Last week, the Montgomery County Planning Commission (MCPC) released their Wissahickon Trail Link and Cross County Trail Bridge feasibility studies which are now available on the county’s webpage. The Bicycle Coalition has been a long-time stakeholder and supporter of these trail projects as they bring notable connections to the growing Circuit Trails network.

In summer of 2021, staff from the MCPC and a trail planning consultant team led by Gilmore & Associates, Inc. and Campbell Thomas & Co. held a virtual public meeting. The meeting presented us with an overview of Segment 1: Wissahickon Trail Connection Between Morris Arboretum and Forbidden Drive, and Segment 2: Cross County Trail Bridge Crossing of Germantown Pike (also a priority for the Montgomery County Circuit Action Team). The meeting covered the alternatives being considered, answered questions and invited feedback on the development of the projects.

A portion of the Wissahickon Trail currently ends near the Arboretum entrance on Northwestern Ave. There has been a long-standing effort and desire to connect the trail between the Morris Arboretum and the northern end of Forbidden Drive. The distance may only be 0.6 miles between these two points, but there are challenges for making the connection. This updated study aims to develop concept-level plans for a preferred alternative based on the feedback provided at the virtual public meeting held last year. The map above indicates the two points along the Wissahickon Trail that MCPC are striving to connect.

Last year, MCPC’s Trails and Open Space Planner Ellen Miramontes joined us on the Explore the Circuit ride that highlighted this segment along the Cross County Trail. The concept for the Cross County Trail originally came about in the late 1980s when Conrail abandoned a portion of the Plymouth Branch Railroad corridor between Conshohocken Borough and Springfield Township. Since the late 80s and 90s, portions of the trail have been constructed, including the a three mile stretch between the SRT in Conshohocken and the intersection of Germantown Pike and Chemical Road in Plymouth Meeting.

Once complete, the trail will be approximately 17 miles long and will serve as an important link in the Circuit Trails regional network. One of the more challenging segments includes the bridge connection over Germantown Pike, which is the focus of MCPC’s study and is shown in the map above.

As updates regarding these two segments become available, we will continue to share any news or events that aim to highlight these important segments along the Circuit!

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