July 25, 2015
The Delaware Valley is a beautiful place to live. Even in the midst of a major American metropolis, an abundance of trails and green spaces gives residents virtually unlimited options to navigate the city and savor perfect days of outdoor recreation.
According to the results of a USA Today and 10Best Readers Choice survey, the effort to make our region a travel destination for bikers and hikers has not gone unnoticed. Philadelphia's Schuylkill River Trail was voted the number one urban trail in the United States.
As part of the vast multi-use trail network known as The Circuit, the Schuylkill River Trail already features more than 60 miles of finished trails, including a 26-mile stretch that connects Philadelphia to Phoenixville.
“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), in an interview with PlanPhilly. “Certainly, we have seen the trail become more and more popular, and this honor validates the hard work and investment made by many entities.”
Earlier this week, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission released its first-year data from a counting program implemented across The Circuit, which tallied 663,201 bikers and pedestrians along the Schuylkill River Valley Trail during that timespan.
The report concluded that demand for an expansion of the trail network is increasing. Backed by advocacy from The Circuit Coalition, which comprised of 43 local organizations, a planned extension of the Schuylkill River Trail will bring it to a full 130 miles upon completion.
“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.”
USA Today and 10Best readers ranked the top 10 urban trails as follows:
1. Schuylkill River Trail - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2. MKT Nature and Fitness Trail - Columbia, Missouri
3. Swamp Rabbit Trail - Greenville, South Carolina
4. Buffalo Bayou Park - Houston, Texas
5. Indianapolis Cultural Trail - Indianapolis, Indiana
6. American River Bike Trail - Sacramento, California
7. Atlanta Beltline - Atlanta, Georgia
8. River Walk and Mission Trail - San Antonio, Texas
9. Lakefront Trail - Chicago, Illinois
10. Rose Kennedy Greenway - Boston, Massachusetts