The Hopewell Big Woods Trail is located in Union Township, Berks County within the Hopewell Big Woods, the largest contiguous forest in southeastern Pennsylvania.
The Big Woods Trail connects to the Schuylkill River Trail at Route 724 in Union Township and runs south, currently ending at Crusher Road. The trail is located within the 7,730 acre French Creek State Park and will connect to Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. The Highlands Trail route follows the Big Woods Trail southwest from the Schuylkill River Trail. In the future the Highlands Trail will connect to Six Penny Trail, and then head west to the Horse-Shoe Trail.
The Big Woods Trail can be accessed at the trailhead located at 165 Center Road, Birdsboro. Currently this trailhead provides parking only.
The Big Woods Trail can also be accessed from the Schuylkill River Trail, east of the Union Meadows Recreation Area.
The Big Woods Trail is currently 2.0 miles in length and is a crushed stone, multi-use trail.
Average Slope: 3.7%; Maximum Slope: 13.8%
Trail feasiblity studies and plans that have been developed for this section of the Highlands Trail are listed below.
The trail offers panoramic views of the Schuylkill Highlands, including the Oley Hills.
French Creek State Park is located just south of the Big Woods Trail and provides paddling, swimming, hiking, fishing and camping opportunities.
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site is located off of Park Road, 3.5 miles south of the Center Road trailhead. Hopewell Furnace showcases an early American industrial landscape from natural resource extraction to enlightened conservation.
Union Meadows East Recreation Area contains loop trails, access to the Schuylkill River Trail, parking, and boat access to the Schuylkill River.
Birdsboro Waters Preserve provides 1,800 acres of protected forested land that contains hiking trails.