Monday, December 24, 2012

The Year 2012 In Trails

As 2012 winds down, a look backwards reminds us that we have much to be thankful for and proud of in the past twelve months. This week we'll briefly recap the successes we've enjoyed this year in making the Greater Philadelphia region a better place to ride a bicycle.


This time last year, you could be forgiven for thinking that the cyclists concerned with trails in our region were mostly interested in doing hundred mile rides on five thousand dollar bikes. This year, we expended significant effort in revamping the image of what a bicycle trail in our region is for, what it looks like, and what it's called.

This past May we helped unveil The Circuit. The Circuit is the name given to a network of 750 miles of bicycle/pedestrian trail in our region which, when complete, will serve as a parallel green highway system. These network will connect residents in nine counties to commercial districts, to jobs, to waterfronts and green spaces, and to each other. We believe, along with a host of partner organizations, foundations, and agencies, that the choice to take a trip by bicycle should not be hampered by the inability to find a safe route to your destination. When The Circuit is complete, those defeating moments will be few and far between.

Part of The Circuit launch was the debut of, an ambitious map and information website for our region's trails. The site presents, for the first time in one place, a constantly updated map of both the built and unbuilt trails in The Circuit. You can use the map to plan a route (a la Google Maps), learn about new trails, and share favorite trails or routes with friends via social media.

There are currently 250 miles of The Circuit complete, and another 50 miles being built. In 2012 a number of trails celebrated ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings:

Trails opened in 2012:

Trails which broke ground in 2012:

  • The Port Richmond Trail
  • The Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk
  • Several Camden TIGER projects
Lastly, the Cynwyd Heritage Trail trailhead at Cynwyd Rail Station also opened.

In all it was a terrific year for bicycle and pedestrian trails in our region. We encourage everyone to visit to learn how you can help the next trail segments get built and find a new trail to walk, run, or ride in 2013.