Trail Projects, Plans & Studies
Schuylkill River Greenways and our partners have several ongoing projects that will continue the extension of the Schuylkill River Trail. There are currently 75 miles of the trail completed and when finished it will run 120 miles from Frackville in Schuylkill County to Philadelphia.SRT Plans & Studies
Schuylkill River Trail Projects
Enormous efforts have been made to connect trail sections and close gaps. Below is a list of current projects.
A former Pennsylvania Railroad bridge in Auburn, Schuylkill County has been rehabilitated as part of the extension of the Schuylkill River Trail. The historic plate girder bridge, which crosses the Schuylkill River, has been fitted with a new concrete trail deck and steel railings. At this point in the project, the new trail deck and railings are open to trail users but DO NOT connect with the trail north of the bridge. The only access at this time is from the south.
The next phase of this project will involve the construction of a ramp to get back down to grade level. Once on the ground, a new segment of trail will connect with a low traffic on-road trail section, River Road. After a short distance along River Road, the trail meets the existing Schuylkill River Trail which continues north to the Auburn Trailhead. The entire project including the connecting ramp and trail is expected to be finished in 2022.
In November 2019, Schuylkill River Greenways was awarded a Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) grant in the amount of $367,500 for the development of this particular trail section.
The original announcement to the public and kickoff happened on Dec. 5, 2018. To find out more, CLICK HERE.
Schuylkill River Greenways currently has several ongoing projects that will continue the extension of the trail in Schuylkill County. This includes a 1.7-mile trail gap between Auburn and Landingville as well a 3-mile gap from Mount Carbon to Schuylkill Haven. The consultant, Simone Collins Landscape Architecture, received community input at public meetings held November 2018 and January 2019. From these meetings, the consultant prepared two feasibility studies for alignment options for these sections.
The closing of this gap will link the Philadelphia to Reading Schuylkill River Trail section.
Chester County's SRT Phase II Project
An integral section of the Schuylkill River Trail is expected to be completed in the next couple of years. The project is the construction of a shared-use trail between Linfield Road in Parker Ford and the U.S. 422 bridge over the Schuylkill River in Pottstown.
Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell and Michelle Kichline were joined by partners from PennDOT, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Schuylkill River Greenways and the Circuit Trails in April 2021 to break ground on Chester County’s latest extension to the Schuylkill River Trail (SRT).
Phase II of the County’s Schuylkill River Trail is a $6 million, four-mile paved extension that will take the trail from Linfield Road at Parker Ford, to the new Route 422 Bridge crossing of the Schuylkill River at the Montgomery County border. The trail extension in Chester County is expected to be complete by the end of 2021. Phase II also includes the construction of a new trailhead parking lot at Linfield Road, and the resurfacing and paving of the County’s existing 5.75-mile section of the Trail.
Montgomery County SRT Extension from Route 422 to Industrial Highway
The extension of the Schuylkill River Trail in Montgomery County includes a 0.95 mile segment between Industrial Highway and the U.S. 422 Bridge in Pottstown. The work for this area is currently in the design phase and will go out to bid in early 2022. Construction is expected to be complete by fall 2022.
Parker Ford Riverside Park Concept Public Meeting
Two public meetings were held on Sept. 9, 2019 and Oct. 16, 2019 about a proposed park area in Parker Ford. The proposed park area includes nearly 14 acres among 6 parcels owned by Chester County, East Coventry and East Vincent Townships. Project goals include providing public access to the Schuylkill River, promoting the appreciation of the area's historic resources and providing a direct link to the Schuylkill River Trail.
The project is an initiative of the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area and the Task Force includes representatives from the Schuylkill River Greenways, Chester County, East Vincent Township, East Coventry Township, North Coventry Township, Limerick Township and the Pottstown Metropolitan Regional Planning Commission. The project design consultants include Ray Ott, of Ray Ott & Associates Town and Land Planners in West Chester and Robert Thomas of Campbell Thomas & Company Architects in Philadelphia.
You're Invited to the Whittaker Bridge Opening!
You're invited to the grand opening of the new pedestrian bridge over Route 724 in Union Township along the Schuylkill River Trail. The grand opening will take place on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, at 11 a.m. This event will be attended by Schuylkill River Greenways, Project Supporter Peggy Whittaker, and elected officials.
BEAM-ing with Excitement about the Whittaker Bridge
On July 26, contractors installed three 100-foot, concrete beams to the abutments of what is becoming the Richard P. Whittaker, M.D. Memorial Bridge. The highly anticipated pedestrian bridge will be a part of the Schuylkill River Trail and will allow users to safely cross over Route 724 in Union Township. Click here to read the Pottstown Mercury story about the install
Whittaker Bridge Construction Is Underway
The Schuylkill River Trail near Monocacy Station in Union Township, Berks County is CLOSED for the construction of the Richard P. Whittaker, M.D. Memorial Bridge. The trail is closed a few 100 feet west of Route 724 (E. Main Street) where a small bridge goes over Six Penny Creek, and is also closed approximately 600 feet east of Route 724. SRG prohibits users from crossing the construction site during this closure period.
The contractor for the pedestrian bridge is Susquehanna Supply Co. Construction is expected to last until August. This section will be closed throughout the project to allow construction vehicles to transport materials. The traffic of such vehicles will disrupt the trail surface, making it unsafe for users during this time. The contractor will resurface the trail after the project is complete.
There is no detour during this construction project. Trail users are encouraged to visit the interactive map at schuylkillriver.org/map to plan their trip on the trail and explore other trail sections. The Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area will update the public if the trail closure area changes at any time.
Big Woods Trail Access
Access to the Big Woods Trail via the Schuylkill River Trail is now available for users traveling east. For users traveling west, the Big Woods Trail is NOT accessible via the Schuylkill River Trail. People can also enter or exit Big Woods through the parking lot area on Center Road. The lot can hold approximately 25 to 30 cars. The address is 165 Center Road, Douglassville, PA 19518.
More Details About the Whittaker Bridge
The construction project is totaled to be about $1.15 million. Peggy Whittaker donated a generous amount to help fund the project in honor of her late husband, Dr. Richard P. Whittaker, for whom the bridge will be named. Funding will provide for ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.
The bridge location, often referred to as the Monocacy Crossing, is along the Thun Section of the Schuylkill River Trail. It’s a high-traffic area along Route 724. Cars travel at a high rate of speed in this area with poor sight distances. Currently, trail users must descend a steep slope to cross Route 724 and ascend another slope on the opposite road bank. Schuylkill River Greenways installed visible warning signs at the intersection in 2016. Those signs were paid for through the Safe Crossings Program which the Sly Fox Brewery donates funds toward from the proceeds of SRT Ale.
In November 2020, the Appalachian Conservation Corps installed fencing for a section of the Schuylkill River Trail being built in St. Clair of Schuylkill County. In 2018, the Great Appalachian Valley Conservation Corps (GAVCC) cut down trees and cleaned debris to make room for a path. After this first phase was completed, the next phase included installing posts for fencing. The completed section will be a paved mile stretch.