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5 Exciting Circuit Trails Projects Coming in 2016

In just a month, spring will be here, marking a new season of trail usage! There are several exciting Circuit Trails developments coming soon for users in 2016. Walkers, joggers, cyclers, and individuals who enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle will soon be able to enjoy these new trails, bike lanes, paved paths and more!

Below please find a preview of five new projects coming soon to New Jersey and Pennsylvania trail users!

1.  Lawrence Hopewell Trail – Mercer County, NJ

This multipurpose, paved, stone dust segment of the Lawrence Hopewell trail will extend for two miles from Pennington-Rocky Hill Road to Cleveland Road. Construction on the west side of Carter Road is 26% complete, with the remainder to be finished by July 2016.  Ground conditions discovered during construction required re-routing the trail by about 50 feet and Hopewell Township, which is managing the project, is waiting for updated permits from NJDEP.

The project is funded by the Regional Trails Program, Hopewell Township and NJDOT’s FY13 Bikeway Program.

2.  Chester Creek Trail – Delaware County, PA

Chester Creek Trail, a planned 2.8 mile rail-trail in central Delaware County, will follow Chester Creek along the Civil War-era Chester Creek Branch line of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Construction for the trail began in May of 2015 and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2016. When complete, Delaware County trail will be able to utilize the trail as a commuting alternative as well as a recreational outlet for walkers, hikers, cyclists and runners.

The project is sponsored by Delaware County and is being constructed with funding from PennDOT. 

3.  Baxter Trail – Philadelphia County, PA

When complete, the Baxter Trail will be a 1.8 mile trail connecting the existing Pennypack Trail to the existing bike lanes on State Road. The future trail, expected to be completed in spring 2016, will pass through diverse man-made environments and natural habitats and provide Philadelphians with easy access to the Delaware River.

Project sponsors include the Delaware River City Corporation, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the Commerce Department, Holmesburg Fish and Game Protective Association, the Philadelphia Water Department and the Philadelphia Police and Fire Departments.

4.  Sullivan’s Bridge (formerly Betzwood Bridge) – Montgomery County, PA

The new 14-foot wide Sullivan’s Bridge will be a 0.5-mile connection linking the Schuylkill River Trail with the trail system in Valley Forge National Historical Park and is expected to be completed in spring of 2016. The pedestrian and cycling bridge will replace the current, rickety, 3-foot-wide boardwalk-style walkway bolted onto the side of the Route 422 bridge.

The bridge project is sponsored by Montgomery County.

5.  Kinkora Trail in Burlington County, NJ

The Kinkora Trail, Mansfield Community Park to Springfield Veteran’s Memorial Park segment, is part of an overall 13-mile trail.  Burlington County is currently constructing this 3-mile trail segment that will include a 10’ wide asphalt shared use path from Mansfield’s Community Park trailhead in the Village of Columbus through two preserved farms.  Bicyclists will be able to connect to Springfield’s Veteran’s Memorial Park via shared lanes on Skunk Island Road.  This trail will be fully constructed and open to the public in Spring 2016.

The project is funded by Regional Trails Program and Burlington County.

Remembering Mike Fusco - Champion of the Chester Creek Trail

You may not know the name Mike Fusco, but if you live in Delaware County you may know about the Chester Creek Branch and the vision to build a trail on the unused rail line that ceased operations in 1972.

Mike's efforts to create a rail trail go back nearly 20 years. According to the July 1995 edition of the Cyclegram (the Bicycle Coalition's newsletter), Mike and Delaware County Planner Jim Vetterlein began hosting weekly hikes along the Chester Creek Branch. They founded the Friends of the Chester Creek Branch shortly afterward. In 1997 the Friends began cobbling together funds from the William Penn Foundation, Delaware County, DCNR and private contributions in order to conduct a feasibility study which was finally published in 2002.

As President, Mike continued to shepherd the trail development process up to the preparation for construction. The Chester Creek Trail will begin construction this year and the removal of brush and railroad ties has already begun.

Mike was a powerful force in Delaware County, helping to create what will be the County's first linear rail trail. He will be deeply missed but the work of the Friends of Chester Creek Branch goes on. His legacy will be a terrific trail which will bring joy to thousands of people in our region for years to come. You can read more about Mike Fusco's life here.

Visitation: Wednesday from 6:30- 8:30 pm and Thursday from 9-10:00am at Nolan-Fidale Funeral Home Ltd., 5980 Chichester Ave, Aston, PA
Eulogy: Thursday at 10:00am at Nolan-Fidale Funeral Home. BURIAL: Birmingham-Lafayette Cemetery, West Chester.
In lieu of flowers, Memorial donations should go to the: Friends of the Chester Creek Branch PO Box 2313 Aston, PA 19014.

Mike Fusco 1957-2014

Chester Creek Trail moves forward

On Monday, January 9th 2012, the Middletown Township Council voted in favor of constructing the Chester Creek Branch Rail-Trail. Construction may begin as soon as spring 2012. We were told the meeting room was packed and overwhelmingly in favor of the trail, and that members of the Friends of the Chester Creek Branch gave a presentation prior to the Council's vote.