Showing posts with label Schuykill River Trail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Schuykill River Trail. Show all posts

Monday, December 02, 2013

The Schuylkill River is Suffering a Title Drought

The Schuylkill may look fine, but it's hiding a deep pain: the pain of a 14-year title drought.

For the past twenty years, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has recognized one River of the Year. This recognition is done to raise awareness of the important recreational, ecological, and historical resources associated with the state’s rivers and streams. For the past four years, the recognition has been conferred upon the river that wins a popular vote.

The River of the Year is celebrated throughout the year. Events, coordinated with community groups, have included Sojourn paddling trips, a speaker series, clean up days, photography contests, and more. In addition, the Pennsylvania Organization of Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) coordinates the production and distribution of a free poster celebrating the river.

This year, the Schuylkill was nominated by three organizations: the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, Montgomery County Planning Commission, and the Schuylkill River Heritage Area (SRHA). SRHA has been selected as the point organization for the contest this year.

Last year, our beloved Schuylkill River lost the title to the Monongahela River by a hair: 146 votes (out of 25,450 ballots cast.) The Schuylkill hasn't been recognized since 1999. It's a title drought! Surely it deserves to be recognized again now that its water quality, and the aptly-titled Schuylkill River Trail have both improved so much over the past 14 years.


Please vote for the Schuylkill River, early and often. The voting period is open until December 27th.

The nominees for River of the Year. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

New Section of Schuylkill River Trail in Roxborough Opening March 28th

Note: a version of this post first appeared on Crossing Paths, the official blog of The Circuit trail system.

Spring is here, let The Circuit trail events begin!

At long last, the first new section of Schuylkill River Trail to be built in several years (and the newest piece of The Circuit) will be dedicated on Thursday, March 28 at 10:30am. This new segment runs from Port Royal Avenue in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia to the intersection of Shawmont and Nixon Streets.
Runners on the trail looking towards the Nixon & Shawmont intersection
The ribbon-cutting ceremony is expected to feature many notable dignitaries: Mayor Michael Nutter, Congressman Chaka Fattah, Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., and Deputy Mayor Michael DiBerardinis.

If you like ribbon cuttings, dignitary-spotting, or just getting outside and being excited in public about new bicycle and pedestrian trails, please attend! The more the merrier.

This project involved using a PECO right-of-way behind Nixon Street, creating a gently sloping trail down to the intersection of Nixon and Shawmont. The project also widened the paved section between the Montco line and Port Royal Avenue and significantly improved the paved connection to the Manayunk Canal Towpath.

This project was originally identified by the Complete The Schuylkill River Trail Campaign as a key gap in the trail. It was funded in 2010 by the $23 million TIGER grant that Philadelphia and the City of Camden won to build ten trail segments in both cities.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Bike to Brunch This Sunday and Support Our Work!

Do you like brunch? Do you like bicycling? If you like both, then do both and support the Bicycle Coalition!

Spring Mill Cafe in Conshohocken likes bicyclists and is generously sponsoring a fundraiser brunch for us this Sunday, November 11th. The deal:

  • 10% of all sales will be donated to the Bicycle Coalition
  • Additionally, Bicycle Coalition members will receive 20% discount on their meals
Spring Mill Cafe serves "French country fare" out of the original Spring Mill country store and an adjacent converted farmhouse. They will be serving brunch from 10am - 3pm on Sunday, and they take reservations (not required, but recommended).

Work up your appetite by taking the Schuylkill River Trail straight to brunch! The cafe is a short jog off the trail in Conshohocken. You can use The Circuit website's Plan a Trip feature to find your route to and from Sunday morning deliciousness.

Scope out the brunch menu here. Just try not to drool on your keyboard.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wissahickon Gateway Public Meeting on Nov. 1st

The above represents one trail option under consideration by Parks & Recreation

The above represents one trail option under consideration by Parks & Recreati
The Wissahickon Gateway is one of the most critical gaps in the Schuylkill River Trail.  Bicycle riders have been waiting for years to learn how the City will approach closing this gap.

Please attend this public meeting on Thursday, November 1st at 6:30pm to learn about the preliminary engineering study that the City's Parks and Recreation Department has conducted over the past 18 months.

How will the trail cross the Wissahickon Creek? How will it weave through SEPTA and PECO's properties on Ridge Avenue?  Will it follow the river's edge or the sidewalk on Ridge Ave and Main Street?  All of these issues have been considered and will be presented on.

Wissahickon Gateway Public Meeting, Thursday, Nov. 1st at 6:30pm, Gustine Rec. Center at 4700 Ridge Avenue.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Concept for Closing Most Critical Gap in Schuylkill River Trail to Be Unveiled Nov 1

A version of this was originally posted on Crossing Paths, the official blog of The Circuit. Subscribe to the blog to stay current on all regional trail information, events, and openings.

Current conditions at the Wissahickon Gateway
Philadelphia's Dept. of Parks and Rec is finally ready to unveil how it plans to close the most critical gap in the Schuylkill River Trail: the Wissahickon Gateway, aka the segment between the end of Kelly Drive and Main Street Manayunk.

They will unveil their current plan at a 6:00 pm public meeting on Tuesday, November 1st at the Gustine Rec Center.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Explore Bartram's Mile - Newest Piece of the SRT Puzzle Emerges

This post was originally made on  Connect the Circuit blog, Crossing Paths.  You can subscribe to the Crossing Paths blog for all trail related information. 

If you think of the Schuylkill River Trail as a puzzle with missing pieces, the newest one to emerge in the pipeline of planning, design and construction is Bartram's Mile.
An early goal of closing the gaps of the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia was to create a bikeable route to Bartram's Garden, one of the City's hidden jewels.  Tucked into Southwest Philadelphia along the Schuylkill River, Bartram's Garden  is a 45-acre National Historic Landmark, operated by the John Bartram Association in cooperation with the City of Philadelphia.
Bartram’s Garden is best known as the home, farm, and garden of John Bartram (1699-1777), a Quaker farmer who became America’s first naturalist botanist and plant explorer.  
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Bartram's Garden and Schuylkill River Development Corporation are working to transform a mile of underutilized river frontage into two trail segments that will connect Bartram's Garden to the Gray's Ferry Bridge to the north and 58th Street to the south
The public is invited to attend any one of four upcoming events to visit the area and give ideas on developing these trail segments.  All events are on the Connect the Circuit Events Calendar
Walking Tour - Sunday, October 28, 2-4pm (meet at Bartram's Garden Trail Head)
Bike Tour - November 3, 1:30-4pm (meet at Bartram's Farm for its Fall Harvest Day - Bicycle Coalition staff will help lead the ride)
Dinner Conversation - November 5, 6-8pm (Bartram's Garden)
Design Workshop - November 10, 12-3pm (Bartram's Garden)
RSVP: or 215-573-8720  or provide input online

Friday, October 12, 2012

Explore a New Part of the Schuylkill River Trail Tomorrow In Sight Of Downtown

The weather is looking sunny and invigorating tomorrow - perfect weather for a trail walk! Tomorrow you have a unique chance to walk the newest addition to the Schuylkill River Trail, on a guided tour with the founder of the Schuylkill River Development Council, John Randolph.

Walk the Grays Ferry Crescent
A new green oasis within sight (literally) or a stone's throw (figuratively) of Center City
Trail Walk of the Gray's Ferry Crescent
Saturday, October 13th
10:00 AM
Meeting place: Locust Street Entrance to the Schuylkill River Trail 
Participation is free; Register here

More info:
Walk will be 4 miles and include some hills. Those who get tired can return by bus from Gray's Ferry Ave. There will probably be a stop for lunch on the walk back.

Questions: Contact Pamela Freyd, Friends Center City Community:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Eight Years Later, The Schuylkill River Park Connector Bridge Finally Arrives

An eight year saga is coming to an end this month. In 2004, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia joined a campaign to "Free Schuylkill River Park." The goal was keeping open two railroad track crossings providing river access at Race and Locust Streets in Philadelphia. Eight years later, the campaign is culminating with the finishing touches being placed on a new Connector Bridge crossing the tracks into an improved Schuylkill River Park. The ribbon cutting for the work is happening on Saturday, October 20th at 1:00pm (rain or shine).
In Oct 2004: Russell Meddin, yours truly, and Alex Doty
at a press conference calling on CSX to allow
street level access onto the new Schuylkill River Park Trail
The saga began as a pitched battle between Center City West residents wanting access to a long-awaited riverfront park, and a huge corporation refusing to complicate its operations. It is concluding as an optimistic tale of how good things can happen when residents get organized, elected officials listen and are supportive, and corporations decide to find a way to be good neighbors.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Badda Bing, Badda Boom, There's a Bike/Ped Bridge In Schuylkill River Park

Before a crowd of onlookers, some incidental and some intentional, a crew raised the truss for the connector bridge at Schuylkill River Park this morning.
The view from the community garden at Schuylkill River Park
The bridge connects the Schuylkill River Trail terminus with Schuylkill River Park, going over the CSX train tracks. When completed this fall, the bridge will allow bike/ped access to and from the river regardless of the presence of a train.

In place
The metal truss was driven into the city from Minnesota last night, arriving in two pieces. This morning the construction crew bolted the two pieces together, then raised it into position via a crane. The deck was lowered onto concrete and metal supports on either side of the tracks, impressively dropped onto pre-installed metal rods like some kind of oversized Ikea furnishing (the "H√∂√∂jklesvotruss").

You can see more photos from the installation on our Flick site.

Below the jump you can watch two videos of the bridge being raised and put into place. We won't pretend they make for fascinating viewing, or that the format is ideal or the commentary consistent or enlightened. But they are web videos, and we know how little prompting we really need to watch a video online. So enjoy.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

A Long-Awaited Bridge Truss Will Arrive At Schuylkill River Park This Week Under Cover Of Darkness

Over the past six months, two promising ramps have been built on either side of the train tracks adjacent to Schuylkill River Park. Now, we have learned that the truss which will turn two lonely ramps into one happy bridge is arriving this week!

Ramps for the Connector Bridge patiently waiting for the truss
The truss is en route from Minnesota and is set to arrive sometime late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. Rockport, the Streets Dept. contractor, is expecting to take about one hour to assemble bridge. It will then be set into place Thursday morning between 8:30 and 9:00 AM.

If you like watching big things being built, this will be a great viewing and photo opportunity!

Friday, February 03, 2012

The Future Of The Schuylkill River Trail At South Street - A Preview On Wednesday

Someday, all these lines will be dark green
There's a boardwalk coming which will connect the Schuylkill River Trail to the South Street Bridge...

There is built trail at Gray's Ferry Crescent just waiting for a connection...

Learn about the future of the Schuylkill River Trail for West & South Philly at a public meeting next Wednesday.

Date: Wednesday, February 8th
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Rainey Auditorium at Penn Museum, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Come to this public meeting to learn about plans being considered to extend and connect the trail through the Gray's Ferry Crescent, the new Penn Park, and the West Bank Greenway. (See event flier below)

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Philadelphia Folk Festival - Right on the Perkiomen Trail

Do you love bicycling and dread the Philadelphia Folk Festival's notorious traffic/parking/shuttle bus quagmire. How about getting there by bike?

Old Poole Farm

The Folk Festival Grounds are next to the Perkiomen Trail

Click here for bike directions

The basic directions are easy - take the Schuylkill River and Perkiomen trails to The Old Poole Farm located on Mile 14 of the Perkiomen Trail. The Campground is directly accessible to the trail via the Water Gate but to gain admission and find bike parking will require a short uphill bike ride on Salford Station Rd.

You can shorten your trip via SEPTA, the Route 93 bus stops 8 miles down the trail in Collegeville at 3rd and Main (see below). Regional Rail R6 and the Route 100 High Speed Line are 22 miles down the trail at the Norristown Transportation Center.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Update on the Schuylkill River Trail in Chester County

Despite the bitter cold on Wednesday circumstances were ripe for me to take a field trip to the only major trail currently under construction in the region, the Schuylkill River Trail between Cromby, Spring City and Parkers Ford. Basically the segment is between located between two giant power stations. Cromby (Coal and Natural Gas) and Limerick (Nuclear) which is across the river and slightly upstream from Parkers Ford where Chester County's phase 1 trail segment ends.

I rented a Zipcar and parked in a shopping center in Spring City, The trail is on the west bank of the Schuylkill. The trail is graded but rough going upstream toward Parkers Ford but I observed a packed gravel surface going toward Cromby. So I mounted my folding bike and headed south.

The "trail closed" signs at each road crossing made me feel like an outlaw but it was too late to turn back. The tightly packed gravel offered little resistance to my Dahon which is very sensitive to rough terrain. The trail was paved approaching a railroad bridge over the old Schuylkill Canal and around the Cromby plant. Less than two miles from my start point I saw construction crews working on what appears to be a new trailhead parking area. The parallel Spring City Rd has little traffic but the winding somewhat hilly road made me appreciate the new mostly flat trail even more.

South of the parking area the trail construction zone ends at Township Line Rd on the border of Phoenixville. For 2011 and most of 2012 through cyclists will have to negotiate borough streets to get to the existing Schuylkill River Trail (a project to create a temporary on-road route is reportedly in the works).

The twin boroughs of Spring City and Royersford offer plenty of services. There are several food stores and restaurants adjacent to the trail on Bridge St. Both communities have traditional downtowns that have had streetscape facelifts, more so in Royersford which is developing its own waterfront park. SEPTA bus 139 stops just a few hundred feet from the Bridge St trail crossing. It's a couple of time consuming connections to Center City but it will be possible take public transportation to the trail and bike back into Philadelphia. Spring City also has an historic hotel. These two communities are well positioned to become important trail towns.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Vision for Schuylkill River Trail on southwest Philly industrial parcel next to Bartram's Garden

This past spring, the Community Design Collaborative's Initiative--Infill Philadelphia sponsored an industrial sites design challenge called Industrial Past to an Industrial Future.  Architects Chariss McAfee and Charles Loomis, along with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), Southwest Community Development Corporation, and the University of the Sciences were tasked with preparing a vision for the land along the Schuylkill River Trail between the Gray's Ferry Bridge and Bartram's Garden.   This 300,000 square foot industrial-zoned parcel, owned by the PIDC, was formerly the site of the National Heat and Power Company and lies at the bottom of the Gray's Ferry Bridge on the Southwest Philly side of the River, just north of the Bartram's Garden property.  The master plan of the Schuylkill River Trail envisions a trail section along this parcel to link together Bartram's Garden with a bicycle/ pedestrian bridge crossing the Schuylkill over to Gray's Ferry Crescent.

The team prepared a vision for an eco-industrial park with the path skirting the edge of the property.  They propose access from an elevator on the Gray's Ferry Bridge, creating an access point for the Woodlawn and Kinsessing neighborhoods to complement the bike/ped bridge that is being planned by Schuylkill River Development Corporation using the abandoned rail bridge that is swung open.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Enjoy a Mini Vacation on the Schuylkill River/Perkiomen Trail network

On Monday April 5th the Bicycle Coalition will be opening registration for Bike Freedom Valley.

This year each rider will receive a commemorative map that highlights appealing historic sites, popular shops and eateries, and other places of interest along the trail. On your next ride, take the map and go exploring!

And there is a lot of trail to explore. According to Google's Biking Directions the trip from 25th and Locust in Center City and the Green Lane Reservoir is 45.3 miles, with an estimated travel time of 4 hours and 11 minutes . But is it all about riding out and back? What if you wanted to bike the sites at Valley Forge, browse the boutique shops in Skippack Village or fly though the trees on a zip line canopy tour at Spring Mountain.

Fortunately there are several places to stay for every budget, here are some suggestions for places to stay during your extended visit. This list is not exhaustive and we don't endorse any of these lodgings except that they are either adjacent to the trail or there is a reasonably comfortable road connection to the location. Please add your suggestion for other places to stay in the comments section.

You can camp at the north end of the Perkiomen Trail. The campground has 39 sites and is managed by Montgomery County Parks. A best bet if you plan on making the 90 mile round trip.

Hotels - If your carrying plastic instead of a tent:
  • Hampton Inn - Oaks - About a mile off the trail, roads have variable traffic conditions depending on the time of day but it's OK most of the time and it is very quiet on weekend mornings. (Directions)
  • Residence Inn - Conshohocken just a short jog over the RR tracks from the trail on the river. Convenient to the SEPTA R6 Conshohocken Station.
  • Courtyard By Marriott Collegeville - One mile from the Perkiomen Trail via Arcola Rd and College Drive. Arcola Rd has bike lanes and College Drive has light non rush hour traffic. (Directions)
Staying in Phoenixville

Phoenixville is enjoying a downtown renaissance. Located 2 miles from the Schuylkill River Trailhead on Port Providence Rd and served by SEPTA buses, Phoenixville will likely become popular with cyclists once the Trail is finished in Chester County.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Coming Soon The Schuylkill Trail In Chester County

A new section of the Schuylkill River Trail in Chester County may be under construction in the next few months. The segment would be at least 31/2 miles long starting at Township Line Rd at Cromby going through Spring City and on to Pennhurst. Construction will likely take place in the Spring of 2010. Cyclists going through would have to travel through the local streets in Phoenixville and crossover the Route 29 bridge to connect with the Providence Road trailhead in Mont Clare.

Montgomery County will be seeking funding to improve the Schuylkill Canal towpath in Mont Clare creating a similar road or gravel trail option that you now have between Manayunk and Shawmont.

View Philadelphia Regional Trails in a larger map

Monday, August 17, 2009

Schuylkill River Trail Presentation in Norristown

Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia staff will be at the Montgomery County Planning Commission offices this coming Thursday, August 20th from 7-9pm to make a presentation about the Complete the Schuylkill River Trail campaign. This campaign is an effort to raise public awareness about the potential to build and finish critical gaps and connections that exist in the trail in the Greater Philadelphia region.

The meeting will run from 7-9pm at the Montgomery County Planning Commission, on the second floor of One Montgomery Plaza, across the street from the Montgomery County Courthouse at 425 Swede Street (intersection of Swede and Airy Streets) in Norristown. You'll have to sign in at the information desk in the front lobby. Directions to the Montco Planning Commission.

The program will feature a presentation about the Complete the Trail Campaign, a Q&A, followed by an open discussion about other Montco SRT issues, such as public safety, cleanups, etc.