Ascent of Chestnut Hill on 2013-03-13

Climber: William Musser

Date:Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Chestnut Hill
    Elevation:442 ft / 134 m

Ascent Trip Report

Looking at the data of climbers, it appears I am the only one to try ot make it a pleasant hike to the top. I had noticed on Google earth that there was going to be a lot of beautiful houses and historic structures in the area, a nice stream with some small rapids, and a beautiful college nearby so the trick was which route to do without tresspassing or being looked at as a suspicious hiker in some very wealthy neighborhoods?

I wanted to get maximum gain on the legs and feel the highpoint so i selected the nearby stream (small river) to the west. There are several bridges crossing it including a neat covered bridge but I was uncomfortable with that route up as it might pass me along some huge mansions and it was not clear if that unpaved pathway was public or not. I elected against the main bridge from the college on the other side of the river as I was not clear about parking rights and there was a lot of cars in the parking area (but no guard gate). I thus, went down West Bells Mills Rd and parked at the county parking lot #5 along the river by the twin arch rock bridge.

I walked down and stuck my toe in the water to form a TH with an elevation I could extract from the USGS maps and then headed up the street. Bad urban planning here. There are many trails and hikers, joggers and bikers here going along and across the river through the woods but nobody goes up Bell Mills and for good reason. There is no to little sidewalk and it can be busy with winding curves. I found I could go up this public R/W but I had to cross the street several times to find safe shoulders and tiny sidewalk refuges as the cars winded up and around the curves. So if you elect this route, be very careful and take your time and be sure you are away from the edge of pavement or attempt at a non-busy time of day.

Once you hit Germantown Avenue you are golden. Sidewalks on both sides and plenty of old historic buildings and churches to observe as you urban trek highpoint. The HP is obvious between Bethlehem and Summit as shown on the maps.

I stopped back at the college and noted that as a parking area there are Sidewalks all the way to the summit. Might be a better place to park as long as you can find guest parking spaces. I did not look for them, I was due to get to the airport in Philly.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:317 ft / 96 m
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
47 F
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:317 ft / 96 m
    Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Route:West bells mills Rd to Germantown Ave
    Start Trailhead:County parking lot 5 and river  125 ft / 38 m
    Time:20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:15 Minutes

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