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2014 Highlights of the Circuit

    • 300 mile complete
    • 2014 Circuit logo slide
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2014 Milestones     

  • 12 miles of new trails were added, including the Boardwalk on Schuylkill Banks 
  • Manayunk Bridge and four other trails broke ground  
  • $13.2 million in federal, state and local grants were made in 2014 for Circuit projects.
  • The Willilam Penn Foundation awarded $8.6 million for Circuit trails and a communications plan
  • 8 counters were installed on Chester Valley Trail, Cynwyd, SRT at Kelly Drive, SRT at Pawlings Road, Lawrence Hopewell Trail, US 202 Parkway Trail, Wissahickon Trail. 
  • The Pennsylvania FY 2015-2018 Transportation Improvement Program committed an additional $1 million for Circuit projects in the next round of Transportation Alternatives awards and the five PA counties agreed to prioritize their Circuit trails for future funding.
  • Coverage in 47 outlets that reached 89 million viewers

300 miles are now complete

The Circuit grew in 2014 through the opening of the following trails:

Eleven Ribbon Cuttings/Trail Openings       

  1. Neshaminy Creek Trail - Doylestown & New Britain      
  2. Pennypack North/South Extension  
  3. Chester Valley Trail 2  & Trail 3           
  4. Schuylkill River Trail-Boardwalk    
  5. Kinkora Trail
  6. Lawrence Hopewell Pennington Connection        
  7. Schuylkill River Trail-Leesport
  8. Baldwin Run Trail
  9. Poquessing Creek Trail (not an official Circuit Trail)
  10. Yellow Springs Trail (Valley Forge) (not an official Circuit Trail)
  11. Destination Peace Valley Trail (not an official Circuit Trail)

Five Groundbreakings                       

  1. Manayunk Bridge    
  2. ECG- Baxter Trail     
  3. Pennypack N/S Extension  
  4. Sullivan's Bridge      
  5. Schuylkill River Trail West (not an official Circuit trail)

Media Impressions

Number of Viewers/Readers Reached:


**Huffington Post Viewership: 54,657,952**

Estimated Advertising Value:


**Does not include Huffington Post advertising value**

*All readership, unique viewers and advertising equivalency numbers are estimates based on the best available data

Major Messages

  • As the trail network grows, small businesses are benefitting
  • Key assets in the Circuit are being completed
  • Collaboration leads to progress in trail development
  • Philadelphia is one of the most accessible cities for cyclists
  • The Circuit will make Philadelphia a world-class city for trail access
  • Funding is key for further trail development

Media Placements:

  • Since June, 47 different outlets covered stories
  • More than 16 TV segments
  • An impressive 8 Inquirer stories
  • All 4 Major Philly news channels covered events

50 Miles in Progress

Circuit Trails in the 9 county region were awarded $13.2 million in federal, state and local funding.

400 Miles to Go

We expect the following trails in the coming years to open:


  • Manayunk Bridge
  • Bartram’s Mile
  • SRT in Phoenixville and along the tow path in Mont Clare
  • Baxter Trail 
  • Pennypack between Welsh Road and Byberry Road (Bryn Athyn)


  • Ben Franklin Bridge ramp,
  • Chester Valley Trail in Montgomery County 
  • new bridge over the Schuylkill River at Valley Forge


    • pp141116 boardwalkc 2

Circuit Exploration Report: Checking out the CVT in Montgomery County

    • img 20141018 164138138
    • 10182014 Explore CVT
    • PECO ROW in KOP
    • KOP Inn
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    • img 20141018 141921514
    • Bill Smith Road
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For most people, the caged bike/ped bridge over I-76 (as seen in the photo slide show) in King of Prussia is the closest they have ever gotten to the Chester Valley Trail (CVT) in Montgomery County.  

The bridge opened in 2004 when the I-76 and 202 interchange was upgraded.  (The other trail bridge is Norfolk Southern's Trenton Cutoff.)  And, slowly but surely, the Chester Valley Trail has been built to the west to meet Chester County's 13 miles of trail and in hopefully in two years, will extend eastward to meet up directly with the Schuylkill River Trail in Norristown. 

Currently, in Montgomery County, the eastern edge of the CVT is South Gulph Road and the westen end is at South Warner Road. As part of our "Explore the Circuit" series of rides and walks, on October 18th, about twenty of us joined Mike Stokes, Assistant Director of the Montgomery County Planning Commission to see how the county was going to align the Chester Valley Trail eastward to the SRT.  

We set out on a beautiful windy afternoon from the S. Warner Road trailhead (nice parking lot with toilet facilities) and walked east, over the expressway to South Gulph Road.  We then crossed over to Bill Smith (a former Supervisor) Boulevard and took a look at the historic King of Prussia Inn (which was moved years ago from its original location.) Afterwards, we walked through the (hugely wide) PECO right of way that the trail will go through and then along Hansen Access Road.  Fortuitously, we had among our group a SETPA planner who told us that one of four possible alignments for the KOP trolley extension might also use the PECO ROW, but it won't interfere with the trail.  At the junction of Hanson Access Road and Henderson Road, the trail will go over Henderson Road on second bike/ped bridge and land on an inactive rail line.  The trail will continue up this old rail line and eventually meet up at DeKalb Street and cross the Schuylkill River on the DeKalb Bridge where it will meet with Schuylkill River Trail at the Norristown Transportation Center.  

It was a lovely walk and everyone enjoyed learning more about this much anticipated connection between two Circuit trunk trails.  Montco hopes to advertise the project in 2015 and estimates that the project will take one year to complete.  The Bicycle Coalition hopes to return next spring and host another walk of the section from Henderson Road to Norristown.  Many thanks to Mike Stokes for sharing his deep knowledge of the project, the map below and some of his photos.

    • chester valley trail extension map

Look for Rails to Trails Conservancy Trail Surveys #onthecircuit

    • circuit paper survey box
    • circuit survey monkey box
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Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is conducting Trail User Surveys on the following Circuit trails:
Pennsylvania Trails
  • Chester Valley Trail
  • Cynwyd Heritage Trail
  • Port Richmond Trail
  • Perkiomen Trail
  • Radnor Trail
  • Route 202 Parkway Trail
  • Schuylkill River Trail (Valley Forge area) 
  • Schuylkill River Trail (Fairmount Park area)
  • Schuylkill River Trail (Schuylkill Banks area) 
  • Wissahickon Trail
New Jersey Trails 
  • Blackwood Railroad Trail
  • Cooper River Trail
  • Elephant Swamp Trail 
  • Lawrence-Hopewell Trail 
  • Monroe Township Trail 
There are two types of surveys with identical questions. A paper survey which can be mailed back to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy postage paid, and an online survey hosted by Survey Monkey. Paper survey forms can be found in boxes.  The online survey can be accessed via smartphone using the QR code on the front of the survey box or by using the URL contained on the "take one" card.   Look for both on these trails and fill one out!
Surveys will be available through at least the end of the year.

Walk the Future Chester Valley Trail in Montco

In Chester County, you can bike over 12 miles of off road trail in along Route 202, from approximately Warner Road to Exton.  But, did you know that the Chester Valley Trail is going to connect all the way to the Schuylkill River Trail in Norristown?  Currently, the trail is complete in Montgomery County only from Warner Road to South Gulph Road across I-76.  Montgomery County Planning Commission has federal, state, and county funding in hand to build the trail from South Gulph Road across King of Prussia over the DeKalb Street Bridge to the Norristown Transportation Center.  That project is in final design and should start in 2015. 

We've asked Michael Stokes of Montgomery Planning Commission to lead us on guided walk of the alignment of the trail on Saturday, October 18th at 1pm.  This walk will be approximately 8 miles long; from the Warner Road trailhead to Boro Line Road and back.  (We aren't walking all the way to Norristown because a bridge over Boro Line Road is still under construction.)  

This walk is free for Bicycle Coalition members and $20 for non-members (first year's membership is included). Please sign up here

    • october 18 cvt walk

Chester County Officials Cut the Ribbon on Phase 3 of the CV Trail

    • Chester Valley Trail Exton Park
    • Chester Valley Trail Iron Lake/Exton Square
    • Chester Valley Trail Crossing Lincoln Highway
    • Chester Valley Trail
    • Chester Valley Trail Phase 3
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The wind and the rain did not dampen spirits at last week's ribbon cutting of of the Chester Valley Trail's phase 3 at Exton Park. County Commissioners, Bike Chester County, DCNR, West Whiteland Township and others were in attendence.

The new segment is only 3/4 mile long. But it connects the main trail to a long orphaned segment that stretches from Main St Exton to Iron Lake Rd and includes a pedestrian activated signalized crossing of Lincoln Highway (Business 30). As a result the trail has expanded to a length of 13 miles between Exton and King Of Prussia.

What makes the Chester Valley Trail so critical is that is in the County's main commercial corridor that is sandwiched between Route 202 and SEPTA's Paoli-Thorndale Line. As a result the trail provides a low stress non-motorized connection between the corridor's office complexes, retail establishments, residential developments and parks.

Chester County now is looking to expand further west. Design work to extend the tail up to the crossing of the Exton Bypass will begin next year. Meanwhile Montgomery County is part way through design for the four mile connection to the Schuylkill River Trail at the Norristown Transportation Center. Construction is expected to start in 2015. The Circuit Coalition will be hosting a walk through the future trail alignment on October 18. Bring your camera to take some before shots so you can brag that you walked it first.


Come Celebrate Another New Circuit Section at the Chester Valley Trail Phase II Grand Opening

Four months after completion, the Chester Valley Board of Commissioners and the Friends of the Chester Valley Trail will be celebrating the Grand Opening of Phase II of the Chester Valley Trail on MondayMay 5th at 5 PM at 1055 Westlakes Drive in BerwynThe opneing will include a trail preview, remarks by the Chester County Commissioners and other guests, and an official ribbon cutting.

The trail now extends from the Valley Forge/King of Prussia area all the way to Exton. Future phases of the trail will continue to extend the trail eastwards towards Norristown and westwards towards Downington, providing a vital multi-use artery through the heart of Chester County.

If interested in attending, RSVP by Thursday, May 1st to the Chester County Commissioners Office ([email protected]; 610-344-6100)

See the attached flyer for more details.

    • cvt phase 2 celebration opening invitation 1

A New Section of the Chester Valley Trail Opens

The Chester County Commissioners have issued a press release announcing the official opening of Phase 2 of the Chester Valley Trail from the Wegman's in Malvern to Old Eagle School Road in Tredyffrin Township. This new section increases the continuous length of the trail to 11 miles.

The easternmost section of Phase 2 from Old Eagle School to Warner Road is still officially closed and is considered an active construction zone. This closure may continue until the completion of the Warner Road Trailhead, which would be the likely site for what we hope is a springtime ribbon cutting. When opened, this section will connect the just-opened trail to the existing 1-mile stretch in King of Prussia. Biking to the mall will have never been easier!

The press release also mentioned the start of construction of Phase 3 in March. This will extend the west end of the trail from Exton Park to another stub section of the Chester Valley Trail at Iron Lake Rd. If all goes as planned that section of trail will be opened by this time next year.

September Events #onthecircuit

Circuit Commitment Campaign Events

Circuit Postcard Trail Day - Brandywine Tour -  September 1st

Circuit Postcard Trail Day - Cooper River - September 7th

Circuit Postcard Trail Day - Scenic Schuylkill Century - September 8th

Circuit Postcard Trail Day - Chester Valley Trail - September 21st

Circuit Commitment Campaign Talk at TTF Meeting - September 24th

Circuit Postcard Trail Day - Bucks County - September 28th

Circuit Special Events

Delaware River Heritage Trail Ribbon Cutting - September 8th

Delaware River Heritage Ride - September 8th

Cynwyd Heritage Trail Planting Prep - September 14th

Discover the Hidden River at Gray's Ferry Crescent - September 20-22nd

Millennium Bridge Lighting Ceremony on Schuylkill Banks - September 26th

Kayak, Riverboat Tours & Movie Nights

Schuylkill Banks Movie Night - Moonrise Kingdom - September 5th

Secrets of the Schuylkill Riverboat Tour - September 5th

Basic Schuylkill Banks Kayak Tours - September 5th-28th

Schuylkill Riverboat Tour to Bartram's Garden - September 8th

Basic Schuylkill River Kayak Tours - September 8th

Schuylkill Banks Movie Night - Rocky - September 12th

Schuylkill Riverboat to Bartram's Garden - September 14th

Basic Schuylkill Banks Kayak Tour - September 21st

Moonlight Schuylkill Banks Kayak Tour - September 21st

Secrets of the Schuylkill Riverboat Tour - September 21st

Basic Schuylkill Banks Kayak Tour - September 28th

Rides & Walks

Early Bird Rate for Cycles & Cemeteries Ride - September 5th

Delaware River Heritage Trail Ride - September 8th

Cycles and Cemeteries Ride - September 21st

West Laurel Hill Woof Walk - September 21st

Get Your Tail on the Trail - September 28th


2013 Philly Fun Fishing Fest - September 7th

Trust 5K Walk/Run on the D&L - September 7th

Dance on Falls Bridge - September 7th

Friends of Schuylkill Bank Soiree - September 14th

Conferences & Meetings

2013 Pennsylvania Greenways and Trail Summit - September 15-17th

Cobbs Creek Trail pre-proposal RFP meeting - September 12th


Help Connect the Circuit!

Let's Connect the Circuit!
New Jersey Caucus Meeting
Take Action

To register for the Pennsylvania Caucus Meeting on June 17th, please click here!

To register for the New Jersey Caucus Meeting on June 19th, please click here!


PA and NJ Trail Caucus Meetings Coming In June

On behalf of The Circuit Coalition, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia invites you to the launch of the Circuit Commitment Campaign.

We are bringing together trail enthusiasts and supporters like you for two informational sessions in June (one for PA, one for NJ). These caucus meetings are the kickoff to the Circuit Commitment Campaign.

The Circuit Commitment Campaign's goal is to replenish the DVRPC (Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission)'s Regional Trail Fund, which is a competitive grant program established by the William Penn Foundation in 2010. The fund is distributing nearly $10 million in our nine-county region, and is helping plan, design and build nearly 40 miles of trail.

This grant program, if continued, could have a major impact on our trails! So we need people like you, who want to see The Circuit's unfinished trails built, to encourage County Commissioners (in Pennsylvania) & Freeholders (in New Jersey) to allocate a second $10 million for the years 2014-2016. This money will continue the momentum of that first grant cycle, moving us closer to realizing the vision of a region connected by a world-class network of bike-ped trails: The Circuit.

Get involved in creating new trails for your community by attending your state's trail caucus!

The Pennsylvania Caucus
June 17th, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Haverford Community, Recreation & Environmental Center
Register to attend here

New Jersey Caucus
June 19th, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Camden County Boathouse
Register to attend here

The Pennsylvania Caucus meeting will provide an overview of the next set of Circuit trails currently under development in Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Bucks and Philadelphia Counties.

The New Jersey Caucus meeting will provide an overview of the next set of Circuit trails currently under development in Mercer, Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties.

At each meeting, we will also discuss the campaign goal and how you can help get this trail funding secured.

Update on Chester Valley Trail in Montco

We have an update on the status of how the Chester Valley Trail will traverse Upper Merion Township in Montgomery County to connect to the Schuylkill River Trail in Norristown.  

First, the two mile stretch along the recently acquired Demonstration Section (also known as Phase 1) is getting closer and closer to being advertised in the next few months.  This stretch will connect Dekalb Street in Bridgeport along the right of way, cross Route 202 at grade to Saulin Boulevard.    A William Penn/DVRPC Regional Trail Fund grant was secured in 2011 to help pay for this project.  

Secondly, the alignment of the Phase 2 segment has changed.  The trail will continue along Saulin Road and then south on Henderson Road to go under the Turnpike and meet up with Hansen Access Road.  It will continue along Hansen Road to meet up with the existing trail at So. Gulph Road.  

The original alignment of the section south of the Turnpike was envisioned by Montgomery County Planning Deparment to use a 1/2 mile easement parallel to the Turnpike, along Hansen Access Road.  After a meeting held between the Bicycle Coalition and the Turnpike Authority on April 19th, we learned that the Turnpike Authority is not legally able to make easements, although it can provide leases.  The Montgomery County Planning office is considering its options with how to put a trail along Hansen Road.  This segment will be paid for using Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funds.

The Circuit's Inaugural Year

    • D&L Marathon
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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 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, by re-branding the region's trail network as The Circuit, the image of who trails served and their benefits was revamped.

This past May The Circuit was unveiled.  It 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 transportation 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 the 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. Please use to learn how you can help the next trail segments get built and find a new trail to walk, run, or ride in 2013.

Circuit GIS Files Are Now Available

We have received several requests from organizations who want to add the Circuit trails to their GIS map data. While we have the ability to export the Circuit data it is not in a format that can be readily placed in most GIS mapping software programs. So we have released a GIS file that shows the current trails are officially designated as part of the Circuit.


GIS or Geographic Information System is computer mapping that is integrated with database technology. GIS files containing map data (i.e. roads) can be read by various GIS programs such as the popular ArcGIS family of software and the open source QGIS. If you just want to display the map data you can use a free GIS viewers such as web based (shown above) or ArcGIS Explorer. More readily available though are the .kml and .kmz file which can be displayed on Google Maps or in Google Earth.

Montgomery County Approves Spending for Trails

In early August, Montgomery County's commissioners approved a $17 Million Open Space budget.  The budget includes $3.836 million to pay for design, construction or acquisition of several county trail projects, including: 

Chester Valley Trail

Wissahickon Trail

Pennypack Trail

Schuylkill River Trail

  • $540K (over 2 years) to build the section from South Pottstown to Route 422
  • $1.67 M to restore the Tow Path &  rebuild the Spillway and install a ped Bridge over the restored Spillway (over two years)