Friday, March 21, 2014

Schuylkill River Trail Spring Update (Updated April 17)

It's spring! The hard winter is mostly behind us (we hope). If you are planning to dust off your bike or lace up your running shoes this weekend, we have better news for you than we did two weeks ago when we reported that the trail was closed in parts and snow covered in others. Here's a new breakdown of the trail by section. Updated April 17, 2014

Schuylkill & Berks Counties: 
Condition: Passable. These sections of the trail are managed by the Schuylkill River Heritage Area, where no winter maintenance is routinely performed. However, we have had a number of volunteers out cleaning parts of the trail, removing downed trees, picking up branches and other debris. It's safe to bike on these sections, but beware, the crush stone surface is still soft and has suffered some ruts from equine use. Recent heavy rains have likely left sticks and small branches along the path, so keep an eye out. Our trail maintenance coordinator suggests picking up any sticks or branches to ensure a smooth ride later on.

Chester County: 
Condition: Cleared for multi-use, including biking. A county park ranger has reported that the trail from Parkerford to Cromby (just outside of Phoenixville) is fine for biking, and there is no ice or mud. All branches and downed trees have been cleared. However, use caution as gravel is loose in a few sections where water hasn't completely drained away.

Montgomery County:
Condition: Passable for multi-use, including biking. This piece of the trail stretches from Phoenixville to Philadelphia and is now officially open. This is good news for trail users. Only a few weeks ago it was officially closed, considered too icy and debris strewn for travel. However, there are still some areas where cyclists should proceed with caution, looking out for larger sticks and other potential hazards. And please be advised that there is a temporary trail closure from Ford Street to Ross Street in Norristown is due to construction that needs to be done as part of the Lafayette Street extension project. This 1/2-mile section was closed on January 27 and will reopen for the weekends of April 26-27 and May 3-4, and will open permanently on May 10.will For more information on that project visit the Montgomery County website.

Condition: Cleared for multi-use. Most of the Philadelphia sections of the trail are plowed throughout the winter, so they are clear now and fine for biking. The Manayunk section, which isn't plowed, is also safe for cycling.