A Year of Momentum #OnTheCircuit

philadelphia officials lined up and cutting the ribbon to open the K&T Trail extension

After another successful year of progress #OnTheCircuit, we are getting closer to making the vision of 500 miles of Circuit Trails by 2025 a reality. Before we look forward to what’s to come in 2024, let’s take a quick look back at a few highlights from 2023.

Circuit Trails Coalition Community Grant Program 

This year, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council launched the Circuit Trails Coalition Community Grant Program, with support from the William Penn Foundation. The program awarded grants to 10 community-based organizations to support culturally relevant projects and programs on or near Circuit Trails.  

Through projects, activities and activations including tree plantings, bike riding lessons, art installations and more, the program’s mission is to improve access to and increase use of the Circuit Trails, particularly in historically disinvested communities and among marginalized groups. 

Learn more about the organizations and projects funded through the program. 

Major Funding Wins 

Sustained federal, state and local funding are critical to the development of the Circuit Trails network. In 2023, $41.7 million was secured for the following trail projects: 

Camden County LINK Trail 

$19 million from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity grant program (RAISE) 

$1.5 million from the New Jersey Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside program (NJ TASA) 

$100,000 from the Regional Trails Program (RTP) 

Rancocas Creek Greenway: Route 130 Bridge and Trail – $13.2 million from Surface Transportation Block Grant Program

Elephant Swamp Trail – $1.4 million from NJ TASA 

Burlington-Camden Trail: Route 130 Bridge – $1.2 million from NJ TASA 

Schuylkill River Trail: Near 61st Street to Passyunk Ave. – $1.1 million 

$600,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Community Conservation Partnerships Program (PA DCNR C2P2) 

$400,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Multimodal Transportation Fund 

$100,000 from the RTP 

Cross County Trail and Wissahickon Trail – $1 million from the Pennsylvania Local Share Account (PA LSA) 

Camden County Link Trail: Hi-Nella Segment – $525,000 from the New Jersey Department of Transportation Bikeway Grant 

Chester Valley Trail: Whitford to Downingtown – $500,000 from the PA DCNR C2P2 

Schuylkill River Trail and Chester Valley Trail Junction Center – $500,000 from the PA LSA 

US 202 Trail: Solebury – $465,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Multimodal Transportation Fund 

Chester Creek Trail: Crozer Park – $250,000 from the PA DCNR C2P2 

Cobbs Creek Trail: Segment B2 – $200,000 

$100,000 from the PA DCNR C2P2 

$100,000 from the RTP 

Gulph Road Connector – $188,000 from federal funding 

Chester Creek Trail: Chester Township – $115,000 from PA LSA 

Cresheim Trail – $100,000 from RTP 

Liberty Bell Trail: Schwab Road – $100,000 from RTP 

Schuylkill River Trail: Haws Avenue and Chain Street Trailheads – $100,000 from RTP 

Burlington-Camden Trail: Pennsauken to Maple Shade – $90,000 from RTP 

Chester Creek Trail: Chester City – $30,000 for RTP 

Nearing the Halfway Mark 

Eight miles were added this year, which brings the planned 836-mile network to about 47% completion. An additional 77 miles are actively in progress, emphasizing the significant strides made toward the goal of achieving 500 miles by 2025. We cut the ribbon on the Burlington-Camden Trail: Cove to Bethel, Chester Valley Trail Extension and the K&T Trail Extension, and broke new ground on the future Robert A. Borski Jr. Park. 

Keeping the Momentum in 2024 

Looking ahead, there are 112 miles of trail in the network’s pipeline stage, meaning that although a feasibility study has been conducted, design of the project is not completed, or additional obstacles exist, such as lack of public right of way. An additional 254 miles are planned, having been documented in local, county or regional plans. These miles represent excellent opportunities for regional-scale, multiuse trails. Studies or plans may have been prepared for these trails, but a sponsor is not actively working to move them forward. With continued support from trail users and community advocates, we can continue to move the Circuit Trails network forward!  

View a map that shows the development status–existing, in-progress, pipeline and planned–of Circuit Trails. 

Thanks for spending this year riding, rolling, walking or relaxing with us #OnTheCircuit. Stay connected, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. Happy holidays and we’ll see you next year!  

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