This past weekend marked the official start to shorts season, as well as “Opening Day for Trails”, where events were held across the region to celebrate the Circuit Trails’ 320 miles of trail throughout the Greater Philadelphia area. The sun came out on Saturday along with hundreds of cyclists, joggers, and families to break records, ride a new trail, and help clean up the city’s streets and trails. Here’s a recap of this weekend to catch you up on what you missed:
Chester Creek Trail Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony:
After over 20 years of planning and advocacy by Friends of Chester Creek Branch, the 2.8 mile trail along Chester Creek in Delaware County had its opening ceremony on Saturday. Dozens of friends and families gathered at the 1.5 mile marker to witness the ribbon-cutting and take the first official steps on a trail that expands upon the region’s 320 miles of trail.
Construction for the Chester Creek Trail began 3 years ago on the unused Chester Creek Branch rail line, a new challenge for the Friends of Chester Creek Trail. Today, over 75% of the Circuit Trail network is built on abandoned rail lines.
Along with the newly initiated Chester Creek Trail, two more segments of the Circuit Trails are set to open in the coming months. Bartram’s Mile North and South, a 1.1 stretch of trail by Bartram’s Garden will open April 22, followed by Phase 1 of the K&T Trail running along the Delaware River on May 15. By continuously encouraging more trail development, the Circuit Trail Coalition hopes to add 20 miles of trail each year, pushing them closer to their ultimate goal to create 750 miles of contiguous trails through the region and connect the suburban neighborhoods that have been isolated from the city by roads and highways.
Circuit Trails Opening Day: Break a World Record
Over 100 people gathered at Penn Treaty Park this Saturday in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record of longest fist-bump relay. Unfortunately, the efforts by the city fell short of the 500 person requirement to break the record, but hey, it’s the thought that counts!
Fist-bumpers had the opportunity to enter to win a new Fuji bike, as well as hear from the Circuit Trails Coalition and others about the significance of the Circuit Trails network. Although we didn’t break the record, those who came out had a blast connecting with others who share support for the trail system, and wish to see its progress continue.
Explore the Circuit: Season Kick-Off
Opening Day of Trails wouldn’t be complete without a group ride! This past Saturday, cyclists of all abilities gathered at Twisted Cog Bike Shop to start an 18 mile ride as part of a series of rides sponsored by BCGP: Explore the Circuit. The “Triple Play ride” hit three different trails, the Schuylkill, Audubon, and Perkiomen. The group also took a side trip into Valley Forge to cross over the new Sullivan’s Bridge (which opened in 2016) connecting the Schuylkill River Trail to Valley Forge.
10th Annual Philly Spring Cleanup:
Saturday also marked the 10th Annual Philly Spring Cleanup, which garnered over 700 volunteer projects by organizations across the city, making it the biggest spring cleanup thus far. From cleaning up Broad Street in preparation for the May 7 Broad Street Run, to clearing the Belmont Plateau Trail in Fairmount Park, volunteers worked in every part of the region to help beatify the city and rid Philly of unwanted litter and trash.
The day of giving back to the city worked not only to enhance its cleanliness, but also to bring the community together under one goal.
Philly Spring Cleanup is just one step forward towards the city’s ultimate goal of zero trash and litter on the streets. The Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet, formed in December 2016, aims to reach this goal by trying to increase the waste and diversion rate of the city. ‘Zero Starts With One,’ the vision of the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet stresses that a litter-free city starts with one goal, one person, or one neighborhood, but it’s the collective efforts of the community that will ultimately improve the city for those who live, work and play here.
CYC Fun Day 2017:
Cadence Youth Cycling successfully kicked off its first of three spring all-site core events Saturday with a scavenger hunt throughout Fairmount Park. During Fun Day 2017, each of the core site teams was sent out on an alley cat style hunt that hit 7 checkpoints throughout Fairmount Park. The 25 mile ride tested the kids’ endurance, route finding, and cycling knowledge with challenges at each checkpoint. Fun Day ended at Lemon Hill, where all the teams gathered for lunch, games, and prizes for completing the scavenger hunt.