This blog is a guest piece from Daniel Paschall, Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator for the East Coast Greenway Alliance.
Two major trails in Philadelphia just got a little bit longer, and both increase connectivity to and along the Delaware River and the East Coast Greenway for residents in the Fishtown and Frankford neighborhoods. Click here to follow along on an interactive map of the Circuit Trails.
Penn Treaty Park on the Delaware River Trail
The first brand new trail is the Penn Treaty Park portion of the Delaware River Trail, which is having some finishing touches added, but is open to the public and fully usable. It features a number of paths leading people along the water with a gorgeous view of the Ben Franklin Bridge downriver (see photos below). For more information see Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s page on the trail here.
The Delaware River Trail now connects Penn Treaty Park south to the waterfront trail behind the Rivers Casino (formerly SugarHouse) and continues south to the Penn Street Trail that goes to Delaware Avenue down to the intersection with Spring Garden Street.
From there, trail users can follow the East Coast Greenway west, currently on bike lanes, but what will eventually become the Spring Garden Street Greenway (a 2-mile corridor with a physically separated bikeway that is still making progress – look out for more news on that in the coming months) over to Schuylkill Banks by the Art Museum. Looking south, trail users will soon be able to take a new trail that is set to start construction this year, from Spring Garden Street along Delaware Avenue all the way down to Washington Avenue: the central segment of the Delaware River Trail.
Adams Avenue Connector of the Frankford Creek Greenway
The second trail that is finishing up construction is the Frankford Creek Greenway's Adams Avenue Connector. This brand new trail is parallel to a brand new road both built by PennDOT as part of the I-95 reconstruction. The Adams Avenue Connector also includes new tree plantings along the banks of a previously hidden portion of the Frankford Creek between Torresdale Ave and Arramingo Ave. You can check out TTF Watershed Partnership for more info on events and work being done to bring people back to this historic waterway. The trail includes an impressively wide and well-lit trail underpass beneath SEPTA and Amtrak's Northeast Corridor as well as plaza-like spaces at each end of the trail. See more information on this trail and the I-95 reconstruction project here.
Once major bridge reconstruction work is done on Arramingo Ave over Frankford Creek later this year, there will be a much more comfortable connection to the existing sidepath along the south side of Arramingo. Currently, the only way to access the Adams Ave Connector on Arramingo is by way of a far-too-narrow sidewalk on the north side of road. When complete, the Adams Avenue connector will link Torresdale Ave to the Delaware River by way of the Frankford Creek Greenway. This consists of the new trail by Adams Ave, a sidepath along the south side of Arramingo Ave to the Wawa, a sidepath down the east side Wheatsheaf Ln, a short low-stress portion of Richmond St, and another sidepath down the east side of Lewis St that meets up with the Port Richmond Trail (of the Delaware River Trail and East Coast Greenway) by the Tioga Marine Terminal.
Definitely take the opportunity to explore both the Frankford Creek Greenway and the Port Richmond Trails, lesser known urban gems of the Circuit Trails, which provide a safe biking and walking tour of the area's industrial past and present, interwoven with the Frankford Creek as it threads through the city and empties into the Delaware River. Eventually the Port Richmond Trail will connect north all the way to the Bucks County border (see the existing K&T Trail and Pennypack on the Delaware Trail for trails to enjoy now) as well as south to Penn Treaty Park's trail. See Riverfront North Partnership’s page on the Greenway here.