French Creek Iron Tour

on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

Join us to tour the most scenic landscapes in northern Chester County!  Enjoy wonderful routes, lots of food, comradeship and cheerful volunteers.  Check out the comments of 2018 riders in the right column.  

French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust preserves open space where iron blast furnaces and forges served as cornerstones of industry in colonial Pennsylvania - hence "Iron Tour."  When you ride in the French Creek Iron Tour, you have a direct impact on the preservation of the scenic countryside that surrounds you.  Since 1967, French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust has protected 12,500 acres of agricultural, natural and park lands, and created greenways and trails along the two creeks. Historically important lands are included in those 12,500 acres.  The Revolutionary War might have had a different outcome if it were not for the many iron furnaces in northern Chester County at that time.  French & Pickering has permanently protected the Warwick Furnace that supplied cannonballs to General Washington's army.  It is this significant history that gives the French Creek Iron Tour its name.  It is not an Ironman event but rather a tribute to the area's impact on the history of our country.  Routes of the Iron Tour take you to the Warwick Furnace, Hopewell Furnace and near the Hibernia Iron Works.  

This event offers courses ranging from 11 to 100 miles - there's something for everyone.  New this year is a Gravel Ride that incorporates many unpaved roads in the area.  If you're not a cyclist, please join our volunteer corps, and/or help by being a sponsor.  There is no fundraising required with the Iron Tour.  Just pay your entry fee and ride!  Additional donations for open space are happily accepted but never required.

While you're waiting for the Iron Tour, come outdoors and join French & Pickering on its Second Sunday Hikes.  Click here for more information.




















FCIT 2019 Warwick Valley Aerial

Call to Action

Preserving the Valley

In 2015, French & Pickering undertook the largest land preservation project in its history — preserving the valley through which the South Branch of the French Creek flows. We were able to secure significant contributions from various governmental bodies and non-profits. In addition, generous conservationists stepped up to purchase — with easements — the bulk of the property, eliminating 100 building lots. However, we absorbed over $1,200,000 in costs. Saving the valley from a massive housing development, with the cars and traffic it would bring and the environmental damage it would cause to the important South Branch of the French Creek, was too important not to proceed.

Iron Tour cyclists enjoy riding through the scenic valley and stopping for refreshments at the site.  Imagine how different their view would be if the valley hadn't been saved.  

Now we must seek help to move forward and strengthen our financial reserves in expectation of other opportunities that may arise. We are starting a campaign to raise the amount needed and have already received some pledges to build a matching gift fund.

Please help us continue to preserve, steward, and connect people to the land in northern Chester County by donating below.  We thank you for your contribution.  Please enjoy the vistas as you ride past them on the Iron Tour.

                                                                                                                                                                  

     

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Early Registration

Register by 5:00 p.m. on May 23 and receive a free Iron Tour t-shirt. Registration until that time is $50; registration after that time will be $65 with no t-shirt.  There will be no day-of-event registration.

The 2019 Iron Tour Jersey and Cycling Cap - order on the Jerseys page

FCIT 2019 Sketch FINAL cycling cap

Jersey Design

The 17th Annual French Creek Iron Tour jersey depicts an original painting by local artist Deb Kuhn. This artwork features the stone bridge that crosses the Exceptional Value South Branch of the French Creek, a designation given to only the most pristine waters of Pennsylvania. This jersey design highlights the important work of French & Pickering in protecting open space and clean water through the valley.  Riders on the longer rides will view the scenic valley, now preserved forever by French & Pickering, as they approach Warwick Furnace.

Comments on the 2018 Tour

Here’s what some riders had to say about their 2018 Iron Tour experience: 

The course was a little challenging at times, but the scenery was magnificent as we rolled thru the beautiful countryside with the old farms, little villages and covered bridges. Each rest stop was staffed by a terrific bunch of volunteers who were extremely helpful.

I love this ride. Excellent markings, great roads, yummy frequent treats, and plentiful happy helpful volunteers. One of my favorite rides.

Thanks for everything! This is the most beautiful ride I do. Thanks for doing everything so well.

Thanks to all the volunteers and everyone who made it happen. A date always marked on my calendar for the last 5 years and next year will be 6!

Awesome! I loved everything about the tour! It was incredibly well organized. The volunteers were terrific, the course was beautiful and very well marked. There were ample supplies at the rest stops. The fire police at the busy intersections were an added bonus. And the post ride food was delicious. I liked that you had your conservancy signs on the protected property along the route. It made me feel good to see so much permanently protected land. I look forward to attending again next year.

Questions?

Refer to the FAQ page or contact French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust at 610-933-7734 or by email irontour@frenchandpickering.org. 

French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust
 511 Kimberton Road
 Phoenixville, PA  19460

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