This map shows the status of the trails over a base that reflects development and tree canopy. We need more trees. The Midwest, to make a generalization, needs more trees too. We need each trail to be not just a path but to be a linear oasis of natural water purification and air quality restoration through trees.
My ramblings about my trail experience
Speaking from experience, trails give youth the independence to explore beyond their neighborhood. And when you are exploring, you’re learning about new opportunities.
I remember biking on Duck Creek Trail all the way across town for summer school. I’d stop at McDonalds, which had bike racks right on the trail, for a drink on a hot day. I’d stop at the bike shop too.
All along the way, there were mental markers. These were road crossings or woods with rogue bmx trails, a curve where flooding left a spot of mud, and a kiosk with Quad City Bicycle Club rides posted.
Developing trails in Greater Philadelphia takes extra effort
I don’t want to downplay the complexity of developing trails in the Quad Cities, but I think there are more barriers in a heavily populated area like the Philadelphia Region. Trails involve remediation of post-industrial environments. They involve more inter-municipality coordination. And I would assume that construction costs are greater.
This map shows existing, planned, and future trail corridors that make up the Circuit. The William Penn Foundation, DVPRC, Bicycle Coalition, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, and others are working to coordinate this at a regional level. And each county has its own staff working on development of trail projects.
Here’s the full map