Circleville Bike Path and Deerfield Loops
|Special Note: ||The Bike Path Loops require running across Blue Course Drive at a point where that road is a divided highway. Though the road is only moderately busy, cars typically travel in excess of 55 MPH. Caution should be exercised. |
|Route:||Circleville Bike Path and Deerfield Loops|
|Mileage:||4.9 - 9.5 |
|Hillage:||Flat, some rolling hills, and a couple of challenges on Deerfield Rd and Park St. |
Elevation change for Circleville Farm Bike Path Loop: 156 ft.
Elevation change for Deerfield Bike Path Loop: 318 ft.
Notable hills on the shorter loop:
The longer Deerfield Loop is one long climb from the low point near Radio Park School to the top of the hill on Deerfield Drive. The climb is 318 ft in 3.3 miles, for an average grade of 1.8%. A good bit of that climb, 136 ft, is covered in just over half a mile on Deerfield Drive itself, parts of which have a 4-6% grade.
|Description:||The bike path to the west of the Penn State campus offers access to farms, wooded areas, and residential neighbroods. Almost as soon as the bike path was completed in the late 90s, local runners were doing a loop that included that bike path, parts of Circleville Farm, and the Penn State golf courses. Now, runners can also use the bike path on the new section of Blue Course Drive. They can also continue on the Circleville Bike Path all the way to the State Game Lands. The route below is the old Standard Bike Path Loop, followed by a description of options for some nice, long additions. |
Start on the bike path on North Atherton across from Rec Hall. Head north to Park St. and make a left. At the end of Park St, the trail continues down a steep hill. At the bottom of the hill there is a fork in the path. Bear right. From here, the bike path follows an old railroad bed as it goes by the College Heights neighborhood on the right and the Teaberry Ridge development on the left . The path leaves the railroad bed as it bends around the back of the Radio Park Elementary School and turns to parallel Blue Course Drive. Be watchful of cars as the path crosses Teaberry Lane. at the busy intersection with Blue Course Dr. and Circleville Rd! After crossing Teaberry Lane, there is a fork in the path. Take the left fork and head through the tunnel under Blue Course Drive. The bike path continues along the back of the homes along Circleville, up a steep hill, and then down to the intersection of Circleville and Park Hills Ave. Follow the bike path as it bears left. About 50 yards past the intersection, the bike path itself bears right into the woods and continues onward toward Science Park Road and beyond. The latter section of this descriptions gives some options for longer runs on that path. For the standard loop, bear left on the gravel road into Circleville Farms, a University owned experimental farm.
Continue on the gravel road for a little over half a mile. If you run this route at the right time of year, as you round the last bend in the road you will behold the vast Circleville Farms Manure Pile. Hold your breath, bear left at the end of the road, and skirt the edge of this pile. There is a trail that leads up the steep hill to the berm of Blue Course Drive. Carefully cross Blue Course Drive. At this point, you can complete the loop by making a right on the bike path along Blue Course Drive, or you can take a short path through the woods that border the Penn State Golf Course and there pick up a dirt trail that parallels Blue Course Drive on the golf course. About half a mile later both Blue Course and the dirt path intersect the cinder path that skirts the southern side of the Penn State golf courses. Make a left and continue on this path as it crosses the Clubhouse Road, a bridge across Corl Rd, and heads up a hill to access roads for some student housing. Wind your to the finish by following the roads and parking lots counterclockwise back to the starting point.
Here are some options to add on miles.
At the point where the Circleville Bike Path meets the gravel road into Circleville Farm, continue on the bike path instead of the road. The bike path goes for another mile before emerging into the Saybrook neighborhood on North Foxpointe Dr. Make a right on North Foxpointe, head up the hill a block, make a left on Sleepy Hollow Road, and continue on the bike path for about 200 yards to the entrance to State Game Lands 176 on the right by the Greenbriar sign. Continue on Sleepy Hollow as it winds through the Greenbriar neighborhood. Make a right on Deerfield Dr, which heads up a steep hill and does a nice wooded loop. Head back the way you came to Circleville Farm and complete the shorter loop described above.
Here are the mileages for various options. Elevation profiles are given below for the Standard Bike Path Loop and the full Deerfield Loop.
Standard Bike Path Loop - 4.9 miles
Turnaround at Farmstead Ln. - 5.7 miles
Turnaround at Science Park Rd. - 6.1 miles
Tunraround at North Foxpointe Dr. - 6.9 miles
Turnaround at Game Lands Entrance - 7.4 miles
Deerfield Loop - 9.5 miles.
|Remarks:||The Bike Path Loop is a moderately challenging 5 mile loop that samples parts of the College/Ferguson Township bike path system and the Penn State golf course trails. The Loop is very popular among the Rec Hall Regulars. The longer Deerfield Loop is a popular Weekend Group Run. The start of the Tudek Park extension of the bike path is shown in orange on north side of the map below. Other running routes incorporate sections of the bike path system, including the Golf Course routes, the Wal-Mart Loop, and the Park Hills Loop. The section of the Loop that borders the southwest end of College Heights is part of an old railroad bed, as is the gravel path that runs along the southern border of the golf course perimeter. Circleville Farms, which has been used as an experimental farming area by Penn State, will in the coming years be developed into another residential area. Enjoy the run through Circleville Farm while you can! |
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