10 Circuit Trail Segments to Watch in 2020

by | January 3, 2020 | The Circuit | 3 comments

Rendering of the Grays Ferry Swing Bridge

A rendering of the Schuylkill Crossing Swing Bridge

There are hundreds of little pieces of The Circuit (the Philadelphia region’s trail network), which are known as “segments.” The Bicycle Coalition advocates for 114 of these in particular because they are the most likely to get the network to hit 500 miles by 2025. You’re probably too busy to read about 114 trail segments; so we thought we would share with you what we know about some of your favorite trails are coming on line in the near future:

Under Construction 

  • Grays Ferry Swing Bridge.  Who isn’t excited about the City of Philadelphia building the only bike/ped swing bridge operating in North America?  It will close one of two remaining gaps in the Schuylkill River Trail (SRT) between the Art Museum and Bartram’s Garden, and will link the Gray’s Ferry Crescent in South Philly directly to Bartram’s Mile in West Philadelphia. 
  • Cobbs Creek Trail Section A.  At long last, a new section of the Cobbs Creek Trail is becoming a reality. It will extend the trail from 70th Street to Woodland Ave. in Eastwick neighborhood, providing a safe passage under the dreaded CSX bridge, and is the initial segment that will eventually connect to the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Delaware River Heritage Trail – Route 130 Bypass in Burlington County. At 5.5 miles, the 130 Bypass segment of the Delaware River Heritage Trail (DRHT) will be the longest Circuit Trails segment to be constructed since an eight-mile section of the Chester Valley Trail was completed in 2013. The trail begins in Bordentown Township and ends Florence Township. Read more about the groundbreaking here.
  • Newtown Rail Trail in Southampton.  Bucks County broke ground this fall on the first section of the Newtown Rail Trail.  This 2.5-mile section will connect to its south with the last piece of the Pennypack Trail that Montgomery County will break ground on in 2020.  This means that by the end of 2020, it will be possible to ride from the Delaware River to Bristol Road passing through three counties!
  • Scudder Falls Bridge Path along I-295 over the Delaware River providing an additional connection the D&L Trail in Lower Makefield, PA and the D&R Canal Towpath in Ewing, NJ. There is no set opening date yet but the path will open once the connecting ramps to the trails are completed. You can track progress on the path here.

Likely to begin construction in 2020

  • Central Delaware River Trail between Washington Avenue and Spring Garden Street will add 2 miles to the Circuit and significantly upgrade the comfort level and safety of bicycling on Delaware Avenue.
  • Schuylkill River Trail in Chester County.  Ever ridden the SRT past Phoenixville and hit the proverbial dead end in Parker Ford?  We have. It’s a bummer. But, the long suffering wait for this 4 mile section between Parker Ford and the 422 Bridge hopefully will begin construction in 2020.  Just imagine, paved off road trail from Shawmont Avenue to Birdsboro in Berks County!
  • Chester Valley Trail Extension in Montgomery County.  This 3.8-mile trail will connect the very popular Chester Valley Trail to the even more popular Schuylkill River Trail in Norristown.  This first ever substantive “Circuit Trail interchange” will be a game changer for recreational and commuting bicyclists alike.
  • MLK path reconstruction – In 2020, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation is expecting to break ground on reconstructing this 4-mile trail that is virtually unrideable because of tree roots damage.  We invited two State Representatives out for site visits to help PPR close its funding gap.
  • Rancocas Creek Greenway Trail – Burlington County will construct a 4 mile section of trail between Pennington County Park in Delanco with the Amico Island County Park on the Delaware River in Delran. The project should go out to bid in Late January or Early February with construction expected to start in the summer or fall.

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3 Comments
  1. Ron Dunbar

    I hope theses segments can be completed and opened in my biking lifetime. I’m not being facetious: I’m 84 and, while I still pedal 400-500 miles a year, I’m gonna slow down at some point. I would also like to see the link between the Manyunk bridge trail and the end of the paved River trail at Shawmont Ave. What’s the status of that segment?

    Reply
  2. dan rappoport

    I have seen the phrase “Circuit Trail Interchange” a couple of times for the completion of the Chester Valley Rail Trail to the Schuylkill River Trail. Do you mean to say the trails will meet one another by means of ramps? Like at Lehighton, with the D & L Canal Towpath at the Dunkin Donuts and the bridge to Weissport? That sounds very expensive. I would be fine if the trails just intersected. Of course, I am seldom down that way, so I don’t know about trail crowd mgmt.; therefore, a full, 3 way interchange may be the best solution.

    Reply
    • Leonard Bonarek

      Not exactly ramps. The CVT will pass under the SRT as a sidepath along Dekalb, then curve around the new trailhead that Montco is building and connect there, “at-grade.” That part of the connection is already done, actually.

      Reply

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