Tl;dr I've now reached a point 25 miles from the mouth of the Schuylkill and I took some pictures and ate a lot of Italian food, but I forgot how much January in PA can suck. As always, thanks to the volunteers, local political leaders, organizations and voters who created and support the Schuylkill River Trail.
The Lower Schuylkill River Trail
On this visit I was planning to follow the Schuylkill River Trail (and surface streets where necessary) all the way to the mouth of the river by the old naval shipyards, but weather and family got in the way. That is: most days I was helping older family members with financial things, and I don't want my wife and kid stuck in the hotel while I play this stupid game, and a rideshare back and forth to the Philly suburbs is expensive. Also, twice the windchill went below zero and I'm not running in that nonsense. During my most recent visit, I got to the Schuylkill County line up at Port Clinton. Two visits ago I reached the border between the "upper" and "lower" Schuylkill River at the Berks-Montgomery County line. At the time I actually found this terminology offensive. "Upper" implies the dark interior of the continent, an undeveloped, backward, godless country filled with hostile and superstitious natives. And Dutchmen aren't THAT superstitious anymore.
(I make jokes about the land of my birth, but to regard PA with unalloyed positivity would be exceedingly un-Pennsylvanian. Still, I do love it, and it was actually nice running in the winter at least when it wasn't way too cold, looking at wildlife and seeing areas close to where I grew up that I never knew about. Winter doesn't shut down outdoor activity completely, even in Pennsylvania.)
So this time, I started at the Berks-Montgomery line in Stowe. (Note that I consider Stowe to be the Leesport of Montgomery County.) Very quickly the official trail ends and I ran a good chunk of 724. Not recommended! Do not do this or you risk getting hit and killed (and this sentence will be exhibit A in court.) There was ice on the branches where they touched the river as you'll see below, but no "floes". I noticed a lot more cardinals along the trail than I remember seeing as a kid, not just along the SRT, but everywhere in the area. The next group are from around Pottstown.
See? As I progressed toward the nuclear plant, it got so metal bro.
Other Berks County Adventures
I also got around Berks while I was there, and finally got to a few places that I'd wanted to visit. But first, food recommendations: of course I got back to Oakbrook Brewing, maybe my new favorite brewery, that I made it to at my last visit. Two new restaurants I made it to and highly recommend were Anthony's Trattoria in Pennside (used to be Spazio's) and Say Cheese, a brunch place on Penn Ave. in West Reading - delicious, but watch out for check creep! I wanted to meet some friends at Schaylor Brewing on 222 south of Shillington but the snowstorm took care of that.