Eighty-Nine Miles Left to Complete 500 Miles Of Circuit Trails By 2025

Purple wayfinding sign on the Delaware River Trail

A more connected region is 89 miles away. The Circuit Trails Coalition is rallying support from those who live, work and play in the Greater Philadelphia and southern New Jersey region to complete 500 miles of Circuit Trails by 2025.

Trails are spaces for recreation and relaxation, but they also serve a critical role in equitably addressing economic development, quality-of-life, climate resiliency, mobility, and bicyclist and pedestrian safety issues that our communities face. More trails equal more opportunities and access for commuting and enjoying free public outdoor spaces safely away from cars.

The Circuit Trails Coalition has outlined the strategy necessary to move the remaining 89 miles forward—either with funding or construction—to reach the goal of 500 miles by 2025. The Coalition’s report also calls on local decision makers to prioritize connecting the region’s trail network and recommends a series of policy and funding actions that local decision-makers can take to accelerate the trail network’s progress. At an individual level, the Coalition is urging community members to send letters to the elected officials in their county asking them to prioritize funding for developing and maintaining the Circuit Trails.

“I’m asking you to reach out to your county commissioner or city council person, to our regional and state leaders to insist that Circuit Trails infrastructure is prioritized. It’s critical that we have the support needed to fund it, build it, maintain it,” said Patrick Starr, chair of the Circuit Trails Coalition and executive vice president of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s southeast region.

In 2023, the Circuit Trails secured $41.7 million in funding for trail development that will support 19 trails projects across the region.

“Time is of the essence to keep progress in motion and create the fully connected trail network that our region needs. We have identified projects that are ripe for funding and construction, and those that will deliver the most impact in creating equitable access to spaces where people across our region can safely be active outside and get around their neighborhoods whether or not they drive,” said Starr.

This call to action is the focus as the region marks Celebrate Trails Day on Saturday, April 27 with more than a dozen events across Greater Philadelphia and southern New Jersey creating an opportunity for communities and neighbors to come together to learn more about the regional vision and take action to accelerate progress.

Celebrate Trails Day is organized by Rails to Trails Conservancy, the nation’s largest trails advocacy organization and a member of the Circuit Trails Coalition, encouraging Americans to walk, bike and be active outside contributing to the well-being of people, places and the planet.

To read the full report visit: www.circuittrails.org/get-involved. Learn more about the many funding opportunities for trails and active transportation: railstotrails.org/funding.

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