The Schuylkill River Trail (SRT) is owned, managed, maintained and developed by a number of organizations who have come together to form the Schuylkill River Trail Council. Until several years ago, the Schuylkill River Trail existed in unconnected sections known by the names given to them locally. Enormous efforts have been made to connect these sections, close gaps, create a unified sign system and promote the trail as a single entity. This work continues with plans to close several remaining gaps, and to extend the trail in Philadelphia at the lower end and in Schuylkill County at the upper end.
Schuylkill Banks (Philadelphia): The Schuylkill River Development Corporation manages the trail from the Fairmount WaterWorks to Locust Street, a section known as Schuylkill Banks. The Schuylkill Banks vision calls for trails running along both banks of the Schuylkill River wherever possible between the Fairmount Dam and the Delaware River. 1.2 miles of this 8 mile stretch have already been completed, along with bridge enhancements and other accessibility improvements. SRDC is currently working with public and private partners to plan, design and build additional trail segments and improve neighborhood connections to the trail.
Montgomery County: The county built, owns and maintains 18 miles of the Schuylkill River Trail that runs from the county line in Philadelphia to Mont Clare, passing through Valley Forge National Historical Park. It was built on the Pennsylvania Railroad right of way and parallels the scenic Schuylkill River as it winds through various townships and boroughs. This section of the trail is paved, making it a popular destination for biking, rollerblading, jogging, and walking. It is recognized as a National Recreation Trail by the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Trails System. Montgomery County has also completed a section of trail from Pottstown to the Berks County line and plans call for extending the Pottstown piece eastward to connect with the trail in Chester County. Learn more here about the Montgomery County section of trail.
Chester County: There are currently six miles of the Schuylkill River Trail in Chester County, running from Cromby (located just above Phoenixville) to Parker Ford. Plans call for extending the trail from Parker Ford to Pottstown, which, when completed, will enable trail users to travel from Philadelphia to Reading, a distance of more than 60 miles. Details about the planned route and schedule can be found on Chester County's website.
Berks and Schuylkill Counties: In Berks and Schuylkill Counties, the trail is constructed and managed by the Schuylkill River Greenway Assn., the non-profit managing entity for the Schuylkill River Heritage Area. There are currently 28 miles of completed trail in this section, including a nearly 20-mile stretch from the Pottstown line to Reading. This section is locally known as the Thun Trail and is maintained by volunteers. In Upper Berks and Schuylkill Counties, there is a 7 mile length of trail from Hamburg to Auburn, known as the John B. Bartram section, and another 1.5-mile piece in Landingville. While there is no off-road trail between Reading and Hamburg, there is a signed on-road route that cyclists can follow. The Schuylkill River Heritage Area is always working to maintain, improve and expand this section of trail, while also working in partnership with others to promote the entire trail. Learn more about the Schuylkill River Heritage Area by visiting their website at www.schuylkillriver.org