Opening of a new section of the Schuylkill River Trail in Chester County, adding 2 miles of access

Starting this weekend, pedestrians and cyclists will be able to enjoy a newly constructed section of the Schuylkill River Trail in Chester County.

A 2-mile section of the recreational trail opens to the public Friday afternoon as part of an Earth Day celebration. The trail segment runs north from Linfield Road to Fricks Lock Village in East Coventry Township.

The $6 million project, which began last April, also includes building a new trailhead at Linfield Road and resurfacing the existing 5.7 miles of the county’s Schuylkill River Trail.

The new section of the Schuylkill River Trail is part of Chester County’s second and final phase of filling a gap in the path between the Parker Ford section of East Coventry and Pottstown.

When complete, a 4-mile extension of the trail will run from Parker Ford to the new Route 422 bridge that crosses the Schuylkill River at the Montgomery County line near Pottstown. This extension, combined with the existing 5.7-mile-long segment, will provide the county with approximately 10 miles of trail space from Phoenixville to the Kenilworth section of North Conventry

The initial phase of the project, which was completed over the past decade, extended the road from the Cromby Trailhead on the Township Line Road in East Pikeland Township north to Parker Ford.

When completed, the Chester County portion of the regional trail will parallel the Schuylkill River for over 12 miles, connecting the Route 422 bridge in Pottstown to the south with the Route 29 bridge heading towards Mount Clare, County Montgomery.

Approximately 30 miles of the Schuylkill River Trail stretch from Philadelphia to Parker Ford. After diverging from the path, the trail resumes in Pottstown and travels approximately 20 more miles to Reading, Berks County.

The trail connection over the Schuylkill River in Pottstown is expected to be completed by spring 2024.

The remaining gaps in the Schuylkill River Trail in Chester County were among those prioritized to connect nearly 60 miles of path segments between Philly and Reading.

More than 75 miles of the Schuylkill River Trail are open to the public in sections of southeastern Pennsylvania. The path was mostly paved and built over abandoned railway lines, and until several years ago the trail existed in unconnected sections known by locally given names.

Efforts in recent years have focused on closing remaining gaps in hopes of creating a unified trail system from South Philly to Schuylkill County. When completed, the Schuylkill River Trail should total about 120 miles.