Philly spring trail preview: 8 new, improved, and upcoming trails to explore around the city - Billy
From the long-awaited Delaware River Trail to 24/7 access at the Manayunk Bridge.
Philadelphians in search of scenic places to walk, run, or bike around the great outdoors are in luck: warm weather is about to be here (no jinx) and the city has several new or renovated trails to explore.
In addition to the paths opened or improved over the past year, there are a few more that are close to completion, or have construction plans moving through the pipeline.
Whether you’re looking to stroll through Fairmount Park or bike along one of the rivers, here’s an overview of fresh developments on the Philly trail scene.
MLK Drive Trail on the Schuylkill saw $1.4M in improvements
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation has repaved and restored the MLK Drive Trail in West Fairmount Park, which snakes along the west side of the Schuylkill from around the Fairmount Fish Ladder to the East Falls Bridge.
The project set out to widen the 4-mile, 50-plus-year-old trail, as well as clear dead trees and add new signage and pavement markings. There’s also new lighting and ADA-accessible ramps.
Timeline: Construction started in January 2021, and wrapped up last summer, according to Parks & Rec spokesperson Maita Soukup.
Manayunk Bridge trail will allow 24/7 access
The Manayunk Bridge trail, which connects Philadelphia and Lower Merion Township, will have longer hours once a Parks & Rec-led lighting project wraps up.
A $1.5-million improvement project, paid for by the city and PennDOT, has been adding new pedestrian lighting and security cameras since October. The bridge is gated off at night right now, but once the project is finished, there’ll be public access 24/7, all year round.
Timeline: Parks & Rec expects to complete the project in late spring or early summer, according to department spox Soukup. Until then, the bridge is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.