This blog was orginally published on The Watershed Institute's blog in January.

Photo courtesy of the Watershed Institute 

The Circuit Trails, a network of biking, walking and other recreation trails in the Greater Philadelphia area, now officially includes the connector trail at The Watershed Institute.

At a recent meeting, the steering committee of the Circuit Trails Coalition added the Watershed’s path to a regional network of multi-use trails.

Bicyclists, walkers, and other outdoor enthusiasts have enjoyed the Watershed’s short path since it opened in early October. The three-tenths of a mile connector starts at the main entrance and parallels Titus Mill Road, offering scenic beauty and safety for recreational users, and connects to the Lawrenceville Hopewell Trail at Wargo Road.

Photo courtesy of the Watershed Institute 

The Circuit Trails Coalition is a collaboration of non-profit organizations, foundations, and agencies working to advance completion of a connected network of trails – the Circuit Trails – in the Delaware River Valley. The coalition works to raise the profile of the Circuit Trail and educate the public on the benefits of outdoor recreation.

The Watershed’s path offers a demonstration of “pervious pavement.” This feature allows stormwater to soak into the ground and recharge the aquifer instead of slicking off of hard, impervious asphalt and contributing to flooding.

Photo courtesy of the Watershed Institute 

“Our connector trail is an example of best how to handle polluted stormwater runoff,” said Jim Waltman, Executive Director of The Watershed Institute. “Signage along the connector path will educate the public on ‘green infrastructure’ features.”

While there are plenty of bike racks at The Watershed Center to accommodate people visiting with pedal power, bicycles are not allowed on the hiking, walking and recreational paths on the Watershed Reserve.

The connector path was funded by the William Penn Foundation and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. The project began after the necessary approvals by the Hopewell Township Zoning Board, the Delaware Raritan Canal Commission, and the Mercer County Soil Conservation District.