the Baltimore Pike. My concern was a direct route that was easy to follow in the dark for people not familiar with the area.
Thanks -- I'll map that out and see how it looks.
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Old 05-12-11, 06:24 PM   #8
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Found these two on bikely that seem to mimic SBinNYC's suggestion:
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...dependence-Hal
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...a-to-Baltimore (just as far as Darlington, of course)
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Old 05-12-11, 07:54 PM   #9
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The only part of the bikely routes I'd question is the legality of using US 1 in PA south of Nottingham (PA 272). That section was for motor vehicles only from 1975 through 1990, when the ride was run. Moreover, that section did not have a paved shoulder. That's the reason local streets were chosen between Nottingham and the Conowingo Dam.

The shoulders are now paved, as the google maps satellite view shows. I used street view at the intersection of PA 272 and US 1. There is a "Motor Vehicles Only" sign at the northbound entrance. I did not find one at the southbound entrance. Perhaps, somebody blackmailed PA into making the section between Nottingham and the Mason-Dixon line bike legal.
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Old 05-13-11, 12:00 PM   #10
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You might want to try to get in touch with White Clay through their web site for help with latter parts of the route. People from that club lead rides in PA, DE and MD. Their Savage Century goes through Nottingham, for example. And a year or two ago I did one of their rides from the Longwood Gardens area to the Spready Oak Restaurant in Rising Sun, MD, which is very close to the Conowingo river crossing.

Personally, I can't think of anything pleasant abour riding Baltimore Avenue and Baltimore Pike through places like Clifton Heights and Media. Lots of traffic last time I was out that way on a Saturday.
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Old 05-17-11, 05:52 AM   #11
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Here is the route that goes from around Longwood Gardens and crosses U.S. 1 near the river crossing. Following it clockwise, you get to U.S. 1 at around mile 37.

http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/SPREADY-OAK
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