The Schuylkill River Trail is the Circuit’s longest trail and the region’s most heavily used multi-use, recreation and commuter trail. A panel of travel and outdoor recreation experts nominated 20 trail systems located near major U.S. cities for Best Urban Trail and turned to USA TODAY and 10Best readers to vote for their favorite trail.
“We are thrilled that the Schuylkill River Trail has taken the number one spot,” said Joseph Syrnick, president and CEO of Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC). “Certainly, we have seen the trail become more and more popular, and this honor validates the hard work and investment made by many entities.”
The Schuylkill River Trail is in the process of expansion, with over 60 miles of finished trail including a 26-mile stretch from Philadelphia to Phoenixville. With the help of the Circuit Coalition – made up of 43 organizations dedicated to trail development in the region – enormous efforts have been made to connect sections of the Schuylkill River Trail and promote the trail as a single entity. When complete, the Schuylkill River Trail is projected to be nearly 130 miles long and will be a key corridor of the Circuit, a planned 750-mile network of bicycle and pedestrian trails connecting people to jobs, communities, parks, and rivers in the Greater Philadelphia Region. The Circuit currently includes 300 miles of completed trails and 50 miles in progress throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey with plans to connect existing trails and add an additional 400 miles to the system in the coming years.
“The Schuylkill River Trail is an iconic part of the Circuit that we look forward to watching expand,” said Sarah Clark-Stuart, the chair of the Circuit Coalition. “When complete, pedestrians and cyclists will have greater access to trails for recreation and transportation in addition to a gateway to open green space and the river.”
Now holding the award as Best Urban Trail, the Schuylkill River Trail tops trails across the country and maintains a strong reputation as not only a local attraction, but a tourist one as well. The trail allows pedestrians and cyclists access to travel 26 miles beyond the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy neighboring towns and the region’s natural beauty.
“We are confident that with the continued collaboration among supporters and organizations, this trail will become one of the most accessible and enjoyable for residents of the region and a major destination for trail users from throughout the country,” said Silas Chamberlin, executive director of the Schuylkill River National & State Heritage Area.
About the Circuit
The Circuit is a multi-use trail network that connects 300 miles of trails throughout the Greater Philadelphia area in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with plans to add 450 additional miles to the system. When fully complete, the Circuit will help connect people to jobs, recreational opportunities, public transportation and other neighborhoods, and will serve as a gateway to open green space. Support of the Circuit is being led by The Circuit Coalition, a group of nonprofit organizations, foundations and agencies working together to raise the profile of this regional trail network, and educate people about the benefits an increased trail network will bring to the region.
About the Schuylkill River Development Corporation
SRDC is revitalizing Philadelphia’s tidal Schuylkill River corridor into an asset that connects neighborhoods and encourages investment. Working with the City and stakeholders to build, maintain, and program Schuylkill Banks, SRDC drives improvements in recreation and transportation, community and economic development, public health, and environmental stewardship, benefiting neighbors, Philadelphia and the region.
About the Schuylkill River National & State Heritage Area
The Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area, managed by the non-profit Schuylkill River Greenway Association, uses conservation, education, recreation, historic and cultural preservation and tourism as tools for community revitalization and economic development.